FALL 2023 Production
by Thornton Wilder
Directed by Professor Wind Dell Woods
Created by American playwright Thornton Wilder in 1938, Our Town was described by Edward Albee as "the greatest American play ever written". The fictional American town of Grover's Corners between 1901 and 1913 is observed through the everyday lives of its citizens. Frequently performed, this production will feature a new and innovative approach to a pillar of American Theatre.
Our Town is a play that works to bring into relief the value of life through the small events and encounters of the everyday. There is a sobering simplicity or sincerity to the play which is augmented by its meta-theatrical and minimalist aesthetics. The fictional town of Grover’s Corner is represented on and through a nearly empty stage, no curtain nor scenery. For me, Wilder seeks to trace the forces of life beyond the brick and mortar which often remain the only testament of human living. In doing so, he validates the plain beauty and cyclerity of everyday life events. In our own time, in our own town(s) and cities similar events take place that mark similar subtly beautiful attempts at living. More and more, however, the ubiquitous presence of portable technology designed to enhance communication and bring us closer together often leave us feeling more distracted and disconnected. How can we seek out connections and communal spaces that are unmediated by technology? How might leaving aside the technical accoutrements of this advanced capitalist world alter and enhance how we see each other, the world, ourselves together in the world? Taking a turn with Wilder, this production seeks to strip away the adornments and get down to the scaffolding of a theatrical event in hopes to catch a glimpse of the vital forces behind the structural forms. Wilder asserts that “our claim, our hope our despair are in the mind—not in things, not in ’scenery.’” Returning to the bones of this thing called theatre requires us to rediscover our ability to imagine and sharpen our skills of using play as a way of practicing how to live fuller and freer lives.
Oct 27, 28, Nov 2, 3, 4 - 7:30pm
Nov 4 - 2pm
Norton Clapp Theatre
A festival of scenes selected from Full-Length Plays and directed by Students of Theatre 313: Directing Class. The festival features a diverse range of material and approaches that feature the exciting work of your directors and actors, FREE Admission!
Mon/Tues - Dec 4, 5 - 7:30pm
Norton Clapp Theatre
Spring 2024 Production
Measure for Measure
by William Shakespeare
Directed by Professor Sara Freeman
Measure for Measure is an edgy, debate-worthy play where Shakespeare explores the paradoxical way that restrictive policies produce unintended results, often exactly the opposite of the results they were trying to produce. The main character, Isabella, faces impossible choices brought forth by leaders who enforce abstractions and allow double standards for themselves. Her conflict with Angelo leaves her brother's life hanging in the balance. It's a play concerned with purity, mercy, good social order, and the liberty of conscience. I'm ready to find out what happens when we strip the play down to its essence and see how it uncomfortably and brilliantly resonates with our era of backlash and confusion about prohibitions and bans, both on ideas and reproductive rights; the effects of policing and the nature of safety; and the freedom to live and love with self-determination.
Feb 23, 24, 29, Mar 1, 2 - 7:30pm; Mar 2 - 2pm
Norton Clapp Theatre
Senior Theatre Festival:
Truth be Told by William Cameron
Excerpts from plays selected, directed and performed by students.
Our capstone experience in the major and something that sets our department apart from many others. This festival is collaboratively curated and produced by the senior theatre major class and presented in an intimate setting in-the-round on the Norton Clapp stage. The plays are often diverse and ambitious, featuring a large number of our students (both majors and non-majors).
Thursday, April 11 at 7:30pm
Friday, April 12 at 7:30pm
Saturday, April 13 at 2 + 7:30pm