Hobart and William Smith Colleges - HWS Theatre Announces 2019-20 Season
The HWS Update
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HWS Theatre Announces 2019-20 Season

With its 2019-20 season, Hobart and William Smith Colleges’ Theatre Department joins the campus-wide “Year of Water” festivities with a series of productions exploring water as a means of sustenance, destruction, reflection and cleansing. The eclectic season features a bracing look at Hurricane Katrina, an evening of delightful French comedies and a contemporary re-telling of an ancient classic.

To learn more about the upcoming season as well as other exciting events in the Theatre Department, all members of the HWS community are invited to an Ice Cream Social on Tuesday, Aug. 27, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in McDonald Theatre in the Gearan Center for the Performing Arts.

The season opens with The Breach running Nov. 7 and 8 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 9 at 2 and 7:30 p.m., directed by Associate Professor of Theatre Heather May. In an era of more intense and more frequent hurricanes, Catherine Filloux, Tarell Alvin McCraney and Joe Sutton’s The Breach takes us back to the eye of Hurricane Katrina. The play weaves together the stories of one family’s struggle to stay alive on a rooftop in the Lower Ninth Ward, one man’s struggle to reunite with family old and new, and an outsider’s search for answers as to why the hurricane played out as it did across New Orleans. The action of this play swirls between memory and presence, dream and reality, poetry and pain — as befits a story about loss and survival. Auditions for The Breach will be held the week of Sept. 2 and are open to all members of the HWS community. For more information about auditions, please contact Professor May (may@hws.edu). Please note: This production includes adult content and language and is not recommended for young audiences.

The 2019-20 season continues with An Evening of French Comedy, running Feb. 13 and 14 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 15 at 2 and 7:30 p.m., directed by Associate Professor of Theatre Chris Hatch. Laugh, love and escape winter with the help of HWS Theatre. Perfect for Valentine’s weekend, these short comedies showcase some of France’s most celebrated playwrights. As an added bonus, the historical night of hilarious proportions will also feature the world premiere performance of a new translation of a play by Marivaux created by a current William Smith student.

The season concludes with Metamorphoses by Mary Zimmerman, running April 16 and 17 at 7:30 p.m. and April 18 at 2 and 7:30 p.m.  Directed by Associate Professor of Theatre Chris Woodworth, Metamorphoses will be co-produced by the Geneva Theatre Guild. A simple laundry gathering at a pool of water transforms into an epic re-telling of Ovid’s Roman masterpiece. Familiar mythic stories such as Midas, Orpheus and Eurydice, and Narcissus course alongside lesser-known ancient tales, told in a bold and abstract physical style that flows like water — submerging, purging and purifying. Please note: This production includes adult content and language and is not recommended for young audiences.

 Ed Hallborg returns for his third season as resident designer and technical director. He will provide scenic and lighting design and technical direction for all three productions of the 2019-20 season. Kelly Walker returns for a seventh season as HWS Theatre’s resident sound designer.

Each Friday night performance will 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.

All performances will be staged in McDonald Theatre in the Gearan Center. Tickets for HWS Theatre productions are $5. A limited number of free tickets will be available to HWS students with ID one hour before each performance.

For more information on any of these productions, contact Professor Woodworth at cwoodworth@hws.edu or (315) 781-4581. For more information about the HWS Theatre Department visit http://www.hws.edu/academics/theatre/. Check the department’s Facebook or Instagram @HWSTheatre for the latest news.

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