2019-2020 First Stage Series | Dance and Theatre

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2019-2020 First Stage Series

First Stage Series: Student Directed Works

All shows listed below are a part of the First Stage Series. The First Stage Series was developed to give students opportunities to explore the craft of play direction while concentrating on the action of the play, and the performances of the actors. To ensure that the student directors are focused on the tasks previously listed, design and technical elements are extremely limited. Each show is mounted in one of the Department of Dance and Theatre's classrooms.

All shows below have the following ticket prices and location.

$10.00 General Admission

RTFP Building - Room 127

Wittenberg by David Davalos

Directed by Alec Anderson-Carrasco

October 10, 11, & 12, 2019 at 7:30 pm

It is October 1517 in northern Germany. The beginning of another fall semester at the University of Wittenberg finds certain members of the faculty and student body at personal and professional crossroads. Hamlet (senior, class of 1518) is returning from a summer in Poland spent studying astronomy, where he has come in contact with a revolutionary scientific theory that threatens the very order of the universe, resulting in psychic trauma and a crisis of faith for him. His teacher and mentor John Faustus (professor, philosophy) has decided at long last to make an honest woman of his paramour, Helen, a former nun who is now one of the Continent's most sought-after courtesans. And Faustus' colleague and Hamlet's instructor and priest, Martin Luther (professor, theology), is dealing with the spiritual and medical consequences of his long-simmering outrage at certain abusive practices of the Church--the same Church to which he has sworn undying obedience. How these three men's sagas overlap and intertwine and how they end up irrevocably affecting the course of each other's lives is the substance of WITTENBERG, a comedy that reveals the story behind the stories of Hamlet, Doctor Faustus and the Protestant Reformation. WITTENBERG is presented by special arrangement with DRAMATISTS PLAY SERVICE, INC. New York, NY.

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Silent Sky by Lauren Gunderson

Directed by Natasha Braun

October 31, 2019 at 7:30 pm
November 1, & 2, 2019 at 7:30 pm

When Henrietta Leavitt begins work at the Harvard Observatory in the early 1900s, she isn't allowed to touch a telescope or express an original idea. Instead, she joins a group of women "computers," charting the stars for a renowned astronomer who calculates projects in "girl hours" and has no time for the women's probing theories. As Henrietta, in her free time, attempts to measure the light and distance of stars, she must also take measure of her life on Earth, trying to balance her dedication to science with family obligations and the possibility of love. The true story of 19th-century astronomer Henrietta Leavitt explores a woman's place in society during a time of immense scientific discoveries, when women's ideas were dismissed until men claimed credit for them. Social progress, like scientific progress, can be hard to see when one is trapped among earthly complications; Henrietta Leavitt and her female peers believe in both, and their dedication changed the way we understand both the heavens and Earth. SILENT SKY is presented by special arrangement with DRAMATISTS PLAY SERVICE, INC. New York, NY.

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The Door by Paul Elliott

Directed by Mallory Cothran

February 20, 21, & 22, 2020 at 7:30 pm

A grandmother in her late 50s sits in her darkened apartment and refuses to answer the insistent knocking at her front door. In fact, this woman has shut herself off from everything except the one person still capable of reaching her, her teenage grandson, Justin. Now, he sits with her in the darkness, trying every trick he knows to get her to respond, to turn on the lights, to answer the door and reclaim her life. He teases. He torments. He goads. He reminds her that never once would she have let him hide away like this and he's not about to let her get away with it either. He pushes every annoying button he can push to finally get her to face her worst nightmare and what lies outside that door. She has to do it for herself. She has to do it for him. It's only at the last moment we discover that what she must face when she opens that door is the night the police came to tell her that her grandson had been savagely beaten and brutally murdered because someone thought he might have been gay. There are some doors that must be opened if we're going to ever change the way things are. The Door is a play for the theater company that wants to make a difference in its community, that wants to open the door and shed light on a very frightening truth: each year hundreds of our nation's youth are violently abused and murdered simply because someone questions their sexuality. Produced by special arrangement with THE DRAMATIC PUBLISHING COMPANY of Woodstock, Illinois.

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