Before Sarah Bay-Cheng, chair and professor of theater and dance, leaves Bowdoin to become the dean of the School of Arts, Media, Performance and Design at York University in Toronto, she’s making herself available for lunch dates and coffee chats.
Even before the show begins, shouts from the audience and screams of “Curtain!” set the stage for the vivacious and fast-paced production “Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind.” Tonight and Saturday, an intimate cast will take the audience through a whirlwind of 30 plays—a series of emotional, hilarious and thought-provoking storylines—in just 60 minutes.
Once audiences are confronted with the human cost of the American Dream, economics and politics will never look the same. On Friday night at Pickard Theater, tales of American workers take center stage as the Department of Theater debuts the Maine premiere of the Pulitzer and Tony award-winning play “Sweat” by Lynn Nottage.
Walking into Edwards Center for Art and Dance, you may run into interdisciplinary work in action. Last year, the Department of Theater and Dance launched the Performing Arts major with concentrations in dance, theater and interdisciplinary performance.
Laden with what-ifs, Anton Chekhov’s “Three Sisters” comes to vivid, aching life in Wish Theater under the direction of Associate Professor of Theater Abigail Killeen. On a set fantastic in color and intricacy, the interwoven lives of three sisters and their loved ones unfold as time races by.
The hustle and bustle of New York City comes alive on stage to the familiar sound of a subway announcement. Complete with towering skyscrapers, dreamers and cynics, hurrying high-heels along congested sidewalk, the city was reimagined on stage at Pickard Theater last weekend in Masque and Gown’s fall production, “Heart of the City,” written by Eric Lane.
The lights go down, and the whole room is black. Walls, floor, ceiling—everything black. A figure, dressed (you guessed it) in black, emerges from the right, singing in Afrikaans. After nearly 90 minutes of intense interaction and emotional performance, the theater will return to this: everything black.
Beginning this week, the Department of Theater and Dance will present a selection of senior studio projects in Memorial Hall’s Wish Theater and in other spaces across campus. Featuring original works, improvisation and new arrangements, the series will highlight the talents of each student in the culmination of their theatrical careers at Bowdoin.
Watching “Love and Information” feels a lot like scrolling through your Twitter feed—which you might be, if you happen to sit in the “Tweet Seat” section. Based on the award-winning play by Caryl Churchill, the interactive play tackled what it means to be alive right now—to be constantly inundated by digital media.
Parker Lemal-Brown ’18 is a sociology major and Francophone Studies minor. They started writing plays during the spring of their sophomore year, and their one-act play, “Gesundheit,” was recently selected for the upcoming Maine Playwrights Festival.
This weekend in Wish Theater, Masque and Gown will present ‘‘American Idiot,” a rock opera brimming with youthful angst and frustration. Based on the Green Day concept album of the same name, the show includes several of the band’s most beloved songs—including the title track “American Idiot,” as well as “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” and “21 Guns”—and weaves them into a story in which three central characters confront relationships, drug use and their own social and political disillusionment in a bleak, post-September 11 American landscape.
Despite their centuries-long battle for human rights, the stories of Iranian and Muslim women have traditionally been overlooked in American society. Thursday night’s performance of the play “The Poets and the Assassin—Daughters of Iran” in Kresge Auditorium attempted to portray their stories and address the myth of the submissive, passive Middle Eastern woman.
Associate Professor of Theater Abigail Killeen’s reimagining of the culinary splendor in “Babette’s Feast” was no easy task. A new adaptation of the story directed by Karin Coonrod, currently running at Portland Stage, focuses on a universal message of self-sacrifice and service.
Jason Robert Brown’s “The Last 5 Years” is an unconventional musical. Centered on a tenuous relationship, it features only two actors whose interactions with each other are limited and whose stories run in chronologically opposite directions.
This weekend, the Pickard Theater stage will be filled with gangsters, prostitutes and the unusual sounds of Kurt Weill’s music in Bertolt Brecht’s “The Threepenny Opera.” From the plot to casting to music, this rendition of Brecht’s most well-known opera challenges perceptions of gender and class, particularly when viewed in a modern context.
Yesterday, Masque & Gown premiered “The Laramie Project,” a production choice that continues the group’s break with the more traditional shows that characterized much of its history. “We had three plays in a row during my time here and, I understand, several more before this that were like white, living-room, family dramas where people sat in their kitchen or living rooms and talked about their white people problems for a nice hour and a half,” said Kathleen Johnson ’19, director of the show, in a discussion at Burnett House last week.
Most theater productions take weeks, or even months, to rehearse before the curtain rises on opening night. The same is typically true on the Bowdoin stage. But not this Saturday night. At 7 p.m. tomorrow, Masque & Gown actors will perform original plays that were written, directed and rehearsed in only 24 hours.
Continuing their success from the summer of 2016, Maggie Seymour ’16 and Olivia Atwood ’17 returned to the stage to perform “15 Villainous Fools” —this time in New York City. Based on William Shakespeare’s “Comedy of Errors,” “15 Villainous Fools” is a comedy that follows the adventures of two sets of twins.