2004-05 Season

Secret Lives of the Sexists
By Charles Ludlam
Directed by Oliver Butler
October 7-17, 2004
Laurie Theater

"An extraordinary fusion of stylistic contradictions that somehow transform melodramatic excesses and lowdown sight gags into high theater art, suddenly finding new meanings in the oldest cliches and outlandish puns." - The New York Times

The Husband brothers Buddy and Izzy long for domestic bliss with their wives Nadine and Fanny, but will settle for survival. In a move to remove the seemingly oppressive two-sex gender system, Nadine campaigns to eliminate the word "chairperson" from the vernacular and hopes for the day when "maniacs" are known as "personiacs!" Add some complications with Zena Grossfinger and Phil Landers (a self-proclaimed "physical culture expert"), razor-sharp zingers and a world where drag queens are king, and the result is pure Ludlam, pure hilarity and outrageous memories. Recommended for mature audiences over the age of 16.

Polaroid Stories
By Naomi Iizuka
Directed by Janet Morrison, faculty
November 4-14, 2004
Laurie Theater

"A sepia-toned photo journal of the mean streets, fraught with cheap sex, drugs, abuse and violence. It is like the musical 'Rent,' only without the blistering rock score." -- The Washington Times

To the sounds of transistor radios, video arcades and a thousand collect phone calls in the night, Naomi Iizuka transforms the chaotic life of a group of street kids into a fierce elegy of emptiness, sensation, desire and fear. By an abandoned pier at the edge of an old city, young "speed-racers" scan for "pharmaceutical treasure" while "neon girls" drink from the river of forgetfulness, echoing in their words and deeds ancient stories of gods and humans. This haunting evocation of Ovid's Metamorphoses reimagined for the 1990s lends mythic power and social immediacy to America's lower depths Recommended for mature audiences over the age of 16.

The Who's Tommy
Music and lyrics by Pete Townsend
Book by Pete Townsend and Des McAnuff
Additional music and lyrics by John Entwistle and Keith Moon
Co-directed by Gray Simons and Eric Hill
Choreography by Susan Dibble
December 2-12, 2004
Mainstage Theater

"The sensation of the season ... 'Tommy' is thrilling start to finish!" -- The Boston Globe

Eight-year-old Tommy is rendered catatonic after witnessing his father murdering his mother's lover. For the next fourteen years, he is tempted, taunted, and used, abused, and emotionally abandoned. One of the most pivotal rock musicals ever produced, The Who's Tommy is a roaring rip of a ride through the 60's, a tale of drugs, celebrity and painful, illusory transcendence. Made possible with generous support from the Robin, Barbara and Malcolm L. Sherman Endowment for the Performing Arts.

King Lear
By William Shakespeare
Adapted and Directed by Eric Hill
February 10-20, 2005
Laurie Theater

"An expressionist production that illuminates the 400-year-old tragedy's universality." -- Backstage

Nominated for a Connecticut Critics Circle Award, Eric Hill's adaptation of "King Lear" takes place in the mind of an anonymous old man who imagines he is Shakespeare's tragic hero. Set in a hospital, the old man has been cast aside in an institution with a life that has become meaningless, at the end perceiving himself on the grand scale of King Lear. Exploited by nurses Goneril and Regan, the old man descends into regret and madness finding sad camaraderie with Gloucester who chose the wicked Edmund over the virtuous Edgar. Recommended for mature audiences over the age of 16. Made possible through generous support from the Poses Fund at Brandeis University.

Scenes from an Execution
By Howard Barker
Directed by Adrianne Krstansky, faculty
April 7-17, 2005
Laurie Theater

"A provocative drama splashed onto the stage in a whirlwind of emotions." -- Variety
"A strong, whirling drama -subtle, witty, dangerous." -- The London Times

Sixteenth century painter Galactia receives a commission from the Venetian Doge to paint a large mural glorifying a naval victory. Unable to simply paint what is requested, Galactia reveals the horrors of war. She ignores the pleadings of her family as well as the admonitions of the Church and is imprisoned, only to be released through the machinations of an art critic who recognizes the import of the painting.