2012/2013 Season

Mary-Kate Olsen Is In Love

By Mallery Avidon and Directed by Caitlin Sullivan ’07
Williams College Summer Theatre Lab
FRI & SAT | SEP 21 & 22 | CST | 7:30PM

This exciting new play explores how pop culture and the media feeds the expectations and disappointments of a young couple in their twenties. Set design by Kate Foster ’08 and sound design by Eben Hoffer ’10. The play was originally presented in August 2012 as part of the Lab’s annual OPEN LAB WEEKEND.

Dialogue ONE Festival 2012

Directed by Omar Sangare

Dialogue ONE is an international theatre festival dedicated to the genre of solo performance. Solo artists will present their unique voices and explore the possibilities of storytelling as they share true reflections and discoveries from their lives.

The Williams Record review

Previous Edition

East O’ West O’

Directed by Robert Baker-White
THU – SAT | OCT 18 – 20 | AMT | 7:30PM

Williamstheatre proudly presents a new musical by alumna Michelle Rodriguez ’12 (music, lyrics, and book). How does one navigate love of home alongside a desire to explore the big, wide outside world? Not to mention the possibility of falling in love with a bear? Driven by folk-inspired music and performed with an all-acoustic6-piece band, this re-imagining of a classic Norwegian folktale follows the journey of Ava as she struggles to save her family’s farm. Held captive in the grotto of a bear, Ava meets a cast of winds and trolls and learns how to find beauty and purpose in life while being stuck “in-between.”

Michelle J. Rodriguez ’12 is a Puerto Rican singer/songwriter and musical theatre composer based in Monteverde, Costa Rica, where she teaches theatre, music and art at the Monteverde Friends School. She graduated from Williams College this past June, where she majored in Theatre and Arabic Studies and served as artistic director for Immediate Theatre. Regionally, she has performed with The Bengsons, Bernice Lewis, Patti Larkin, and the Williams College Jazz Ensemble, and is currently the Artist-in-Residence in the Williams College Theatre department. Recent works includeEast o’ West o’!, Betty White: The Musical! (Immediate Theatre, April 2011) and a number of other musical theatre works and radio plays that celebrate aging, understanding culture, and the joys of self-discovery.

Master Class by Pablo Aran Gimeno

From Tanztheatre Wuppertal Pina Bausch
October 22 | 5:00 pm | ’62 Center

Hosted by Theatre Department’s Omar Sangare and Dance Department’s Erica Dankmeyer

Pablo Aran GimenoThis fall, performing artist Pablo Aran Gimeno will visit Williams College to share his inspiring work and professional expertise with students involved in theatre and dance. Aran Gimeno is a dancer from the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, a German dance company founded in 1973 by Pina Bausch. Since its inception, the company has brought its innovative and original work on tours around the globe, and it continues to serve as a leading influence in the development of modern dance.

In her three decades at the helm of the Tanztheater Wuppertal, Pina Bausch elevated her company to international acclaim and became one of the foremost choreographers of her time. Born in Solingen in 1940, Bausch achieved excellence at the age of fourteen by studying under Kurt Jooss, one of the founders of German Expressionist dance. She eventually took over his Folkwang Ballet Company in 1969 before beginning her work as the artistic director of the Wuppertal Opera Ballet. Before her death in 2009, Bausch produced a number of striking pieces that revolutionized dance, including the Rite of Spring (1975), which was performed on a peat-covered stage, and Café Müller (1978), which displayed dancers staggering about the stage and falling over tables and chairs. Bausch helped pioneer a German style known as Tanztheater, which blended dance and drama by mixing short bursts of surreal dialogue and action with prominent stage sets. Bausch’s company made its American debut at the Olympic Arts Festival in 1984, where she wowed the American audience. Her characters did not merely dance; they spoke, sang, cried, and laughed. Bausch gained accolades throughout her life, including the prestigious Laurence Olivier Award from the Society of London Theatre, and she was elected as a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2009.

