MFA Directing Thesis: The Hostage

Pictured: The Hostage cast members Rebekah Patti, Christen Gee, Rudy Roushdi, and Colton Sullivan. Photo by Mike Hipple.
Pictured: The Hostage cast members Rebekah Patti, Christen Gee, Rudy Roushdi, and Colton Sullivan. Photo by Mike Hipple.

The Hostage
by Brendan Behan
directed by Tina Polzin
Mar 4–15 at 7:30pm
Jones Playhouse

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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.

A post-show talk will be held on Thursday, March 12. Ewa Trębacz, PhD and research scientist at the Center for Digital and Experimental Media, has been commissioned to create a composition in response to The Hostage. Join us for this special talk-back, which will include a presentation of Ewa's composition and a discussion with Ewa and director Tina Polzin about their work with the play.

The commissioned piece is a mediated and indirect response to The Hostage as realized by Tina Polzin and the actors from the University of Washington School of Drama. Selected words, fragments of sentences and songs, improvisations, warm-ups, and practice sessions for dance routines become the basic sound material for a sequence of pre-recorded soundscapes. These soundscapes then become the foundation for the live performance of Josiah Boothby (French horn) and the composer Ewa Trebacz (violin), forming a translation of the energy created by the actors' interpretation of the play.