How does perception shape and transform the stories we tell? Find out during the dynamic 2015-2016 HWS Theatre season featuring three productions: a contemporary take on the Greek chorus, a classic Shakespearean comedy and a world premiere of a new play. The season also marks a significant moment in the history of Hobart and William Smith – the transition from Bartlett Theatre to the new Performing Arts Center, which is scheduled to open in January 2016.
The Theatre season begins with a production of “Good Kids” by award-winning playwright Naomi Iizuka, who was commissioned by the Big Ten to write a play featuring at least seven strong roles for women. Directed at the Colleges by Assistant Professor of Theatre Chris Woodworth, HWS will be the first school outside of the Big Ten to produce it. The production will run in Bartlett Theatre on Oct. 22, 23, and 24 at 7:30 p.m.
Set at a Midwestern high school, in a world of Facebook and Twitter, smartphones and YouTube, “Good Kids” tells of a sexual encounter gone wrong and its public aftermath. The production explores the ways in which social media functions much like the Greek Chorus in ancient theatre. Please note: The production will contain adult content and language and is not recommended for young audiences.
Most recently, Woodworth directed the HWS Theatre production of “Alice in Wonderland.” Joining Woodworth for the production of “Good Kids” are visiting guest artists: UNC-Greensboro Professor Denise Gabriel who is serving as movement coach and AErin Lanphear, who is serving as costume designer.
The inaugural production in the new Performing Arts Center will be “Twelfth Night,” Shakespeare’s uproarious romantic comedy of disguise and mistaken identity. In the play, a shipwreck has left Viola stranded in Illyria. Disguised as a young man named Cesario, she finds herself working for Count Orsino, charged as his emissary of love in his efforts to woo Olivia. Relationships become tangled and hilarity ensues as Viola / Cesario finds herself as more than just the messenger. “Twelfth Night” runs Feb. 18, 19 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 20 at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Assistant Professor of Theatre Chris Hatch directs. This year, Bekah Carey returns as costume designer for “Twelfth Night.” Last season, Hatch directed the HWS Theatre production of “A Streetcar Named Desire.” This past summer, Hatch appeared as Count Orsino in the Shakespeare in Delaware Park all-male production of “Twelfth Night” in Buffalo.
Past and present collide in a world premiere play by award-winning Atlanta-based playwright Johnny Drago. Drago will create a brand new play specifically for HWS Theatre, adapted from John Webster’s bloody Jacobean revenge tragedy, “The Duchess of Malfi.” Webster’s tragic exploration of identity, sexuality and violence will be given a contemporary twist. Running April 14, 15 and 16 at 7:30 p.m. in the new Performing Arts Center, Associate Professor of Theatre Heather May will direct the world premiere. May most recently directed the HWS Theatre production of “Tartuffe,” and has just embarked upon the second season of Mosaic NY, a social justice theatre company for which she serves as artistic director. Please note: This production will contain adult content and language and is not recommended for young audiences.
Each production of the HWS Theatre 2015-2016 season will once again feature scenic and lighting design and technical direction by Bill Burd. Kelly Walker returns for a third season as sound designer. Each Friday night performance 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 downtown 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 the productions, contact Chris Woodworth (email@example.com or 315-781-4581). For more information on the Theatre Program at HWS visit http://www.hws.edu/academics/theatre/ or on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/hwstheatre.
The photos above were taken during a recent “Good Kids” rehearsal in Bartlett Theatre.