Artistic Director Andy Felt says “This year we are producing a season of fiercely dark and yet surprisingly funny American plays. These works are unflinching in their adrenalized examinations of currently relevant social issues such as American political hypocrisy, teen suicide, and the necessity of speaking truth to power. Our mainstage productions are both regional premiers: the insanely popular Heathers The Musical by O’Keefe & Murphy and The Revolutionists by America’s most produced new playwright, Lauren Gunderson. The studio series will feature the directing work of Marietta College students Nathaniel Maciag and Madison Roe as they tackle classic texts from two prolific contemporary American playwrights: feminist powerhouse Paula Vogel (with her Obie and Drama Desk Award winning The Mineola Twins) and the late great Sam Shepard (with his Pulitzer Prize nominated Fool for Love). We are also excited to offer our new Storytellers Series, which will feature timely readings of 4 exciting plays chosen to compliment and cultivate discussion about our productions as well as current events. This year also features the return of Playing for Others at Marietta College. For each of our 4 matinee performances we will be donating half of all box office proceeds to a designated charity. In all of our productions this season you can expect passionate emotional fireworks, timely and relevant social commentary, and that Heads Will Roll.”
Our season will also include a Preshow Lecture Series in which the audience can join us half an hour before special performances to engage with directors, dramaturgs, and special guests as they draw back the curtain and share insights on what you are about to see. Don’t worry — No spoilers here!
Show #1: Storyteller Series: The Baltimore Waltz by Paula Vogel
Winner of the Obie Award. A giddy, fleet fantasy based on the love and adventures of a brother and sister, one of whom has a fatal disease. In the opening scene, the brother is wearing pajamas, but it is his schoolteacher sister who’s diagnosed with a deadly virus that sends the two of them spinning off to Europe to find romance and a cure before the final crashing scenes where reality sets in.
“…a crazy-quilt patchwork of hyperventilating language, erotic jokes, movie kitsch and medical nightmare…that spins before the audience in Viennese waltz time, replete with a dizzying fall.” —NY Times
“…an immensely likable winning comedy-drama…” —Hollywood Reporter
The performance is 9/15 at 8:00 p.m. Friederich Theatre – Intended for Mature Audiences. All tickets are $5.00.
Show #2: The 13th Annual New-Plays-in-One Day Festival
Join us on Marietta College Family Weekend for this festival of new plays, written, rehearsed, and produced in just one day! Performance on 9/22 at 8:00 p.m. in the Friederich Theatre. Admission is free, no tickets required.
Show #3: The Mineola Twins by Paula Vogel, Directed by Nathaniel Maciag
A comedy in six scenes, four dreams and seven wigs. Myrna and Myra, almost identical twins, battle each other through the Eisenhower, Nixon and Reagan/Bush years over virginity, Vietnam and Family Values.
“The political and cultural divides of American life are roundly decried even as they are exuberantly spoofed…like The Carol Burnett Show with a political consciousness…its go-for-broke adventurousness is endearing, and it’s…divinely funny.” —Variety
“…Vogel was never more political and never more on target.” —BackStage
Performances are on 10/12 at 8:00 p.m., and 10/13 at 2:00 p.m. (a Playing for Others performance), 10/13 at 8:00 p.m., 10/18 at 8:00 p.m., 10/19 at 8:00 p.m., and 10/20 at 8:00 p.m. (a Preshow Lecture Series performance) Studio Theater – Intended for Mature Audiences. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for children or seniors.
Show #4: Storyteller Series: It Can’t Happen Here by Tony Taccone and Bennett S. Cohen, based upon the novel by Sinclair Lewis
A cautionary dark satire about the fragility of democracy and how fascism can take hold even in the land of liberty, The play follows the ascent of a demagogue who becomes president of the United States by promising to return the country to greatness. Witnessing the new president’s tyranny from the sidelines is a liberal, middle-class newspaper editor from Vermont who trusts the system will fix itself—until he ends up in a prison camp. Sinclair Lewis’ eerily prescient 1935 novel gets a fresh update in this adaptation that examines what brings a citizenry to the point of sacrificing its own freedom and how a courageous few can prevail to overcome the fall.
“…thrilling and grim…it is an argument for journalism as a basic pillar of democracy’ —The New Yorker
“…a thought-provoking and effective reminder that democracies are fragile things.” —Sfist.com
Performance on 10/27 at 8:00 p.m. in the Friederich Theatre – Intended for All Audiences. All tickets are $5.00.
Show #5: Heathers The Musical, book, music, and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Kevin Murphy, based on the film written by Daniel Waters, Directed by Melissa Hill Grande
The darkly delicious story of Veronica Sawyer, a brainy, beautiful teenage misfit who hustles her way into the most powerful and ruthless clique at Westerberg High: the Heathers. But before she can get comfortable atop the high school food chain, Veronica falls in love with the dangerously sexy new kid J.D. When Heather Chandler, the Almighty, kicks her out of the group, Veronica decides to bite the bullet and kiss Heather’s aerobicized ass…but J.D. has another plan for that bullet.
