UW Drama Presents BODY AWARENESS By Annie Baker
For its final production of the 2018-2019 season, the University of Washington School of Drama will present Annie Baker's Body Awareness, June 5 - 9, 2019 in the Jones Playhouse. The production is jointly directed by first-year MFA directors Andrew Coopman and Kristie Post Wallace in their UW Drama mainstage debuts.
Coopman and Wallace have divided the 90-minute play into two halves. Working with the same team of lighting and set designers, but two costume designers and two separate casts, each director will bring their own, distinct directorial vision to their half of the show. Audiences will begin the evening in Coopman's version of the play, and end in Wallace's. This unconventional structure provides audiences with an exceptional opportunity to consider the impact of directorial concept on a piece of theatre.
The cast consists mainly of guest actors from the local theatre community, as well as one UW undergraduate. The designers are all members of the UW Drama MFA Design class of 2021.
It's Body Awareness Week on a Vermont college campus and Phyllis, the organizer, and her partner, Joyce, are hosting one of the guest artists in their home: Frank, a photographer famous for his female nude portraits. Both his presence in the home and his chosen subject instigate tension from the start. Phyllis is furious at his depictions, but Joyce is actually rather intrigued by the whole thing, even going so far as to contemplate posing for him. As Joyce and Phyllis bicker, Joyce's adult son, who may or may not have Asperger syndrome, struggles to express himself physically - with heartbreaking results.
Body Awareness is one of three plays in Annie Baker's Shirley, Vermont Plays collection, all three of which take place in the fictional town of Shirley, Vermont. The others are Circle Mirror Transformation and The Aliens. Huntington Theatre Company compiled this helpful (imaginary) history of the town: https://www.huntingtontheatre.org/articles/A-Brief-History-of-the-fictional-town-of-Shirley-VT/
EVENT LINK: https://drama.washington.edu/events/2019-06-05/body-awareness