Warner Pacific examines violence in American plays in this student directed showcase (November 6-9 and November 13-16 in McGuire Theatre; tickets are $5 per person).
How is violence written for and portrayed on the stage? What role does the difference in gender, class, or race have in building tension or dramatic conflict that leads to or results from an act of violence in each play? What does the playwright, or the violent act itself, reflect or reveal about our society and country? What does the impact of performing or viewing staged violence have on actors and audience?
This semester, the Warner Pacific Drama Program’s student directed showcase will explore previously published one-act plays and selections from full-length plays that portray or reveal an act of violence.
At the end of each showcase there will be a Talk Back session so the audience and actors can discuss the program.
Trigger Warning: One or more of the plays presented in this showcase series address or depict murder, suicide, brutal beatings, physical and verbal threats and assaults, sexual harassment, alcoholism, mental abuse, and profanity.
Birdbath and Sweeney Todd
- Thursday, November 6, at 8 pm
- Sunday, November 9, at 2 pm
- Friday, November 14, at 8 pm
In Leonard Melfi’s Birdbath, directed by education major Sidney Davie, co-workers Frankie, an unsuccessful poet, and Velma, a nervous young woman, make a fast friendship in a New York diner. When Velma ends up at Frankie’s apartment, potential treats abound and real human interaction finally exposes an extremely violent act.
Violence begets violence in the revenge-driven tale of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. After an innocent barber is separated from his wife and child by a greedy judge, the barber returns thirsty for his own brand of justice. Music major Brianna Oom directs selections from this opus by award-winning American composer Stephen Sondheim and based on the book by Hugh Wheeler.
Oleanna and Twilight: Los Angeles 1992
- Friday, November 7, at 8 pm
- Thursday, November 13, at 8 pm
- Saturday, November 15, at 8 pm
What begins as an apparently benign interaction between college student Carol and college professor John leads to accusations of “sexual exploitativeness,” battery, and rape in David Mamet’s Oleanna. Communication major Brandon Bush direct the violent third act of this award-winning play.
Twilight: Los Angeles 1992 by Anna Deavere Smith is a docu-drama written as a series of monologues that captures multiple perspective of the Los Angeles riots that broke out after the police responsible for violently beating Rodney King were acquitted of charges. History and social science/theatre major Zechariah Dirdak directs selected monologues from this acclaimed work.
Boy Gets Girl and The Zoo Story
- Saturday, November 8, at 8 pm
- Sunday, November 16, at 2 pm
Named Time Magazine #1 Play of the Year in 2000, Boy Gets Girl by Rebecca Gilman calls the audience to watch how Theresa become a stalker’s target. English major Debora Landers directs selections from this eerily realistic and suspenseful drama.
Edward Albee’s The Zoo Story, directed by music education and theatre major Melissa Sondergeld, introduces Jerry and Peter, two strangers who, through stories, threats, and an extreme act of violence, leave an indelible mark on each other by the play’s end. Playwright Albee is the recipient of three Tony Awards, three Pulitzer Prizes, and numerous other awards.