Heathers The Musical is a hilarious, heartfelt, and homicidal new show based on the greatest teen comedy of all time. With its moving love story, laugh-out-loud comedy, and unflinching look at the joys and anguish of high school, Heathers is fast becoming one of the most popular new musicals around. Are you in, or are you out?
“Ingenious, naughty and very funny. Heathers still cliques.” – New York Post
Heathers The Musical was originally directed Off-Broadway by Andy Fickman and choreographed by Marguerite Derricks and is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.
Performances on 11/9 at 8:00 p.m., 11/10 at 2:00 p.m. (a Playing for Others performance), 11/10 at 8:00 p.m., 11/15 at 8:00 p.m., 11/16 at 8:00 p.m., and 11/17 at 8:00 p.m (a Preshow Lecture Series performance) Friederich Theatre – Intended for Mature Audiences. $20/adult, $15/child or senior.
Show #6: Storyteller Series: The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler, Directed by Casiha Felt
An Obie Award-winning whirlwind tour of a forbidden zone, The Vagina Monologues introduces a wildly divergent gathering of female voices, including a six-year-old girl, a septuagenarian New Yorker, a vagina workshop participant, a woman who witnesses the birth of her granddaughter, a Bosnian survivor of rape, and a feminist happy to have found a man who “liked to look at it.”
” Funny, outrageous, emotionally affecting, and occasionally angry…The Vagina Monologues confront words to demystify and disarm them. In so doing, Ensler disarms the audience too.” —Associated Press.
Performance on 2/2 at 8:00 p.m.in the Friederich Theater – Intended for Mature Audiences, All tickets are $5.00.
Show #7: Fool For Love by Sam Shepard, Directed by Madison Roe
Winner of the Obie Award. A critical and popular success, this masterfully constructed work brings searing intensity and rare theatrical excitement to its probing, yet sharply humorous study of love, hate and the dying myths of the Old West. “…Sam Shepard’s purest and most beautiful play.” —NY Daily News. “Fool for Love is certainly one of the best plays of our time…(it) may very well be one of the great plays of the late twentieth century.” —BackStage.
Performances on 2/15 at 8:00 p.m., 2/16 at 8:00 p.m., 2/21 at 8:00 p.m., 2/22 at 8:00 p.m., 2/23 at 2:00 p.m. (a Playing for Others performance), and 2/23 at 8:00 p.m. (a Preshow Lecture Series performance) Studio Theater – Intended for Mature Audiences. $10/adult, $8/child or senior.
Show #8: Storyteller Series: Marie Antoinette by David Adjmi, Directed by Suzanne Walker
In this contemporary take on the young queen of France, Marie is a confection created by a society that values extravagance and artifice. But France’s love affair with the royals sours as revolution brews, and for Marie, the political suddenly becomes very personal. From the light and breezy banter at the palace to the surging chants of “Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité!” in the streets, Marie Antoinette holds a mirror up to our contemporary society that might just be entertaining itself to death. “A jagged yet elegant historical riff… “(Four Stars, Critic’s Pick)
– Time Out New York
Marie Antoinette is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.
Performance on 3/2 at 8:00 p.m. Friederich Theatre – Intended for Mature Audiences. All tickets are $5.00.
Show #9: The Revolutionists by Lauren Gunderson, Directed by Melissa Hill Grande
Four beautiful badass women lose their heads in this irreverent, girl-powered comedy set during the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror. Playwright Olympe de Gouges, assassin Charlotte Corday, former queen (and fan of ribbons) Marie Antoinette, and Haitian rebel Marianne Angelle hang out, murder Marat, and try to beat back the extremist insanity in 1793 Paris. This grand and dream-tweaked comedy is about violence and legacy, art and activism, feminism and terrorism, compatriots and chosen sisters, and how we actually go about changing the world.
“…a sassy, hold-on-to-your-seats theatrical adventure…[Gunderson] has created a play that is wonderfully wild and raucous…It’s a wild ride, filled with verbal gymnastics that come racing at you so quickly it’s occasionally hard to keep up. Listen closely, though, and hang on tight. If you do, you’ll be treated to an invigorating and enlightening journey.” —Cincinnati Enquirer. “It’s simply a brilliant script…” —CityBeat (Cincinnati).
Performances on 4/5 at 8:00 p.m., 4/6 at 2:00 p.m. (a Playing for Others performance), 4/6 at 8:00 p.m., 4/11 at 8:00 p.m., 4/12 at 8:00 p.m., and 4/13 at 8:00 p.m. (a Preshow Lecture Series performance) Friederich Theater – Intended for Mature Audiences. $20/adult, $15/child or senior.