Following a season dedicated largely to fostering
the development of new work by theater artists from around the country,
Theater Emory is showcasing homegrown talent in the 2003–04
season. The season features three world premieres: two by members
of the Emory theater community and one a work commissioned by the
Playwriting Center of Theater Emory.
The world premieres are Elizabeth Wong’s Dating and Mating
in Modern Times (Sept. 20–Oct. 4), Emory student Lauren
Gunderson’s Leap (Feb. 12–21), and theater
studies Associate Professor John Ammerman’s Life Goes
On: A Silent Play in Black and White (April 15–24).
The season will kick off with a showcase of “Contemporary
Theater From India” (Sept. 12–13) and will include a
production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s
Dream (Oct. 28–Nov. 8).
“This season is largely the payoff for all the works we’ve
been developing over the years,” said Vincent Murphy, artistic
producing director of Theater Emory. “Elizabeth Wong’s
piece was a commission of the Playwriting Center, in part because
we wanted to focus on women. Lauren Gunderson is a very talented
playwright, and this is the first time we have ever done a full
production of a student work as part of the Theater Emory season,
although we have done a lot of Brave New Works readings of student
Wong, a Los Angeles-based television and theater writer who also
will direct the production, describes Dating and Mating
as “a series of monologues by women in celebration of men,
of the libido and the white hot desire for connection between the
sexes.” This particular show may not be appropriate for younger
patrons, so parental discretion is advised.
Gunderson is an Emory senior who has had her award-winning plays
produced off Broadway in New York and at several Atlanta theaters.
Leap is the story of two young sisters trying to impart
the wisdom of the future to their skeptical pupil, a young Isaac
Newton, who wants more than his share of knowledge. She poses the
question, “What if Newton knew as much as Einstein?”
Megan Monaghan, Emory theater studies alumna and literary director
for the Alliance Theatre Company, will direct.
“Here I think we have cultivated an audience with a taste
for adventure, great theater and great literature,” said Murphy.
“The 2003–04 season is reflective of that audience with
the shows in the season, including the India theater showcase, the
Shakespeare and John Ammerman’s new work.”
“Contemporary Theater From India” will look at a cross-section
of work coming out of India with staged readings that are free and
open to the public. Following independence, India has witnessed
a re-emergence of its rich culture in both fiction and theater not
only in English, but Hindi and many regional languages. While Salman
Rushdie, Arundhati Roy, Vikram Seth and Rohiton Mishtry are names
the world recognizes, a large array of lesser known Indian playwrights
and writers continue to bloom in obscurity. These are the artists
whose work Emory will showcase.
Life Goes On, conceived and directed by Ammerman, stems
from his research into the silent film era of the 1920s and ’30s.
Created in the style of a black-and-white silent film (including
live musical accompaniment during the performances and the best
comic and dramatic elements of the genre), Life Goes On
follows the story of one Detroit family’s encounter with the
1929 stock market crash.
Theater Emory’s production of A Midsummer Night’s
Dream, directed by Lisa Paulsen, is a “return to an old
friend,” according to Murphy, reprising a production of his
first season at Emory 15 years ago.
“After celebrating the 20th anniversary of Theater Emory last
season, it is wonderful to be able to come back and see how we’ve
changed in that time,” Murphy said.
Ticket prices will vary according to the event. For more information,
call the Arts at Emory box office at 404-727-5050 or visit www.emory.edu/ARTS.