Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Yale School of Drama Sets Season

Yale School of Drama (James Bundy, Dean; Victoria Nolan, Deputy Dean) announces its 2009-10 season, three plays that offer radically different, and equally provocative, views on what it means-and what it costs-to desire, to love, and to be truly alive: PHÈDRE by Jean Racine, LA RONDE by Arthur Schnitzler, and Virginia Woolf’s ORLANDO adapted by Sarah Ruhl.

By Jean Racine
Translated by Ted Hughes
Directed by Christopher Mirto
Oct. 27-31 at University Theatre, 222 York Street

Summary: In Phèdre, Jean Racine's 17th-century “fairy tale for fools,” the gods wield love as a weapon, using it to turn the world upside down. To ravish it. Queen Phèdre, dying from an uncontrollable love for her stepson Hippolytus, savagely wages war against herself and her own fate. Politics and passions, the mind and the body contaminate each other as a cursed family struggles to navigate a labyrinth of dangerous secrets and unspoken desires. When love unleashes the monster within, is there any hope of salvation?

By Arthur Schnitzler
Translated by Carl R. Mueller
Directed by Jesse Jou
Dec. 12-17, University Theatre
In ten amorous dialogues, La Ronde captures the erotic world of fin de siècle Vienna, where prostitutes cavort with counts, wives seduce louche young gentlemen, and husbands cheat with Sweet Young Things. Schnitzler’s penetrations into the tangle of sex, love, and power – That Thing – affirm La Ronde as a humanist masterpiece. Today, post-Freud, That Thing is like a particle in quantum physics whose nature eludes every attempt to describe it. Cracking Schnitzler’s atom will set off not a nuclear explosion, but a cascade of glittering shrapnel that will reflect the desperation and joy of being human.

Virginia Woolf’s ORLANDO
Adapted by Sarah Ruhl
Directed by Jen Wineman
Jan. 26-30
Iseman Theater, 1156 Chapel Street
Summary: One lifetime isn't enough. One body isn’t enough.
After living 200 years as a handsome English nobleman, Orlando falls asleep and awakens—as a woman. In a dream or in reality, Orlando must now continue on in a body she does not recognize, but perhaps always sensed was her own. Sarah Ruhl's adaptation of Virginia Woolf's semi-autobiographical novel examines time's relentless drive forward and our instinct to fill each moment of life with poetry, imagination, passion, and eroticism.

Tickets, starting at $10, are available online at drama.yale.edu, by phone at (203) 432-1234 and in person at the Box Office (1120 Chapel St. at York Street).

Yale School of Drama is creating a series of behind-the-scenes videos that follows the creative process from rehearsals to performance, and also includes interviews with the director, cast, and other members of the creative team. The videos will be available at drama.yale.edu, YouTube, and Facebook.

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Lauren Yarger with playwright Alfred Uhry at the Mark Twain House. Photo: Jacques Lamarre)

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