The Tanztheater Wuppertal continues to share its inspiring choreography throughout the world, and the company will perform at the Brooklyn Academy of Music this fall. As one of the company’s performers, Pablo Aran Gimeno uses his artistic skills to grapple with the themes that were essential to Bausch’s vision of the human condition. Aran Gimeno first achieved prominence in ballroom dance, gaining international acclaim in the 10-Dance style. Later, he studied in Barcelona and Madrid, where he developed a deeper expertise in Contemporary Dance, Classical Dance, and Contact Improvisation through his work at the Royal Conservatory. By incorporating this variety of styles into his own individual interpretations, Aran Gimeno eventually made his way to Paris and Germany, where he joined the ensemble of the Tanztheater Wuppertal. Aran Gimeno continues to serve modern dance, art, and culture by enriching his artistic performances and teaching workshops for students in a variety of places. We are thrilled to welcome Pablo Aran Gimeno to the ’62 Center this fall. His schedule of activities on October 22nd includes:

11:00am – 12:15pm – Workshop for Physical Theatre (Prof. Omar Sangare)

1:10pm – 2:15pm – Workshop for Acting I (Prof. Omar Sangare)

2:30pm – 3:50pm – Discussion with Dance 100 (Prof. Erica Dankmeyer)

5:00pm – 6:30pm – Master Class (Invitation only – Dance Studio)

The Ritz

By Terence McNally and Directed by David Eppel
THU – SAT | NOV 15 – 17 | AMT | 7:30PM

Come to Opening-Night for a 70s Post-Show Party. There will be a prize for the best outfit.

THE RITZ is pure, glorious farce. The play is set in a gay bathhouse in New York in the 1970’s, where mistaken identity and confusion over sexuality creates a multiplicity of situational madnesses! A perfectly innocent Italian American is hiding from his incensed, murderous mafia brother-in-law in what he thinks is a Jack LaLanne health club. The population of this particular little corner of New York includes chubby-chasers, go-go dancers, squeaky-voiced detectives, cowboy-chapped cruisers, and a host of other madcap characters… not to mention the fabulous, the wonderful, Googie Gomez—hot from Puerto Rico, and Broadway-bound! Don’t miss it. Mature themes.

Acting I Presentation: Selected from Indie Theater Now

Directed by Omar Sangare
FRI | NOV 30 | CST | 7:30PM

Acting students present a public performance inspired by the digital library of contemporary plays, Indie Theater Now. Students will develop their acting abilities and share their talents, sensitivity, awareness, and imagination.

Throughout the semester, each student in the course will examine a broad range of scripts available at Indie Theater Now, and study one character from their favorite piece in great detail. Students will strive to understand the crucial decisions and values that guide each character through their predicament. Using the methods of Constantin Stanislavsky, students will then deliver selected speeches that display a spectrum of human emotions, from grief and terror to elation and humor. Audience members will have a chance to vote for their favorite performer after the show. Come and be a part of it!

A message from Martin Denton, Editor of Indie Theater Now:

Indie Theater Now (ITN) is an online service that presents and preserves new American plays in script form. Our vision is to be both comprehensive and inclusive. ITN is kind of like a traditional review/preview site, but on steroids: Instead of simply just writing ABOUT a play that excites us, we share the full text of that play, along with dynamic, continually updated content that provides background and context—e.g., podcasts, interviews, reviews, videos, photos, etc.—created by the playwrights themselves as well as other artists and ITN staff. In this way readers can discover the work more fully, wherever they are, at their convenience. It’s also kind of like traditional play publishing, but on a massively larger scale (i.e., hundreds of new plays published per year rather than a few dozen) and at comparative warp-speed: the “Now” in Indie Theater Now reflects our ability to publish work days, not months or years, after its initial presentation on stage.

ITN is genuinely an engine of discovery; one that enables teachers, students, actors, directors, producers, and artists of every stripe—as well as those not involved in the theater—to experience the fruits of indie drama as close to first-hand as possible.

