Theater Emory (TE) embarks upon its 20th season with a repertoire
that reflects its role as a professional theater company affiliated
with a research university. It is a season dedicated to cutting-
edge work, the development of new plays and the beginning a research
cycle into the writings of Anton Chekov.
According to TE’s mission statement, it functions in the
best tradition of a research university—posing questions,
challenging assumptions, and examining values in search of lasting
truths: “A theater company cannot find its voice solely by
following preexisting models. We investigate questions about the
form and content of our work. We produce theater that evokes ideas
that challenge ourselves and our society,” wrote Vincent Murphy,
artistic producing director.
Nowhere is that more evident than in the 2002–03 season,
with highlights including a production of Arthur Kopit’s work-in-progress,
Discovery of America; the biennial Brave New Works marathon;
the presentation of Room by SITI Company (the Saratoga International
Theater Institute); and Three Sisters, a production that
launches an investigation cycle on classic Russian playwright Anton
Murphy has been instrumental for more than a year in the development
of Discovery by the two-time Tony Award nominee Kopit.
The work was commissioned by the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Arts
Festival and the Pioneer Theatre Company; Murphy directed the first
reading in February 2001 at the Pioneer, and most recently worked
with Kopit on the play at the Ojai Playwrights Festival last month.
Discovery is based on the published recollections of 16th century
Spanish explorer Cabeza de Vaca’s travels in the Americas.
Homegrown talent also will be showcased this season. The Science
Plays readings Sept. 20 (part one of Brave New Works) will present
new plays about two scientists who helped explain the birth and
shape of the universe, written by College junior Lauren Gunderson
and Candler Professor of Physics Sidney Perkowitz. A reading also
will be done of Manna, a new work by frequent Theater Emory
collaborator Steve Murray, in preparation for its full production
at Actors’ Express this spring.
Theater Emory also will be part of celebrations surrounding the
opening of the Donna and Marvin Schwartz Center for Performing Arts
in February. Murphy serves as artistic director of “Inter-play,”
the dedication ceremony and the kickoff to a four-month inaugural
festival that showcases Emory dance, music and theater performers.
“Inter-play” will be held Feb. 1 in the newly named
Cherry Logan Emerson Concert Hall of the Schwartz Center.
Brave New Works intensifies in February to inaugurate the new Theater
Lab in the Schwartz Center. From Feb. 6–22, an international
ensemble of actors and directors playwrights will explore new work
and offer two or three public readings each week.
Next, a special David Goldwasser Symposium in Religion and the
Arts will take place March 30. To celebrate the Schwartz Center
opening, the long-time Goldwasser Lecture-ship is being expanded
to a symposium featuring three internationally respected performing
arts professionals: Bill Jones, dancer and choreographer; Anne Bogart,
director of the SITI Company; and Pauline Oliveros, contemporary
The season rounds out with the April production of Chekov’s
masterpiece, Three Sisters, directed by theater studies
Associate Professor Tim McDonough. The research cycle on Chekov
will begin with a course taught by McDonough and Associate Professor
Alice Benston this fall.
Faculty and staff interested in participating in the theater season
are encouraged to attend the general meeting for theater at Emory
at 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 29 in the Mary Gray Munroe Theater. Faculty
and staff have performed in and worked on Theater Emory productions
in the past, and those interested are invited to hear about theater
opportunities at Emory.
For more information on the season or for tickets, call the Arts
at Emory box office
at 404-727-5050, or go to www.emory.edu/ARTS.
Tickets go on sale Aug. 19, with the exception of Room,
on sale now as part of the Candler Series.