PRELUDE TO A KISS, DANCING AT LUGHNASA & More Set for Harry Hope Theatre's 2013-14 Season
The Performing Arts Department Theatre program at Eastern CT State University is pleased to announce its Fall 2013-Spring 2014 Harry Hope Theatre (High and Valley Streets, Willimantic, CT 06226) performance schedule.
The first production of the season, Dancing At Lughnasa, written by Brian Friel and directed by J. J. Cobb, will run October 10-13 and 15-16, 2013 (Thursday-Saturday at 7:30pm; Sunday at 4pm; Tuesday-Wednesday at 7:30pm). As per Performing Arts Department Chair, David Pellegrini, "It is set in County Donegal in 1936, and explores five sisters at a cross-roads in their lives. Through humor, colorful dialogue, and beautifully-drawn characterizations, this Tony Award-winning play delves into the bonds of sisterhood, faith, social change in Ireland between the two world wars." Frank Rich, NY Times Theatre critic, in his 1991 review of the play's Broadway production after successful runs in Ireland and then in London (for which it won the Olivier Award) reported that "... this play does exactly what theater was born to do, carrying both its characters and audience aloft on those waves of distant music and ecstatic release that, in defiance of all language and logic, let us dance and dream just before night must fall." It is no wonder that Director Cobb calls this "one of her favorite plays of all time!"
The Skin Of Our Teeth, written by Thornton Wilder and directed by Jerry Winters, will run November 19-24, 2013 (Tuesday-Saturday at 7:30pm; Sunday at 4pm) in the Harry Hope Theatre. As per Pellegrini, "The Skin of Our Teeth, is an American classic by Thornton Wilder, who also penned Our Town (and won Pulitzers for both). As envisioned by guest director (and long-time PT faculty member) Jerry Winters, this social and political satire on the indomitable American spirit, which Wilder wrote immediately after the attack on Pearl Harbor, is updated to consider more recent historical contexts." Director Winters when initially conceptualizing with Set Designer, Kristen Morgan, offered the following, "The audience will experience the stage performance, as well as live 'framed moments' which will create a subtle through line about how the media both frames and manipulates our perception of disasters." Brooks Atkinson, Theatre critic of the NY Times, stated in his review of the original production, "The Skin of Our Teeth stands head and shoulders above the monotonous plane of our moribund theater--an original, gay-hearted play that is now and again profoundly moving, as a genuine comedy should be.'' Decades later, it has continued to tickle our funny bones as it incites our intellect.
Prelude To A Kiss, written by Craig Lucas and directed by Gloria Trombley, guest director and PT faculty member, will open the Spring season and will run February 27-March 2 and March 4-5 (Thursday-Saturday at 7:30pm; Sunday at 4pm; Tuesday-Wednesday at 7:30pm). Charles Isherwood, NY Times Theatre critic, in his 2007 review of a recent revival stated, "So while it ends as fairy tales tend to, Prelude to a Kiss is steeped in the ache of loss and a sorrowful awareness that life's joys can be as fleeting as its griefs are unavoidable. It is a romantic comedy of an oddly brokenhearted kind." As per director Trombley, "This magical story of lustful, youthful, romantic love requires the audience to take an imaginary leap into a bewitching fantasy. The audience along with the characters takes an extraordinary journey of wild twists and turns that carries us along an emotional roller coaster that challenges and transforms our sensibility about the power of love."
The HHT season concludes with the bi-annual Directors' Showcase of International One-Acts, written by globally acclaimed playwrights (tba) and directed by the Theatre programs' most advanced directing students (tba), which will run April 24-27 (Thursday-Saturday at 7:30pm; Sunday at 4pm). Please stay tuned for more details regarding this production. Tickets for HHT shows are $5 for students and groups of 10 or more; $10 for Eastern faculty, staff, and senior citizens; $12 for the general public. For reservations, call the box office at 860-465-5123.