Mozart’s Figaro, Unplugged

Musical Direction by Keith Kibler,
Stage Direction by Jean-Bernard Bucky
Conducted by Richard Giarusso ’00
FRI – SAT | JAN 18 – 19 | AMT | 7:30PM
$5/$3 students

This new look at Mozart’s masterpiece, THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO, will present Acts II and IV with a full orchestra and with the finest student and community singers. Casting off the customary wigs, plumed hats, and heaving bosoms, the performance will engage and grapple with the genius of Mozart’s music as the inspiration for physical production. Unplugged from stiff operatic convention this piece will present an ensemble of singers and instrumentalists performing joyously together. The opera will be sung in English.


John Chandler Hawthorne Honors Project

February 7, 8, 9 | 7:30 PM | MainStage

What does it mean and how does it feel to be lost, confounded, and overwhelmed by complexity and profundity? What might it be like to get lost in a library, full of too many books for any one person to read on her own, and what might it take to find your way out? Is the music of Burt Bacharach and the Beach Boys overly sentimental schmaltz, or is it heartbreakingly beautiful? What significance might emerge from these questions, taken together and theatricalized? book/marked is a new performance piece, instigated/directed by John Chandler Hawthorne ’13 and developed with a company of eight students, that examines these questions. A play for a small audience in a big theater.

Seating is very limited.

The Crucible

Directed by Omar Sangare
THU – SAT | MAR 7 – 9 | AMT | 7:30PM

Once emblematic of political persecution in the 1950s, THE CRUCIBLE is an allegory that resonates wherever sanctimony is used as a weapon of oppression and intolerance. In this canonical American drama set during the seventeenth-century Salem witch trials, Arthur Miller explores human cruelty and the manipulations, accusations, and dishonesty that afflict a paranoid community looking for scapegoats.

This radical, redefined production of THE CRUCIBLE is a portrait of a diseased society, a suspense story of adultery and brutality in a fundamentalist community. Think you know who the villains and the victims are? Think again. Suspect this is a preachy heavy-handed “issue” drama? Prepare to be shaken to your moral core. Witches aren’t real? Maybe not, but what’s real is far, far worse.

THE CRUCIBLE is a parable of people in crisis who can’t distinguish slander from gospel, torn between allegiances to their families, to their community, to God, and to their good name. Their lives and souls hang in the balance.

Director: Omar Sangare
Assistant Director: Qadir Forbes
Dramaturg: Ilya Khodosh
Scenic Designer: Ika Avaliani
Costume Designer: Deb Brothers
Lighting Designer: Seth Reiser
Sound Designer: Stephen Simalchik
Stage Manager: Jonny Gonzalez

Reverend Parris: Connor Lawhorn
Betty Parris: Sophia Wilansky
Tituba: Christina Adelakun
Abigail Williams: Marina Bousa
Ann Putnam: Alison Bunis
Thomas Putnam: Omar Gouda
Mercy Lewis: Gabrielle DiBendetto
Mary Warren: Elena Faverio
John Proctor: Stephen Simalchik
Reverend John Hale: Bailey Edwards
Elizabeth Proctor: Lizzie Stern
Willard: Jesse Sandell
Danforth: Chris Gay
Extra Judges: Gideon Hess, David Carter
Extra Proctors: Alex Sun, Qadir Forbes
Community: Katherine Lane, Lauren Feeney, Joshua Torres

The Rite of Spring

Music by Igor Stravinsky
Berkshire Symphony and Williams Departments of Theatre and Dance
FRI | MAR 8 | MST | 8PM
SAT | MAR 9 | MST | 3PM
SAT | MAR 9 | MST | 8PM

Marking a major centenary in modern music, the Berkshire Symphony, in collaboration with the Departments of Dance and Theatre, stages a unique multifaceted presentation of Igor Stravinsky’s landmark 1913 work THE RITE OF SPRING. Inspired by a fascination with pagan Russia and forged in the crucible of modernity, the aftershocks of Stravinsky’s work still thread their way through the popular consciousness.

