Announcing our 2023-24 theatre season
November 1, 2022
Welcome to our 2023-24 theatre season! We’ll explore the theme of EMPOWERMENT through the lens of a broad range of periods, genres and styles — a contemporary comedy of academia, a surreal docudrama, an historical romp, and a spin on an early Shakespeare comedy.
Mark your calendars and plan to join us for this provocative season of theatre. Tickets go on sale beginning Aug. 21, 2023 through the Moss Arts Center ticket office. All performances will be in Studio Theatre in the Squires Student Center.
SEPT. 26-29, OCT. 1, 2023
by Melissa James Gibson
a contemporary comedy of academia
directed by Susanna Rinehart
In this sharply funny and knowing portrait of human relationships and the agonies of academia, Louise is a doctoral candidate working on a placebo-controlled study of a new drug to enhance female sex drive; her partner Jonathan is a Classics scholar struggling to complete his dissertation on Pliny the Elder; Mary, a participant in Louise’s study, is desperate to right the ship of her marriage; and fellow researcher Tom is questioning the value of studying aural stimulation. Gibson gives us a compelling and hilarious exploration of our search for purpose versus subsistence, of desire versus self-doubt, and the stories we tell ourselves as we are “stalking happiness with a machete.”
NOV. 7-11, 2023
"SLEEP DEPRIVATION CHAMBER"
by Adam P. Kennedy and Adrienne Kennedy
a surreal docudrama
directed by David R. Gammons
Adrienne Kennedy is one of the most important American playwrights of the last 60 years, and her landmark "Funnyhouse of a Negro" (1964) remains a provocative and unforgettable indictment of the trauma inflicted by colonialism and white supremacy in America. In 1991, Kennedy’s son Adam was brutally beaten by the police and then arrested for assaulting the officer in suburban Virginia, after being pulled over in a routine traffic stop for a broken taillight. "Sleep Deprivation Chamber" fictionalizes those events — combining reenactments of the encounter, courtroom and interrogation transcripts, and letters beseeching Virginia’s Governor and others to intervene on their behalf. But the play is far from a simple documentary theatre project; instead, it incorporates the elder playwright’s unique oneiric surrealism – sliding between nightmare sequences, fragmented memory, and overlapping consciousness. One of the play’s conceptual framing devices is a cast of college actors who are rehearsing a production of "Hamlet" under the direction of the central character, Teddy. As in several of her plays, Adrienne Kennedy uses a surrogate for herself named Suzanne Alexander — a writer and academic, and here, specifically, a devastated and grieving mother who bravely takes on a corrupt and racist system. A powerful and timely drama that explores violence, truth, and the struggle for justice, "Sleep Deprivation Chamber" is a hauntingly relevant x-ray of our fractured society.
FEB. 20-24, 2024
by Liz Duffy Adams
an historical romp
directed by Amanda Nelson
Liz Duffy Adams' "Or," is perhaps best described as Restoration comedy meets farce. A reflection on identity and role-playing, the work tells a fictional story about the British playwright and spy Aphra Behn. The quick pace of the play demands its three performers to deliver both verbal wit and physical gags. While set in the Restoration period, the play weaves elements and themes from the 1660s, the 1960s, and today. It is at once Restoration bawdy and 1960s groovy.
APRIL 16-20, 2024
"THE TAMING OF THE SHREW"
by William Shakespeare
a spin on a classic comedy
directed by David R. Gammons
In one of Shakesperae's most problematic but compelling comedies, Petruchio sets out to woo and wed Katherine, a fiesty and independent woman who resists his increasingly outrageous advances. 'The Taming of the Shrew" has captivated both audiences and interpreters for four centuries, inviting debate and dissent about its complex and even contradictory views of love and marriage. Our production will tackle the play's provocative portrait of romance by exploding notions of gender and sexuality and celebrating the true spectrum of identity and relationship. Employing unexpected casting choices and bold design, this lively production will upend your expectations about who is who and what is what! Set in a parallel world that looks suspiciously like Elvis's "Viva Las Vegas," this streamlined and fast-paced version of "The Taming of the Shrew" will incorporate music, dance, and hilarious comic lazzi to bring one of Shakespeare's most passionate but perplexing plays to life. Actors and artists who identify as queer, non-binary, and trans are particularly encouraged to get involved in what is sure to be a wild theatrical ride. Grab a cocktail, get on your go-go boots, and come and join us by the pool under the gently swaying palm trees and brightly flashing neon lights!