Emory Report

August 30 , 1999

 Volume 52, No. 2

It's goodbye Black Rose, hello 'fools' for Theater Emory

Theater Emory's 1999-2000 season kicks off on a light note with The Last Laugh: A Fools Fest to Usher in the New Millennium, a 10-day festival featuring some of America's best "new vaudeville" artists. The season ends on a bittersweet note with the dismantling of the Black Rose, Emory's replica Elizabethan playhouse. And Theater Emory brings another cycle to an end as the production of The Master Builder brings its five-year investigation of Henrik Ibsen to conclusion.

"The 1999-2000 season seems a perfect match for this significant year," said Pat Miller, managing director of Theater Emory. "We are ending work pursued over the last several years and shifting our focus to launch new investigations for the new millennium. As we complete the Ibsen Project and our exploration of Elizabethan theater space, we move to the work of George Bernard Shaw and to new commitments to writers through the Playwriting Center of Theater Emory. This is a season both of harvesting and planting."

The Last Laugh, Sept. 24-Oct. 2, is co-produced by Atlanta native Kenny Raskin, best known to theater audiences for creating the role of Le Fou on Broadway in Beauty and the Beast and touring extensively as principal clown "Monsieur Everyman" for Cirque du Soleil. He will be joined by "new vaudeville" artists Tim Settimi, Hilary Chaplain, Dick Monday, Waldo and Woodhead, The Lenny DeLuxe Trio, Enzo the clown and Avner the Eccentric, who is well-known for his acclaimed one-man Broadway show and his role as the title character in the movie The Jewel of the Nile.

The Master Builder, a premiere of a new adaptation of the Ibsen classic by playwright Steve Murray with Michael Evenden, was commissioned by the Playwriting Center. The Oct. 14-30 production features Tim McDonough, Elisa Hurt, Jim Peck, Kristen Sandberg and Jennifer Hohensee under the direction of Vincent Murphy, producing artistic.

An international conference on Nobel Prize-winning writer Samuel Beckett from Nov. 11-13 sets the stage for several of his works in "justplay.[s]," a series of Beckett stagings directed by Brenda Bynum. The pieces will include A Piece of Monologue, Act Without Words I, Act Without Words II, Come and Go, Ohio Impromptu, What Where and That Time will complete the performance of the entire Beckett canon in Atlanta during the last several years.

The Playwriting Center will showcase a number of works in development by writers from around the country, and "A George Bernard Shaw Sampler" will feature readings from the author's writing Feb. 2-5 in consideration of full productions in future seasons.

Following a successful three-year stint as ground-central for an exploration of Renaissance theater conventions and the role of a theater's physical space on the performance of dramatic work, the Black Rose will host its final production Feb. 18-March 4. Patterned after the Rose and Blackfriars theaters in Shakespeare's London, the playhouse has received international attention and audience and actor acclaim. Shakespeare's romantic comedy, As You Like It, featuring two of his great female characters, Rosalind and Celia, will be the final production there in the spring.

The season will conclude with a workshop of The Miracle Worker, directed by John Ammerman, associate professor of theater studies. A movement specialist, Ammerman's interests lie in the limitations posed to actors by plays in which physical action is violent. He will use the story of Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller--one in which the actions are intimate yet gentle--to explore the use of nonviolent movement in theater.

Tickets to and information about all Theater Emory events are available through the Arts at Emory box office at 404-727-5050, online at <www. emory.edu/ARTS> or via e-mail at <boxoffice@ emory.edu>. Performances are in the Mary Gray Munroe Theater, unless otherwise noted.

--Deb Hammacher

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