Workshop on Shakespeare by Penny Cherns

April 18 | 4:00 PM | ’62 Center
Hosted by Theatre Department’s Omar Sangare, Comparative Literature’s Christopher Bolton, and English Department’s John Limon in association with the Lecture Committee and the Dean of the College

The Director of the MA Program in Classical Acting for the Professional Theatre at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), Penny Cherns, will visit Williams College this spring to offer several sessions focused on training in Shakespeare. Her workshops will provide an exciting opportunity for a great number of students interested in theatre, Elizabethan literature, and history.

Professor Cherns has worked at the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal Court Theatre, and the New End Theatre in London and has served as the Associate Director at the Chester, Watford, and Nottingham Playhouse. She has directed dramas for the BBC and Channel 4 television and has taught international workshops in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Oslo, Brazil and Uruguay. In America, she has taught and directed at Brandeis, Juilliard, Yale, and the University of Iowa. She has also taught and directed in England at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), the Drama Centre of London, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Professor Cherns’ schedule between April 15-19, 2013 will include several sessions for students in Theatre, Comparative Literature, and English, as well as a session open to students interested in LAMDA’s Study Abroad Program:

Thursday, April 18, 4:00pm – 5:30pm – Open Session: Introduction to the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (Seminar Room, ’62 CTD)

Tarell Alvin McCraney

April 22
Tarell Alvin McCraney

The Department of Theatre is delighted to announce…

A Visit to Campus By

Award-Winning Actor and Playwright

Tarell Alvin McCraney

The Department of Theatre—alongside the Departments of English, Religion, Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies, as well as The Lecture Committee, The Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Oakley Center for Arts, Social Sciences, & the Humanities, and the Dively Committee—is pleased to welcome to campus the renown theatre artist Tarell Alvin McCraney, who the Chicago Tribune has named, “without question, the hottest young playwright in America.”

Beginning in 2009, Tarell, as NBC News writes, “caught the attention of the theater world with his Brother/Sister plays, a trilogy which explores homosexuality, family and Yoruba culture in rural Louisiana. McCraney is a gay man who grew up in the inner city of Miami, with a brother in jail and a mother addicted to drugs, who later died of AIDS. He brings some of his experiences to life on stage through these fictional works.”

“I lived in the other America; the America that doesn’t always get depicted in the cinema. The America that we are told to pretend isn’t there.” —Tarell McCraney

Broken GlassBroken Glass

Directed by David Eppel
THU – SAT | MAY 2 – 4 | AMT | 7:30PM

Arthur Miller wrote BROKEN GLASS in the last decade of his life. In America, the melting pot in which, as Tony Kushner points out, nothing melts, our paralysis in the face of catastrophe is a function of our freedom. We live with restricted country clubs along Long Island Sound, as we do with things that happen “over there” in Homs, or Srebrenica, or Kigali. Miller is the son of Jewish immigrants who managed to avoid the fate of so many millions in Europe by virtue simply of geography. Broken Glass is a play about awakenings, even as paralysis sets in and reality is reflected in a mirror into which we are forced to look.

Williamstheatre continues its celebration of the works of Arthur Miller with his provocative Broken Glass, directed by David Eppel. Broken Glass, nominated for the 1994 Tony for Best Play, is a play about awakenings. In America, the melting pot in which, as Tony Kushner points out, nothing melts, our paralysis in the face of catastrophe is a function of our freedom. We live with restricted country clubs along Long Island Sound, as we do with things that happen “over there” in Homs, or Srebrenica, or Kigali. Broken Glass is “a kind of spiritual detective story,” says the New York Times (25 Apr. 1994), “one person’s blindness can affect another’s vision. Convulsions can seize a crowd. And what is the Depression that serves as a backdrop for so many of his works, if not a failure of the country’s immune system?”