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Not About Nightingales by Tennessee Williams
Directed by: Logan Sledge
Guest Starring John Bogan as Warden Whalen
Performance Dates: October 8-11 2015
The play, written in 1938, focuses on a group of inmates who go on a hunger strike in attempt to better their situation. There is also a soft love story, with the characters Eva, the new secretary at the prison, and Jim, a handsome inmate who works for the warden and is trying to get out on parole. Williams gained inspiration for the play after reading newspaper accounts of inmates who suffocated in a steam room in a Pennsylvania prison. The play wasn’t discovered until the late 1990s when Vanessa Redgrave tracked it down.
Hearts Like Fists by Adam Szymkowicz (Student Production)
Directed by: Abigail Dillard
Performance Dates: November 19-22 2015
This is a superhero noir comedy about the dangers of love. The city's heart beats with fear: Doctor X is sneaking into apartments and injecting lovers with a lethal poison. Lisa's heart beats with hope: Now that she's joined the elite Crimefighters, maybe she can live a life with meaning. And every beat of Peter's wounded heart brings him closer to death, but he's designing an artificial replacement that will never break. Can the Crimefighters stop Doctor X? Do Peter and Lisa have a chance at love? And who is the girl with a face like a plate?
Stop-Kiss by Diana Son
Directed by: Logan Sledge
Performance Dates: January 28-31 2016
Sara and Callie are walking the streets of New York City when they share their first kiss. This leads to a vicious attack by an angry bystander, in which Sara is horribly injured and falls into a coma. George, Callie's good friend, tries to help with the situation, but there is little he can do. Peter, Sara's ex-boyfriend from St. Louis, comes to help nurse her back to health. Throughout Stop Kiss, relationships are explored, formed, and even ended. Diana Son elaborates on the depths of human emotion and compassion in this play. The story is told in alternating scenes taking place before and after the assault, respectively.
Susannah by Carlisle Floyd
Collaboration with the Hurley School of Music
Directed by: Twyla Robinson
Performance Dates: April 14-17 2016
An adaptation of the Apocryphal tale of Susannah and the Elders, the story focuses on 18-year-old Susannah Polk, an innocent girl who is targeted as a sinner in the small mountain town of New Hope Valley, Tennessee. It has been speculated that the opera was inspired by McCarthyism, a period of intense fear of communism in America during the early 1950s. The opera also contains many feminist themes that had not been widely explored in popular culture at the time of the opera’s writing. Floyd has claimed that this opera, like his other operas, was meant to be different from a traditional opera.