Theater Department

CURRENT SEASON (2014 - 2015)

For information about upcoming events, please visit:
http://www.wesleyan.edu/cfa/events/theaterevents-2014-2015.html

Faculty and Senior Thesis productions

In The Heights

Wednesday, November 12, Thursday, November 13, Friday, November 14, Saturday, November 15, 2014 at 8:00 PM, 
Sunday, November 16, 2014 at 2:00 PM & 8:00 PM

CFA Theater
$15 general public; $12 senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff/alumni, Middletown residents, $7 students

Directed by Associate Professor of Theater Claudia Tatinge Nascimento, Music Direction by Adjunct Assistant Professor of Music Nadya Potemkina

In the Heights tells the universal story of a vibrant community in New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood – a place where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet, the windows are always open, and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music. It’s a community on the brink of change, full of hopes, dreams, and pressures, where the biggest struggles can be deciding which traditions you take with you, and which ones you leave behind.

With book by Wesleyan’s Distinguished Shapiro Professor of Writing and Theater Quiara Alegría Hudes, In the Heights is the winner of the 2008 Tony Awards for “Best Musical,” “Best Original Score” (Lin-Manuel Miranda, Theater ’02), “Best Choreography” and “Best Orchestrations” (Alex Lacamoire and Bill Sherman, Music ’02). The Wesleyan production is a collaboration between the Music and Theater Departments.


The Visiting Room
: Thesis Theater Production by Sara Guernsey

Friday, February 27, & Saturday, February 28, 2015 at 7:00 PM

CFA Theater Studio, 275 Washington Terrace
FREE! (tickets required) - call the box office at 860-685-3355

Directed by Sara Guernsey ’15

The Visiting Room is a senior thesis production based on testimonials and interviews with five inmates that takes the audience inside the walls of state prisons. The inmates share rarely heard stories about the path they have taken, the reality of life in prison, and their very personal struggles toward release. Presented in partial fulfillment of the Thesis in Theater.


Starfall:
Thesis Theater Production by Grace Herman-Holland

Thursday, February 26, Friday February 27, Saturday, February 28, 2015 at 9:00 PM

Patricelli ‘92 Theater
FREE! (tickets required) - call the box office at 860-685-3355

Directed by Grace Herman-Holland ’15

Starfall is an experiment in actor-audience relationships, using popular music and elements of Japanese kabuki theater. The work places a heightened, fantasy reality in the midst of a cover band concert on a present-day college campus, exploring different ideas of intimacy, and how we go about finding it. Presented in partial fulfillment of the Thesis in Theater.


Ida:
Thesis Theater Production by Cicily Clare Gruber and Katherine Malczewski

Thursday, April 2, Friday, April 3, Saturday, April 4, 2015 at 8:00 PM

CFA Theater Studio, 275 Washington Terrace
FREE! (tickets required) - call the box office at 860-685-3355

Directed by Cicily Clare Gruber ’15 and Katherine Malczewski ’15

Ida is a multimedia dance theater solo performance based on the Gertrude Stein novel of the same name. Using technological replications of the human form, the piece explores Ida’s creation of identity as she moves, rests, says yes, gets married, and owns dogs. Presented in partial fulfillment of the Theses in Theater.


The Bald Soprano

Wednesday, April 23 through Saturday, April 25, 2015 at 8:00 PM
Saturday, April 25, 2015 at 2:00 PM

CFA Theater
Buy Tickets
$8 general public; $5 senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff/alumni, non-Wesleyan students; $4 Wesleyan students

Directed by Professor of Theater Yuri Kordonsky

Mr. Smith: Hm. (Silence)

Mrs. Smith: Hm, hm. (Silence)

Mrs. Martin: Hm, hm, hm. (Silence)

Mr. Martin: Hm, hm, hm, hm. (Silence)

In one of the seminal plays of Theater of the Absurd, The Bald Soprano (1950), Eugène Ionesco reveals the decay of a modern person and the futility of meaningful communication in contemporary society. Inspired by the cliché dialogues between the imaginary Mr. and Mrs. Smith in an English phrasebook for beginners, Mr. Ionesco rejected the coherent plot, character development, and concept of realistic drama, instead creating his own anarchic and grotesque form of comedy to convey the tragedy of language in a universe ruled by chance. In Jean-Paul Sartre’s words, “Ionesco sees our language as if from a distance. He reveals its banality and routine. The reader faces an acute realization of the absurdity of language, to the point when one does not want to speak anymore. His theater is a dream about language.”

 

OUTSIDE THE BOX SERIES 

Groundbreaking theater performances and discussions presented by the Theater Department and the Center for the Arts.

