Theater Emory season looks to the future by building on the past

Theater Emory's 1996-97 season will build on the best of the past--both the past of theater at Emory and the historical past. "Our success in developing new works through our Brave New Works Program takes a new turn with the establishment of the Playwriting Center of Theater Emory," said Artistic Producing Director Vincent Murphy. "This biennial project will be initiated with on-campus work by Nobel Prize-winning playwright Wole Soyinka, Pulitzer Prize winning playwrights Wendy Wasserstein and Robert Schenkkan, and Obie Award-winning playwright Megan Terry, who will be joined in developing new work at Emory by other noted playwrights David Kranes, Steve Murray and Wendy Hammond.

"Our tradition of producing work because of a particular question about an issue has led to a series of plays we will produce under the umbrella of `Women in View,'" Murphy continued. "Three very different productions of plays by three groundbreaking American women playwrights, combined with campus visits by those writers, investigate how the theater has been changed by their voices over the last 20 years."

The 1996-97 season
* Nineteen Ninety-Four, written and directed by Wole Soyinka (Sept. 12-14). Commissioned three years ago as a radio play by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Nineteen Ninety-Four is a political satire about international communication and political correctness. The revised version will be produced as a staged reading and performed by an ensemble from the Emory community, including Marilynne McKay, professor of dermatology and gynecology and director of Continuing Medical Education and Medical Media at The Emory Clinic; Andre Nahmias, Blumberg Professor of Pediatrics and director of the Division of Infectious Diseases, Epidemiology and Immunology at The Emory Clinic; Michael Evenden, associate professor and chair of the Department of Theater Studies; Emory alumnus Abraham Song and current student Katie Shrout.

* Uncommon Women and Others, by Wendy Wasserstein and directed by Rosemary Newcott (Oct. 12-26). Wasserstein's first major play celebrates the role of the women's college as seen through the lives of eight graduates of the class of 1972. As such, it is a fascinating look at how the ideas and expectations of women have both changed and remained the same over the last 20 years.

* Approaching Simone, by Megan Terry and directed by Nicole Torre, in collaboration with Zoink Productions (Oct. 11-26). First produced by college students for the 100th anniversary of Boston University in 1970, Approaching Simone transferred to the LaMama Theater in New York City where it won the best production and best play Obie Awards. Theater Emory's production reinterprets the script about philosopher Simone Weil through an aesthetic approach learned during the 1996 Olympic Arts Festival residency of the Saratoga International Theater Institute.

* The Soldier's Tale, by Igor Stravinsky (Nov. 10). Combining theater, music and dance talent from Emory, the production is a one-time performance that tells the Faustian story of a soldier's encounter and subsequent deal with the devil. The Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta provides music, Emory Dance Company contributes modern dance, and Theater Emory's Michael Evenden will direct the production.

* The Renaissance Repertory, by William Shakespeare (Feb. 8-March 7). As an exploration into the performance conditions that existed for Elizabethan audiences, Theater Emory will be constructing a playhouse inside the Mary Gray Munroe Theater. The production includes: The Tempest, featuring Emory faculty member/actor Tim McDonough as Prospero (Feb. 20-March 7); The White Devil by John Webster and directed by Ron Wilson (Feb. 22-March 6); and Hamlet Variations, directed by Vincent Murphy (Feb. 8-27).

* Sleep Deprivation Chamber, by Adam Kennedy and Adrienne Kennedy (April 11-19), will be directed by Emory Mellon Fellow Yvonne Singh. In 1992, Adam Kennedy was brutally assaulted by the police in his father's own front yard and taken away in handcuffs without a formal charge. The play moves backward and forward in time, examining moments of the lives of the prominent African American family, focusing on the events that led to this incident and the struggle for justice that followed.

For ticket prices and curtain times, call the Emory Box Office at 727-5050, order by fax to 727-6421 or e-mail to

--Joyce Bell

Return to the September 3, 1996 contents page