HWS Theatre Announces New Season – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

HWS Theatre Announces New Season

The 2014-2015 season of HWS Theatre will be the last full one presented in Bartlett Theatre before the opening of the new Performing Arts Center. As such, the theatre department has announced that it will be an eclectic, ‘must see’ season featuring a timeless and enduring 17th century French comedy, a dark yet whimsical take on a beloved childhood classic, and an iconic treasure of mid-20th century American theatre.

The season opens with “Tartuffe” by Molière in an exhilarating new translation by Ranjit Bolt, running Oct. 23, 24, and 25 at 7:30 p.m. One of Molière’s most-produced comedies, “Tartuffe” examines hypocrisy as the title character capitalizes on Orgon’s desire to retain control over a rebellious family. Chaos ensues when members of the family attempt to prove Tartuffe an imposter.

Associate Professor of Theatre Heather May directs the show, setting it against an inventive backdrop to give the classical comedy contemporary bite. Most recently, May directed the HWS Theatre production of “Heavier Than…” and has just launched Mosaic N.Y., a social justice theatre company for which she serves as artistic director. Working with May on this production are two visiting guest artists, Professor Eileen Curley of Marist College, who serves as production dramaturg, and Professor Daydrie Hague of Auburn University, who serves as vocal coach. Auditions for “Tartuffe” will be held Sept. 4 and 5.

In the winter, audiences will be given an opportunity to follow Alice into an unsettling Wonderland in a play that Time magazine called “an exciting, absorbing, vertiginous descent into a laughing hell.” Initially created by the Manhattan Project and André Gregory in 1970, “Alice in Wonderland” runs Feb. 19, 20 and 21 at 7:30 p.m. Emerging from the experimental theatre movements of the late-1960s, “Alice in Wonderland” uses an ensemble of six performers to stage the mercurial madness of Lewis Carroll in a tour-de-force piece of physical theatre.

“Alice in Wonderland” will be directed by Woodworth, who will be drawing on her experiences training with the SITI Company at their summer intensive this year. Woodworth’s recent directing credits include “Radium Girls” for HWS Theatre and “And Baby Makes Seven” for Geneva’s Headless Sullivan Theater. Influenced by Kafka, Dali, Freud, and Jung, this production of “Alice in Wonderland” takes a sinister turn.

The 2014-2015 HWS Theatre season will draw to a close with Tennessee Williams’ immortal masterpiece, “A Streetcar Named Desire.” When Blanche DuBois arrives on her sister Stella’s doorstep in New Orleans, worlds begin to crumble. Williams offers a scathing examination of the toll deception and pretense take on the lives of men and women. Running April 9, 10, and 11 at 7:30, p.m., the show directed by Assistant Professor of Theatre Chris Hatch will add a modern touch to this American classic. Last season Hatch directed the lauded HWS Theatre and Geneva Theatre Guild production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” This fall, Hatch will also tackle Williams’ work from another perspective as he portrays The Gentleman Caller in the Lancaster Opera House production of “The Glass Menagerie” in November.

Each production of the HWS Theatre 2014-2015 season will once again feature scenic and lighting design and technical direction by Bill Burd. Kelly Walker returns for a second season as sound designer. Eastman School of Music designer, Bekah Frees Carey joins the production team as costume designer.

Friday night performances will also feature a Frame/Works event. Frame/Works is a program designed to draw connections between scholarly examination and artistic practice. Scholars are invited to present their research on a play, playwright, historical moment, genre or style in a pre-show lecture prior to a performance. Following the performance, audience members are invited to participate in a post-show talkback with members of the cast and creative team. Taken together, the pre-show lecture and the post-show talkback “frame” a “work” of theatrical art.

Tickets for all productions will be available for purchase in the College Store and Area Records in Geneva in the weeks leading up to each performance. A limited number of ticket vouchers will be available free to HWS students. All other tickets are $5. For more information on any of these productions, contact Woodworth (cwoodworth@hws.edu or 315-781-4581).

Please note: All productions in the 2014-2015 HWS Theatre season contain adult content and language and are not recommended for young audiences.

The photo above features the cast of “Heavier Than..” from the 2013-14 academic year.