The Builders Association – Sontag: Reborn

Thursday, October 2 and Friday, October 3, 2014 at 8:00 PM
CFA Theater
$25 general public; $22 senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff/alumni, non-Wesleyan students; $6 Wesleyan students

 “[A] remarkable performance by [Moe] Angelos, a one-woman force field whose intensity compels our attention as the actress channels Sontag in all her restless, omnivorous, arrogant, spiky individuality.”
The Boston Globe

Based on the books Reborn and As Consciousness is Harnessed to Flesh by Susan Sontag, edited by David Rieff.

Directed by Marianne Weems, Artistic Director, and using The Builders Association's signature synthesis of poetic video and sound, Sontag: Reborn (2013) is a tightly-crafted story of self-discovery and sexual identity that is both exuberant and intimate, exploring the private life, loves, and idiosyncrasies of the iconic intellectual Susan Sontag (1933-2004). The work is adapted by solo performer Moe Angelos based on Ms. Sontag's early journals Reborn (2008) and As Consciousness is Harnessed to Flesh (2012), edited by David Rieff. The piece traces Ms. Sontag's life from the age of fourteen to her emergence as a world-renowned author and activist. The young Ms. Sontag wrestles with her emerging sexuality and precocious intelligence, fraught with doubt and insecurity yet driven by her willfulness, ambition, and voracious curiosity. The refuge of her diary became integral to her development as a writer, Ms. Sontag says herself, "In the journal I do not just express myself more openly than I could in person. I create myself."

Ms. Sontag would re-read her early journals, often annotating passages and leaving margin notes. This act of revisiting her former self served as a springboard for Sontag: Reborn in which older and younger versions of Ms. Sontag intermingle—both played by Ms. Angelos, the former in projected video and the latter on stage—creating a portrait of this prismatic and elegant mind. 

Founded in 1994 and based in New York, The Builders Association is one of this country’s most active international touring experimental theater companies, using the richness of new and old tools to extend the boundaries of performance. Based on innovative collaborations, their productions blend stage performance, text, video, sound, and architecture to tell stories drawn from contemporary life.

Marianne Weems has also worked with The Wooster Group and Susan Sontag, among many others.

Actor Moe Angelos and video designer Austin Switser presented the talk “Inside The Builders Association: Integrating Media and Performance” in February 2011 in CFA Hall.

An Outside the Box Theater Series event presented by the Theater Department and the Center for the Arts. Co-sponsored by Wesleyan's English Department and Writing Programs.

Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental: 17 Border Crossings

Saturday, February 21, 2015 at 8:00 PM
CFA Theater
$19 general public; $17 senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff/alumni, non-Wesleyan students; $6 Wesleyan students

CFA Arts Administration Intern Chloe Jones ’15 talks to writer, director, and performer Thaddeus Phillips of Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental about the Connecticut premiere of his solo theater work 17 Border Crossings on the Center for the Arts blog here.

Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental develops original theater works using creative structures, objects, found and original texts, and extensive travel. Collected over fifteen years, 17 Border Crossings (2011) weaves together real adventures into a dramatic, visual, and surreal examination of imaginary lines, arbitrary passports, and curious customs. Written and directed by Thaddeus Phillips and based on his actual experiences, this deceptively simple solo work takes audiences to the frontiers of Angola, Austria, Bali, Bosnia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Egypt, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Mexico, Morocco, Palestine, Serbia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

There will be a post-performance discussion with Thaddeus Phillips.

The performance style begins as a classic monologue told from a desk and chair, but quickly morphs into its own skin, which draws inspiration from standup comedy, the Balkan films of Emir Kustarica, the floor shows of the Tropicana in Havana, musicals about Austria, cheap magic, Native myths from the Amazon jungle, and Chilli Relleno recipes.


What Happens When We Tell a Story: Talk by Quiara Alegría Hudes

Monday, April 27, 2015 at 7:00 PM
Memorial Chapel
FREE!

Reception and book signing to follow.

Quiara Alegría Hudes is the Shapiro Distinguished Professor of Writing and Theater at Wesleyan University. Her play Water by the Spoonful received the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Her other works include the book for the 2008 Tony Award-winning “Best Musical” In the Heights, and the plays Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue (2006) and The Happiest Song Plays Last (2013). Her younger cousin grew up in “the barrio,” graduated public school, enlisted at the age of seventeen, sustained a leg injury in Iraq, and became a veteran, all by the ripe age of eighteen. This talk tells the true backstage story of what happened after Ms. Hudes turned her cousin's life into a trilogy of plays. For him, opening night was only the beginning.

An Outside the Box Theater Series event presented by the Theater Department and the Center for the Arts. Co-sponsored by Wesleyan's English Department and Writing Programs.