HWS Theatre continues the 2016-2017 Frame/Works series on Friday, Feb. 17, from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. in Williams 201. Guest scholar Katie Mallinson will present a talk titled “Hijinks Ensue: The Fundamentals of Farce.”
Mallinson, a dramaturg, director and educator based in Buffalo, N.Y., explains that “bed hopping, gender swapping, class toppling, door slamming, wife stealing, pressure cooking, game playing farce is a genre of preposterous extremes, racing between comedy and tragedy at breakneck speed. Farce’s vulgar antics, cartoonish characters, and ludicrously improbable events have historically relegated it to the realm of lowbrow amusements. In the cultural lexicon, it’s synonymous with triviality and absurdity, both on stage and off. And yet farce, with roots in ancient Greece and branches stretching wide over contemporary art forms, merrily thumbs its nose at such artistic marginalization. For all its frivolity, farce is democratic in its rebellion, palliative in its violence, choreographed in its chaos.”
“This talk will look at the paradoxical nature of farce, and how such paradoxes have perpetuated its popularity throughout changing centuries and civilizations. It will explore how farce evolved from its bawdy beginnings to the tightly wound plots on stage and screen today, asking the questions: what is essential to farce, and how is farce essential to theatre?” Mallinson says.
Mallinson’s talk is free and open to the public. Frame/Works attendees are encouraged to see Boeing Boeing that evening. Tickets are available at the Gearan Center Box Office (Monday through Friday, 2-4 p.m.), the College Store and Area Records and Music.
Her past work includes Irish Classic Theatre, Road Less Traveled Productions, Shakespeare in Delaware Park, Torn Space Theater and the American Repertory Theater. Her adaptations were presented in Cambridge, Mass., Moscow, Russia, and with the Buffalo Infringement Festival. Recent directing credits include Dinner With Friends and Freud’s Last Session. She received her MFA in dramaturgy from the Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard University.
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. Following the Feb. 17 performance of Boeing Boeing, audience members are invited to stay for a post-show talk-back with members of the cast and production team.