Region 2 Festival 51 Invited Productions
THE SECRET IN THE WINGS by Mary Zimmerman
Directed by Callie Carroll
West Liberty University
“The Secret in the Wings” is a journey through the amazing worlds of some lesser-known fairy tales. The production adapts these stories to create a theatrical work that sets their dark mystery against her signature wit and humor. The framing story concerns a child and the frightening babysitter with whom her parents leave her. As the babysitter reads from a book, the characters in each of the tales materialize, with each tale breaking off just at its bleakest moment before giving way to the next one. As in Zimmerman’s other productions, here she uses costumes, props, sets, and lighting to brilliant effect, creating images and feelings that render the fairy tales in all their elemental and enduring power.
MEN ON BOATS by Jaclyn Backhaus
Directed by Scott W. Cole
Ten explorers. Four boats. One Grand Canyon. Men on Boats is the true(ish) history of an 1869 expedition, when a one-armed captain and a crew of insane yet loyal volunteers set out to chart the course of the Colorado River. Both provocative and hilarious, this play creatively bends genders depicting white male conquest through a cast who is not.
ANTIGONE by Sophocles, translation by Anne Carson.
Directed by John Bellomo
West Chester University
A young girl believes that the highest priority, over the laws of the country and the commandments of leaders, is that one must do what is right. One girl, thousands of years ago, dared to stand up for her beliefs and face the consequences. This play captures the epic nature of the Greek tragedy, in a fresh, contemporary adaptation. An all-female cast of 20 explores what resonates when the Tragedy of Antigone is told with a female voice.
A RAISIN IN THE SUN, by Lorraine Hansberry
Directed by Julia Matthews
“the play that changed American theatre forever . . .” The New York Times
In a crowded apartment on Chicago’s South Side, we meet three generations of the Youngers, an African-American family striving to achieve the American dream. Walter Lee wants his own business, Mama hopes to own a home, Beneatha aims for medical school and Ruth yearns to grow her family. But, in the words of Langston Hughes, “what happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?” Lorraine Hansberry’s masterpiece from 1959 anticipated the issues that sparked the civil rights and women’s movements of the 1960’s, as well as the struggles over economic justice and systemic racism that persist in our own time.
ALL MY SONS, by Arthur Miller
Directed by Betsy Craig
Grove City College
Joe Keller and Steve Deever ran a machine shop which made airplane parts. Deever was sent to prison because the firm turned out defective parts, causing the deaths of many men. Keller went free and made a lot of money. The twin shadows of this catastrophe and the fact that the young Keller son was reported missing during the war dominate the action. The love affair of Chris Keller and Ann Deever, the bitterness of George Deever returned from the war to find his father in prison and his father’s partner free, are all set in a structure of almost unbearable power. The climax showing the reaction of a son to his guilty father is fitting conclusion to a play electrifying in its intensity. One of the most powerful dramas, and first great play of one of the most remarkable American playwrights of the 20th century.
THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD, Music, Book and Lyrics by Rupert Holmes
Directed by Mark Hardy
Montclair State University
This ultimate musical ‘whodunit’ is a madcap romp through an English music hall company’s version of Dickens’ great unfinished novel. A rollicking comedy of murder, intrigue, hidden identity, dangerous attraction, and the hunger every actor has to be at center stage, this rule-breaking and 5-Tony winning show allows the audience to choose the story’s outcome at every performance!