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2018 - 2019 Season


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2018 - 2019 Season


Here at UW Drama, we think we have the best audience in town. Why? You are adventurous, curious, and loyal. You know that—in the course of their time here—our students will be called to work on as many different flavors of theatre as possible, and you enjoy being on that journey with them.

Next season you will get to see everything from super detailed contemporary naturalism with Arthur Miller to 17th century French satire with Molière. You’ll get one of the most unflinching political playwrights of our time, Naomi Wallace, and British playwright Githa Sowerby, whose work, despite being transformational one hundred years ago and startling timely today, has been almost totally forgotten. And then, you will experience the vastly different works and worlds of the most influential English-language playwright of all time, William Shakespeare and one of the most influential of our time, María Irene Fornés.

All of these plays are dealing explicitly with ‘men’s spheres’ and ‘women’s spheres,’ with how gender is constructed and taught, and with the human need to challenge those strictures and build a more fluid world. It feels just right for this particular moment, and we are thrilled to share it with our community.

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Incident at Vichy


Incident at Vichy


"Something told me—
Don't go outside today."

Incident at Vichy
By Arthur Miller
Directed by Kelly Kitchens, guest director
October 24 - November 4, 2018
Previews October 20 & 23
Floyd and Delores Jones Playhouse, University of Washington

Guest Director Kelly Kitchens, who is well-known to local audiences for her work at Seattle Shakespeare Company and Seattle Public Theater, among others, directs an all-male cast in our season opener. When it premiered in New York in 1964, The New York Times called Incident at Vichy “one of the most important plays of our time.”  The questions at the heart of this story—about evil, complicity, self-preservation, and the death of human decency—are perhaps more resonant now than at any time since that first production. In a makeshift police station in 1942 France, a group of men plucked off the street try to figure out why they are there and what fate awaits them behind the interrogation room door, as ominous reports of far-off camps and prisoner-packed cattle cars begin to circulate. By the end of this taut, gut-punch of a play, Miller's ethical barb has pierced us all, compelling us to look inward and ask what we will do when the most depraved human impulses become commonplace, how we will respond in the face of "an ocean of vulgarity." 

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Fefu and Her Friends


Fefu and Her Friends


“You see, that which is exposed to the exterior is smooth and dry and clean. That which is not...underneath, is slimy and filled with fungus and crawling with worms. It is another life that is parallel to the one we manifest. It's there. The way worms are underneath the stone. If you don't recognize it...(whispering) it eats you. That is my opinion. Well, who is ready for lunch?”

Fefu and Her Friends
Written by María Irene Fornés
Directed by Valerie Curtis-Newton, UW Drama faculty, Head of Directing
November 30 – December 9, 2018
Meany Studio, University of Washington Seattle

Professor Valerie Curtis-Newton directs an all-female cast in María Irene Fornés’ Fefu and Her Friends. Fornés, the winner of nine Obie Awards, including the award for sustained achievement, has been called “the most important American playwright you’ve never heard of,” and “influential beyond measure.” The 87-year-old iconoclast, beloved teacher and mentor to some of contemporary theatre’s most exciting writers, is the subject of the new documentary The Rest I Make Up, and 2018 marks a national celebration of her work. Fefu and Her Friends, Fornés’ most celebrated work, turns the “ladies who lunch” trope on its head, bringing together an extraordinary—and regular—group of women who, over the course of a weekend in the country, peel away at each other’s layers, uncovering both the horrors and felicities of contemporary womanhood. 
 

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Rutherford and Son


Rutherford and Son


“Life in this house is intolerable.”

Rutherford and Son
By Githa Sowerby
Directed by Cody Holliday Haefner, 3rd year MFA director
January 23 - February 3, 2019
Floyd and Delores Jones Playhouse Theatre, University of Washington

In 1912, a new play by an unknown female playwright took London by storm. Originally scheduled for only four performances at London’s Royal Court Theatre, Rutherford and Son by Githa Sowerby quickly transferred to the West End, receiving its New York premiere within the same year. Despite its initial success, Sowerby’s shattering drama of family business soon faded into obscurity, and more than half a century passed before it was produced again. Indeed, UW Drama will only be the third company in the United States to ever present this transformational work of contemporary drama. Be assured, time has only sharpened Sowerby's withering, feminist excoriation of the golden age of patriarchy, and the scheming, backstabbing family life that one patriarch wrought—The New York Post called a 2001 production "alive with human passions and tyrannies." The Kardashians ain't got nothin' on the Rutherfords. 
 

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In the Heart of America


In the Heart of America


“I wanted to travel everyplace on your body. Even the places you'd never been. Love can make your feel so changed you think
the world is changed. ”

In the Heart of America
By Naomi Wallace
Directed by Amanda Friou, 3rd year MFA director
March 6 - 17, 2019
Previews March 2 & 5
Floyd and Delores Jones Playhouse, University of Washington

In the shadow of the Gulf War, a young Palestinian woman's quest to learn what happened to her Marine brother, Remzi, leads her to a Kentuckian Marine named Craver. Through a poetic web of time leaps and apparitions, we see the two soldiers fall in love against the backdrop of war. Woven into that story, the ghost of a Vietnamese mother, Lu Ming, seeks justice for her infant daughter, a victim of the 1968 massacre at My Lai. Obie Award-winning Playwright Naomi Wallace, known for her signature blend of politics, eroticism, and lyricism, here masterfully rings the gong of histories that still reverberate through our national body.

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Romeo and Juliet


Romeo and Juliet


"Two households, both alike in dignity, 
  In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, 
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. "

Romeo and Juliet
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Geoff Korf, UW Drama faculty, Associate Director
April 17 – 28, 2019
Previews April 13 & 16
Floyd and Delores Jones Playhouse Theatre, University of Washington

What if your first love was someone you’d been told to hate? The most famous love story in the English language is not just a love story—it's also a tale of young people attempting to repair the damaged world their parents have offered them. Will their explosive love spark a revolution, or will discord, violence, and unspeakable tragedy continue to rule? UW Drama Associate Director Geoff Korf directs this gender fluid production of Shakespeare’s story of the destructive power of binary factions, and the transformative potential of youthful passion.  

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The Learned Ladies


The Learned Ladies


"How can you choose to play a petty role,
Dull and domestic, and content your soul
With joys no loftier than keeping house
And raising brats, and pampering a spouse?"

The Learned Ladies
By Molière, Translated by Richard Wilbur
Directed by Jane Nichols, guest director
May 22 - June 2, 2019
Glenn Hughes Penthouse Theatre, University of Washington

The Parnell sisters don’t always agree. Armande is seeking a life driven by intellectual pursuits, while Henriette wants to follow her heart. Add a set of overbearing parents, some meddling relatives, and a few pompous poets, and you’ve got one of Molière’s most ridiculous satires. Jane Nichols, an internationally renowned teacher of physical comedy and Clown, directs this funny, philosophical play that pits the power of the mind against the passion of the heart. Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Richard Wilbur’s translation of Les Femmes Savantes sparkles—in Nichols’ words, “every character is delicious and every scene is a pearl.”

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