THE PHYSICISTS, WAKE & More Set for Columbia Stages 2014 Season

THE PHYSICISTS, WAKE & More Set for Columbia Stages 2014 Season

Columbia University School of the Arts is proud to announce the 2014 Columbia Stages season of director and playwright Thesis Productions at Cloud City, The Connelly Theater, and The Pershing Square Signature Center. Columbia Stages has expanded its season to a variety of venues throughout the city in order to provide third-year students with high-quality presentation spaces that meet the needs of their individual visions.

2014 MFA Director Thesis Productions

THE PHYSICISTS
January 22-25, 2014
THE CONNELLY THEATER, 220 East 4th Street
Written by Friedrich Durrenmatt
Translated by James Kirkup
Directed by Sina Heiss

In the well-funded Swiss asylum of Les Cerisiers, nurses have recently been meeting violent deaths. The assailants are two lunatics who call themselves Newton and Einstein, and their fellow inmate, physicist Johann Möbius, knows more than he is willing to share. Written in the early 1960s at the height of the Cold War, THE PHYSICISTS, a satiric comedy, offers a sly and unnervingly relevant take on the misuse of power and knowledge.

THE SEVEN
February 12-15, 2014
THE CONNELLY THEATER, 220 East 4th Street
Written by Will Power
Directed by Carl Cofield

In THE SEVEN, playwright/composer/old-school rapper Will Power (Fetch Clay, Make Man; Flow) upends Aeschylus's ancient tragedy The Seven Against Thebes in a non-stop rush of rhymes that fuses Greek grandeur with 21st-Century hip-hop culture. Taking the best bits from both worlds-poetry and music, speech and song, DJs and deities-THE SEVEN spins an unflagging fable about love, war, family, and the way we tell stories. Will Power has taken the tale of brawling brothers Eteocles and Polynices, the two sons of the cursed King Oedipus, and infused it with "heat-generating energy" (The New York Times) to explore such vital themes as race, poverty, and the abuse of power.

WAKE
March 5-8, 2014
THE CONNELLY THEATER, 220 East 4th Street
Conceived and Directed by Mei Ann Teo
Libretto by Christopher Chen
Composed by Jon Bernstein and Marnie Breckenridge

A mother commits an unforgivable act by accidentally killing her own child. Fueled by unending guilt, she cycles through haunting dreamscapes of death and rebirth. As her reality decomposes into surreal nightmare, she voices her infinite despair amidst vivid visual and sound environments. Inspired by a true story, WAKE is an inventive music theatre work that is pArt Theatre, dance, opera, chamber and electronic music. Composed by Jon Bernstein (also known as Disparition) with libretto by Christopher Chen (2013 Paula Vogel Playwriting Award), WAKE stems from real documentary interviews. Investigating the psychic effects of guilt and grief, WAKE explores how-when it feels as though there is no way to move on-we seek a way to continue.

This modern tragedy features opera singer Marnie Breckenridge (Dog Days, The New York Times "Best Opera of 2012", BAM's Next Wave Festival).

OLD PAPER HOUSES
March 26-29, 2014
THE CONNELLY THEATER, 220 East 4th Street
Created by Piehole, with texts by Bernadette Mayer
Directed by Tara Ahmadinejad

In New England, the winter is five months long, everybody eats beans, everything freezes, and people slide around on slippery icy roads. Huddled inside drafty houses, a few lonely idealists yearn for a better life. Brooklyn-based theater collective Piehole adapts texts by Bernadette Mayer and Nathaniel Hawthorne, weaving together the grey snowdrifts of the 1970s with a utopian vision of the 1840s. Featuring an original score by Jason Sigal, OLD PAPER HOUSES asks how we continue to find things to believe in. And also: why do people live in places that are so damned cold?

A BRIGHT ROOM CALLED DAY
April 16-29, 2014
THE CONNELLY THEATER, 220 East 4th Street
Written by Tony Kushner
Directed by Scott Ebersold

A BRIGHT ROOM CALLED DAY tells the story of a group of Berlin artists and friends, with varying degrees of communist leanings, and of the changes in their lives as democracy falls and Adolf Hitler takes over. This action is interrupted by Zillah, a young woman from today, who believes that things are not so different than they were in 1930s Germany. The play is brash, audacious, and, depending on your politics, anything from infuriatingly naive to intoxicatingly visionary. It may not be as easy for us to identify one source of pure evil now as it was in Nazi Germany, but does that mean it doesn't exist? Evil isn't finite, it just changes form. Concentrated in one individual or dispersed throughout a culture, it's often easier to ignore than to take action. This re-imagined production promises to entertain us with the unexpected and at the same time awaken us to the dangers of inaction and the consequences of complacency.

VESTIGE
May 7-10, 2014
CLOUD CITY, 85 N. 1st Street, Brooklyn
Written by 3 Sticks, Music/Lyrics by Andrew Lynch
Staging/Choreography by Katie Melby
Directed by Eric Powell Holm

When the idealistic young writer Paul Bradley travels to South America, everything he knows is turned on its head. The sights, sounds, and tastes are all strange and exciting, but nothing is odder than his shadow's new independence-especially when it separates from him completely. Little by little, Paul sees the Man-Who-Was-His-Shadow grow into a real, flesh-and-blood person. At first, they are close friends; almost brothers! But when the Shadow pursues the woman that Paul loves, their strange friendship comes under fire. Adapted from the tale by Hans Christian Andersen, VESTIGE is a new folk opera by 3 Sticks, the physical-musical company led by composer Andrew Lynch and creator/performer Katie Melby. With VESTIGE, they continue their collaboration with director Eric Powell Holm in the Brooklyn art space Cloud City.

2014 MFA Playwright Thesis Productions

NEW PLAYS NOW: A FESTIVAL OF NEW PLAYS
April 3 - 26, 2014
THE Studio Theatre AT THE PERSHING SQUARE SIGNATURE CENTER

Playwrights in the Class of 2014: Alexandra Bassett, Hammaad Chaudry, Sander Gusinow, Mustafa Kaymak, Claytie Mason, Ashley Minihan, Rebecca Nichloson, Bryan Quick, Celine Song, Michael Walek.

Plays aren't meant to be read, they're meant to be seen. NEW PLAYS NOW treats audiences to original work by the MFA Playwriting Class of 2014.

The Columbia Stages season presents thesis projects by third-year MFA Actors, Playwrights, and Directors. First- and second-year Actors, Directors, and Playwrights also present work on a regular basis. These projects comprise the Schapiro Classroom Series at Schapiro Theatre and Schapiro Studio, located at 605 W 115th Street. For more information about the Columbia University School of the Arts Theatre Program visit http://arts.columbia.edu/theatre.

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