January 31, 2000
Volume 52, No. 19
'Sampler' kicks off Shaw project for Theater Emory
By Deb Hammacher
Theater Emory launches its next playwright investigation with its "George Bernard Shaw Sampler," running Feb. 25 in the Burlington Road Building.
Scenes from several Shaw plays and some short one-act plays will be presented in various levels of production, ranging from simple staged readings to more fully staged pieces. The Shaw project marks Theater Emory's first step in exploring the work of the Nobel Prize-winning Irish author who lived from 18561950. The company recently completed its multiyear investigation of Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen.
"You do productions of plays because they respond to a time you're in," said Vincent Murphy, artistic producing director of Theater Emory. "That's what we need to learn about Shaw. Nobody questions their value as literature-what we need to look at is, is there a true pulse that connects to some issue in the present?"
Murphy said the company definitely will do one full Shaw production next season but hasn't settled on the play. There are plenty to choose from, as the prolific Shaw produced close to 50 plays in his lifetime. His best-known works are Saint Joan, Caesar and Cleopatra, Major Barbara, Candida, Man and Superman and Pygmalion, the basis for My Fair Lady.
"This man had enormous dramaturgical creativity-the plays differ so much," said Alice Benston, associate professor and resident dramaturg for Theater Emory. "Even when he was in great despair, Shaw's creativity never left him."
The schedule for "Shaw Sampler" is:
Wednesday, Feb. 2. "Don Juan in Hell" (from Man and Superman), Pygmalion and Fannie's First Play.
Thursday, Feb. 3. "In the Beginning" (from Back to Methuselah), Saint Joan and Mrs. Warren's Profession.
Friday, Feb. 4. Too True to be Good, Heartbreak House and Caesar and Cleopatra.
Saturday, Feb. 5. Village Wooing, You Never Can Tell, Man and Superman and Shakes vs. Shav.
All performances are free and begin at 7:30 in the Burlington Road Building,
located at 1804 North Decatur Rd. For more information, call 404-727-5050.