TACOMA, Wash. – Those coming to see the play You on the Moors Now at University of Puget Sound are likely to find the evening a salient respite from some of the headlines that now dominate newspapers.
The playful, smart, feminist play goes back more than a century to give some of our favorite literary characters a 21st-century makeover—taking a more expansive view of women’s agency and providing a cutting, but humorous, view of male fragility. It’s a refreshing and irreverent spin on gender attributes that today have become deeply politicized.
You on the Moors Now, by critically acclaimed playwright Jaclyn Backhaus, is directed by Jess K Smith ’05. It will be staged at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 23–24; and Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, March 1–3, in Norton Clapp Theatre in Jones Hall. There will be a matinee performance at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 3. Ticket information and a map of campus are below.
The play, performed by University of Puget Sound theatre arts students, opens with the heroines from Little Women, Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, and Jane Eyre running from their marriage proposals. The men don’t take rejection well and respond by waging a war—the “Moors War.”
Through ridiculous wordplay, hilarious banter, and heightened stakes, playwright Jaclyn Backhaus navigates a playful contention with the gender norms of the 19th century.
“This ultimately moving and inventive play ends in beautiful prose, like a chapter from the books where these women originated—asking us all to reconsider how we love, how we grieve, and maybe, just maybe, if female friendships can be enough,” says director Jess K Smith, assistant professor of theatre arts at Puget Sound.
Time Out wrote about a Chicago Den Theatre’s production of the play: “In providing respectfully irreverent new angles on these not-so-little women—complete with an unexpected, gleefully anachronistic, but thoroughly satisfying epilogue—and rendering them via a fiercely talented, charming, and casually diverse ensemble, Moors scores.”
You on the Moors Now is produced by the Department of Theatre Arts: Jess K Smith, director; Kurt Walls, scenic designer; Mishka Navarre, costume designer; and Patty Mattieu, lighting designer.
FOR TICKETS: Tickets are available online at tickets.pugetsound.edu, or at Wheelock Information Center, 253.879.3100. Admission is $11 for the general public; $7 for seniors (55+), students, military, and Puget Sound faculty, students, and staff. Any remaining tickets will be available at the door.
Press photos of the dress rehearsal will be available shortly before the first performance.
Photos on page: From top right: You on the Moors poster; director Jess K Smith
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