October 7, 2010
WOOSTER, Ohio — The College of Wooster’s Department of Theatre and Dance will present a range of productions this year, many of which will push the boundaries of traditional theatre.
The formal season begins Oct. 28-30 with “Iphigenia and Other Daughters,” a contemporary retelling of three Greek dramas. Written by Ellen McLaughlin and directed by Season Ellison, visiting assistant professor of theatre and dance at Wooster, the production focuses on the stories of women in the House of Atreus and parallels these mythological tales with the very real experiences of present-day women on the battlefield.
“It breaks some boundaries of time, and there are some very modern perspectives in it,” said Dale Seeds, chair of the department. “The drama is written from a feminist perspective and draws away from the classical Greek method of male actors portraying female characters. It’s exciting because we are doing some things that we have never done before. It’s all about trying to explore new boundaries.”
Behind the scenes, construction is well underway on the set, which not only violates the theatre space, but also features a twisted tree made of both wood and metal that takes up the center stage, representing the Oresteia Trilogy. “There is a lot of deep symbolism,” said Seeds.
The second production — the annual fall dance concert, which features student choreographers, dancers, and lighting designers — follows on Nov. 19-20 in the intimate setting of Freedlander-in-the-round. Directed by Alyssa Wilmot, visiting assistant professor of theatre and dance at Wooster, these works bring the audience face to face with contemporary modern dance.
The world premier of Shirley Huston-Findley’s original work, “Past Missing,” will be the next production on Dec. 3-4 in Shoolroy Theatre. Huston-Findley, associate professor of theatre and dance at Wooster, will have an opportunity to observe her work as it unfolds for on stage. “It’s the first time the work goes before the public,” said Seeds.
In February, five seniors will present their Independent Study projects in the form of original theatrical performances. “They are pretty groundbreaking,” said Seeds. “That’s what they are for — experimentation."
“The Glass Menagerie,” written by Tennessee Williams and directed by Huston-Findley, will be performed March 3-5. The production will be dedicated to the late Annetta Gomez-Jefferson, former professor of theatre who first presented the play in 1984. “It’s a wonderful and circular tribute to (Gomez-Jefferson’s) work in the department,” said Seeds. The student who did the lighting for the
first performance of “The Glass Menagerie” at the College, Stephen Quandt (Class of 1985), is now a professional lighting designer in New York and may be returning to do the lighting once again for the same production.
The annual spring dance concert, a more formal version of the fall concert, will be held April 14-16. Faculty and student choreographers will present their own works, as will a modern-dance guest artist.
In addition to the departmental productions, the Skakesperiments and Effie’s Players — both student-theatre organizations — will present performances throughout the year. For the Shakesperiments, senior Ari Zirulnik will direct “Much Ado About Nothing” on Oct. 7, 8, and 9, and senior Nina Takacs will direct the “Unrehearsed Staged Reading of Twelfth Night” in April. Effie’s Players has two scheduled events as well — one this semester and one next semester.
Additional information about the upcoming theatre season is available by phone (330-263-2541)
1189 Beall Avenue, Wooster, Ohio 44691. (330) 263-2000
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