Department of Theatre

Summer 2007

Voices In American Drama: A Summer Play Reading Series

Artistic Staff

  • Artistic Director/Production Coordinator-Tina Satter, Kathryn Moller
  • Technical Director-Katie Brost
  • Media Coordinator-Scott Kadera

Production Staff

  • Sara Barnett
  • Robert Cook III
  • Athena Gundlach
  • Scott Kadera
  • Nathan K. Lee 
  • Alison Wiest

Summer Shorts: Playing Outside the Box 

Four short pieces, many topics. Cross-dressing, religion, colonial politics, and the age-old issue of identity surface in these entertaining shorts by contemporary writers from New York City to Portland, Oregon -- and Durango!

Richard Foreman Made Me Do It 

Written by Alec Fritz.
Directed by Tina Satter.

In the Pink

Written by Pamela Skjolsvik.
Directed by Kelsey Deery.

Montana

Written by James Ashby.
Directed by Katie Brost.

Ghost Story

Written by Kate Tarker.
Directed by Desiree Henderson

Hyenas in Petticoats

Written by Grace Cavalieri.
Directed by Lisa Kramer.

In 1792, Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) launched herself into the role of “mother of modern feminism” when she published A Vindication of the Rights of Women. She believed that women should take responsibility for themselves in order to reform the world. In her introduction to this radical and controversial treatise she writes, “I wish to persuade women to endeavor to acquire strength, both of mind and body, and to convince them that the soft phrases, susceptibility of heart, delicacy of sentiment, and refinement of taste, are almost synonymous with epithets of weakness . . . .” The reaction to this book was controversial even to some of the most radical thinkers of the period, and earned Wollstonecraft the nickname “hyena in petticoats” from one critic as well as censure from other women.

Grace Cavelieri’s play, Hyena in Petticoats, explores the life of this complicated woman as she struggles to be equal with men, and at the same time earn their love and approval. It follows her from her late teens, when her goal was to learn to read and write and share that knowledge with her sisters, to her death of blood poisoning at the age of 38 after giving birth to her second daughter, Mary (who would later become Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley and write Frankenstein). We see Wollstonecraft standing strong in her beliefs and ideals against the conservative thinkers of her day, while struggling to find and maintain love in a series of tumultuous affairs, including one with American writer Gilbert Imlay, the father of her first daughter Fanny. We watch Wollstonecraft’s struggle with depression and attempt at suicide when some women turn against her. Finally, we watch as she finds a partner in William Godwin, a foremost philosopher of the day, who treats Wollstonecraft as an equal, eventually agrees to marry her, and loses her after the birth of their daughter. The life of Mary Wollstonecraft is one of complex relationships between herself and others, while she stands true to her beliefs in the fight for the rights of women.

Cast

  • Liza Wollstonecraft-Sara Barnett
  • Mary Wollstonecraft-Kelsey Deery
  • Judy/Lady Kingsborough/Women/Stage Directions-Lani Dill
  • Clergyman Claire-Don D. Doane
  • Everina Wollstonecraft-Athena Gundlach
  • William Godwin-Geoff Johnson
  • Punch/Stage Directions-Stephen Juhl
  • Gilbert Imlay-Josh Martin
  • Joseph Hohnson-Bernard Wolsieffer

Double Feature: Two One-Acts 

Kate Tarker brings an experimental and witty sensibility to her one-act, Oasis, about a contemporary couple and a camel crossing the desert. Cliff Hershman returns to the Summer Reading Series with his deft realism applied to an urban holding cell in Cleveland.

Oasis

Written by Kate Tarker.
Directed by Katie Brost.

Cast

  • Savannah-Sarah Syverson
  • Andrew-Dan Hepburn
  • Moving Man/Car Salesman/Hot Dog Salesman/Tour Guide-Terry Shellnut

Cleveland

Written by Cliff Hershman.
Directed by Richard Malcolm.

Cast

  • Dougie-Don Doane
  • Johnny-Geoff Johnson
  • Officer Omari-Robert Cook 

A Moon to Dance By

Written by Thom Thomas.
Directed by Richard Malcolm.

Playwright Thom Thomas joins us from Los Angeles for the reading of his play about Frieda von Richthofen, the scandalous lover and muse of acclaimed English writer, D. H. Lawrence. Based on letters and biographical materials, Thomas imagines the reunion of Frieda with her estranged son, Monty, at the D. H. Lawrence Ranch near Taos, New Mexico.

Cast

  • Anna Donald-Johnson
  • Tim Maldin
  • Terry Shelnut
  • Frieda Lawrence
  • Montague Weekly
  • Angelo Ravagli