Theater Arts seniors to present plays, dances, talks

In its second year, festival has grown in popularity and size

Photos/Mike Lovett

Participants in the festival will include, from left, Alia Goldfarb, Maya Grant, Tiffany Johnson, Abby Armstrong, Anneke Reich, Viktoria Lange, Ellyn Getz, Jessie Field, Iyvon Edebiri, Taylor Lombard and Rebecca Miller.

The senior theater arts majors and the Department of Theater Arts will host the Senior Theater Arts Festival from April 9 to April 14. The week-long festival will display a variety of plays, dances, and talks, showcasing senior thesis projects for the Brandeis community.

In its second official year, the festival has grown in both population and number of performances. Students will focus on one “role” for their thesis – director, actor, etcetera – but may find themselves working on a peer’s project in a different role.

“As a member of the festival, each [student] is a participant in the collective energy of the group and outcome of the festival in its entirety,” said Adrianne Krstansky, Associate Professor of Theater Arts and Co-Coordinator of the festival with Senior Lecturer in Theater Arts Jennifer Cleary. 

The first event, “Diversity: A Devised Piece on Community”, is an original work directed by Alia Goldfarb ’13 showing daily scenes of the undergraduate community. This will be performed in Merrick Theater on April 9 at 7 p.m. and April 14 at 6:30 p.m. Seating is first-come, first-served unless reservations are made by contacting Goldfarb. 

“Always, Rachel” is another original piece directed by Jessie Field ’13, who wrote the book and lyrics as well. The musical tells the story of biologist and nature writer Rachel Carson, who jeopardizes her success as a writer to raise environmental awareness. Performances are April 9 at 8:30 p.m. and on April 14 at 2 p.m. in Merrick Theater. 

Taylor Lombard ’13 choreographed and directed “Some Nights: A Modern Dance Piece”, a project choreographed entirely to the album “Some Nights” by the band Fun. After the show, students can participate in a photo shoot for pictures to be uploaded on to The Ally Coalition’s website, a space Fun. and designer Rachel Antonoff have created to raise awareness of LGBTQ equality. Performances will be on April 10 at 7 p.m. and April 12 at 7 p.m. in Merrick Theater. 

“The Lady in the Dark” is a musical based on Moss Hart’s book directed by Abby Armstrong ’13 and starring Anneke Reich ’13. The piece chronicles the life of magazine editor Liza Elliot, who suffers from severe anxiety and eventually an identity crisis. Performances will be on April 10 at 8:30 p.m. and April 12 at 8:30 p.m. in Merrick Theater. 

Ellyn Getz ’13 will present “The Drivers of Success: An Analysis of Broadway Musicals from 1980 to 2010”, a research project exploring Broadway’s history and culture from a theater and business perspective, evaluating drivers of successful productions today and how they have changed. Presentations will be on April 11 at 5 p.m. and April 12 at 5 p.m. in Spingold Room 111. 

“Amaranthine” is an original piece based on the life of Anne Boleyn written and performed by Rebecca Miller ’13. In the 500th anniversary of her execution, Boleyn is visited by an unexpected guest who broke her heart tragically and forces her to uncover her past. Performances will be on April 11 at 7 p.m., April 13 at 12 p.m., and April 13 at 12 a.m. (special midnight performance) in Merrick Theater. 

“The Wall: An Original Jukebox Musical” is written and directed by Iyvon Edebiri ’13, starring Tiffany Johnson ’13. Luke, whose recent breakup is shaken even more by his high school sweetheart moving in next door, must learn to forgive and forget past mistakes. Performances will be on April 11 at 8:30 p.m. and April 13 at 7 p.m. in Merrick Theater. 

Finally, “Eurydice”, written by award-winning playwright Sarah Ruhl, is about the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice reimagined through the eyes of the heroine. Directed by Viktoria Lange ’13, performances will be on April 13 at 2 p.m. and April 14 at 8 p.m. 

Brandeis students of different years will also be collaborating on the projects with the help of professional lighting designer Emily McCourt, who helped design the festival. 

Although a professional theater artist has overseen the festival last year, “for now, the faculty feels the need to invest time and energy into the festival to shape and grow it into a vital opportunity for all Brandeis undergraduates who are interested in working with the Department of Theater Arts,” Krstansky said. 

All events are free and open to the public. Students wishing to attend are encouraged to arrive early as seating is limited.

Categories: Arts, Student Life

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