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UW School of Drama Announces 2014-15 Season

Submitted by Sam Read on July 31, 2014 - 10:00am

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The University of Washington School of Drama Announces 2014-15 Season

UW Drama’s 2014-15 season journeys into new territory

SEATTLE, WA—The University of Washington proudly announces the six plays that comprise the 2014-15 School of Drama season. Each year the faculty select a season that highlights the talents of its actors, designers, and directors, as well as challenges those actors, designers, and directors to explore unfamiliar territory in pursuit of developing their craft.

For the first show of the season, Cold Empty Terrible, students in the Professional Actor Training Program (PATP) were asked to build upon their own artistic journey in service of creating a new devised piece under the direction of guest artist Whit MacLaughlin, Artistic Director of the renowned New Paradise Laboratories. “[Devising] requires artists to see how they fit into the world and take responsibility for the content of their expression in the absence of a playwright. It can be a profound and vulnerable experience,” explains MacLaughlin.

The next show of the season, Sweet Charity, is a definitive leap into new territory as it marks the inaugural production of the University of Washington’s newly established Musical Theater Program, a collaboration between the UW College of Arts & Sciences, School of Drama, School of Music, and Dance Program. 

In the winter, third-year MFA directing candidates Leah Adcock-Starr and Tina Polzin explore new territory in the classics. Adcock-Starr sets William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night in the roaring 20s, and Polzin takes a 21st-century perspective to Brendan Behan’s explosive examination of religion and politics, and the common humanity that overcomes them both, in The Hostage.

Performances are Wednesday-Saturday at 7:30 pm. Sundays at 2 pm. Single tickets go on sale September 10, 2014 and range from $10-25 with discounts for students, seniors, UWAA, and UW employees. Tickets are available online or over the phone through the ArtsUW Ticket Office, 206-543-4880 / The ArtsUW Ticket Office is located at 1313 NE 41st Street, open Monday-Friday, 11 am-6 pm.


Cold Empty Terrible
Devised By: Whit MacLaughlin, New Paradise Laboratories, and UW graduate actors
October 15-26. Press Night October 17; 7:30 pm
Directed by: Whit MacLaughlin
Location: Floyd and Delores Jones Playhouse; 4045 University Way N.E.

Created in collaboration with and directed by Whit MacLaughlin, Artistic Director of the OBIE award-winning New Paradise Laboratories, Cold Empty Terrible is a resuscitation of a theatrical debacle embedded inside Anton Chekhov’s 1896 masterpiece, The Seagull. Members of our Professional Actor Training Program turn molehill into mountain by devising an original work for the stage that aims to prove that a century of theatrical experimentation must be good for something. Is it a moving spectacle of a ruined world 200,000 years in the future? Or a complete waste of time? You be the judge.

Sweet Charity
Musical Theater Program in association with the UW College of Arts & Sciences, School of Drama, School of Music and Dance Program
Book by Neil Simon; Lyrics by Dorothy Fields; Music by Cy Colman
November 14-23. Press Night November 14; 7:30 pm
Directed by: Wilson Mendieta, UW Faculty and Program Coordinator for Musical Theater
Location: Meany Studio Theater; 15th Ave N.E. & N.E. 40th

For its inaugural production, the UW’s Musical Theater program brings to the stage Neil Simon’s Sweet Charity, a tender, poignant, and funny look at the love adventures—or rather misadventures—of the gullible and guileless Charity Hope Valentine. The ideal vehicle to demonstrate the collaborative spirit on which the Musical Theater program is founded, Sweet Charity will allow the strength of each member of the cast and creative team to shine.

Twelfth Night, Or What You Will
Written By: William Shakespeare
January 28 - February 8. Press Night January 30; 7:30 pm
Directed by: Leah Adcock-Starr, Professional Director Training Program
Location: Meany Studio Theater; 15th Ave N.E. & N.E. 40th

Beloved for its rebellious portrayal of gender ambiguity, William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, or What You Will is a comedy about a cross-dressing shipwreck survivor who finds herself at the center of a not-so-ordinary love triangle. Third-year MFA directing candidate Leah Adcock-Starr takes this delightfully comic tale of mistaken identities and weaves it into the jazz-infused world of The Roaring Twenties.  

The Hostage
Written By: Brendan Behan
March 4-15. Press Night March 6; 7:30 pm
Directed by: Tina Polzin, Professional Director Training Program
Location: The Floyd and Delores Jones Playhouse; 4045 University Way N.E.

Directed by third-year MFA directing candidate Tina Polzin, Brendan Behan’s The Hostage masks topical politics and serious discourse with slapstick, satire, and musical numbers. It’s 1959 and Leslie Williams, a British soldier, is being held as a hostage in a Dublin whorehouse in exchange for an IRA man who is to be hanged in Belfast. This delightful, joyous, heart-wrenching play reminds us to look at the people before us – and to choose humanity over religion and politics. 

William Inge One Acts
Written By: William Inge
April 22-May 3. Press Night April 24; 7:30 pm
Directed by: Malika Oyetimein and Sean Ryan, (PDTP)
Location: The Floyd and Delores Jones Playhouse; 4045 University Way N.E.

William Inge, regarded as one of the masters of the American theatre, achieved unprecedented success during one short decade. In the 1950s, one after another, his plays – Come Back Little Sheba (1950), the Pulitzer-prize winning Picnic (1953), Bus Stop (1955), and The Dark at the Top of the Stairs (1957) – became Broadway hits and successful Hollywood films. For their UW Drama mainstage debut, our first-year MFA directing candidates, Malika Oyetimein and Sean Ryan, tackle a curated selection of Inge’s most poignant and potent short works.

Boy’s Life
Written By: Howard Korder
May 27-June 7. Press Night May 29; 7:30 pm
Directed by: Valerie Curtis-Newton, UW professor and Head of Performance
Location: Glenn Hughes Penthouse Theatre; 4500 17th Ave N.E.

Howard Korder’s Boy’s Life is a bitingly funny comedy of manners, which follows three former college buddies as they stumble through their 20s – and their various relationships with women – attempting to come to terms with life and the meaning of manhood. Professor Valerie Curtis-Newton directs our talented undergraduate students in this intelligent, modern story of what it means to grow up.

Performing Arts Lecture Series: Celebrity and Its Discontents
Dates/Time/Location: Oct 7, 21, and Nov 4, 7:30 pm at the Glenn Hughes Penthouse Theatre
Tickets: $10/free for all students

From Helen of Troy to the Kardashian sisters, celebrities, or (in Joseph Roach’s definition) “abnormally interesting people,” have fascinated the public imagination over the centuries. This series of lectures from scholars and art practitioners across academic disciplines considers why certain historical figures or fictional characters have possessed a special power to fascinate their public.

About The University of Washington School of Drama

The UW School of Drama transforms artists and scholars into singular, innovative and courageous professionals, poised to be the creative leaders of tomorrow.  

For almost 75 years it has served as one of this country's leading training institutions for theatre artists and scholars. Seventeen faculty and twenty staff members serve 150 undergraduate majors and 45 graduate students.

The School of Drama offers MFA degrees in acting, design, and directing, a four-year undergraduate liberal arts education in Drama or Musical Theatre, and a PhD in theatre history and criticism. Internationally, students may study and present work at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland and in Pontlevoy, France as The Drama Collective.  Faculty and alumni have founded theatres such as ACT (Seattle), Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Empty Space Theatre, Wing-it Productions, and most recently, the Washington Ensemble Theatre and Azeotrope.

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