THE HOW AND THE WHY Set for Trinity Rep, 11/29-12/30


Fresh off the sold-out run of season opener King Lear, Trinity Rep continues their 49th Season with Sarah Treem's fast and smart new play The How and the Why, directed by Shana Gozansky. Opening in previews on November 29 and running through December 30 at Trinity Rep, this powerful and intimate production features two brilliant characters – one in her fifties, one her twenties – each with her own take on the controversial debate surrounding the theory of female evolution. In this funny, gripping new play, a mentor and her protégé bond and spar over the personal and professional consequences of their own diametrically opposed theories. Inspiring and provocative, this witty gem from Sarah Treem (of HBO's In Treatment) is both engrossing and powerful. Tickets for The How and the Why are on sale now at the Trinity Rep box office, 201 Washington St.; by phone at (401) 351-4242; and online at

The How and the Why begins previews on November 29 at 7:30pm with a First Look Thursday preview performance, featuring a special post-show talkback with the production team and cast. The First Friday preview on November 30 at 7:30pm will continue the theater's Pay What You Can (PWYC) tradition, with tickets on sale at 6:30 pm that evening, limit one per person.

Trinity Rep resident Acting Company member Anne Scurria stars as Zelda, a leading expert in the field of evolutionary biology, and Brown/Trinity MFA actress Barrie Kreinik ('13) as graduate student Rachel, an equally brilliant woman on the verge of releasing her own groundbreaking theory. What unfolds over the course of two acts is an exploration of adversarial mentorship as the two women reveal deeper personal secrets that join them together inextricably.

"This isn't the first time we've brought higher math and science to Trinity Rep's stage," says The Richard L. Bready Artistic Director Curt Columbus. "Michael Frayn's Copenhagen and David Auborn's Proof were both very well received by local audiences when we did them years ago. When I read The How and the Why I thought immediately that people would love it: two amazing women volleying scientific theories at each other with engagement, heart, wit, and stamina – what could be better?"

When asked what local audiences can expect from this new play, director Shana Gozansky says, "While The How and the Why is about the experience of these two brilliant women, ultimately it speaks to every woman - every person actually - and the choice we often face between pursuing our professional aspirations and sacrificing personal happiness. Sarah Treem plunges us deep into an investigation of driven ambition, genetic predisposition, and the long-term impacts of the choices we make. I believe that the experience of seeing this play will definitely lead to some interesting conversations in the car ride home!"

Returning to Trinity Rep to direct The How and the Why is a homecoming of sorts for Gozansky, as she graduated from the Brown/Trinity program in Spring of 2012. "I feel very lucky to be asked to come back to a place that has been my artistic home for three years and work with actors and a production team that I've grown to really love and have tremendous respect for," Gozansky says. The production's design team includes set designer Tilly Grimes, costume designer Olivera Gajic, lighting designer Driscoll Otto and sound designer Peter Sasha Hurowitz. "Not only do I get to collaborate with two powerhouse actresses," Gozansky says, "but I am surrounded by an incredible design team and production staff. It's amazing and a gift."

Talkbacks will be held after every performance of The How and the Why. Audiences are invited to share their response to the play's production and themes for approximately twenty minutes. Trinity Rep's 49th season is sponsored by NBC 10, with supporting sponsors Cox Media, Rhode Island Monthly and RISCA.

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