By Dominic Rapposelli
Business and Distribution Manager
This fall, the Washington College Department of Theatre and Dance is beginning its slate of 2023-24 productions.
The first production will be “Prometheus Burning” by Tyler Joseph Rossi, a stage adaptation of Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel “Frankenstein.” The play will be produced by senior Niko Chen and directed by Executive Director of the Garfield Center for the Performing Arts Steven Arnold.
“I really love sci-fi and I knew I wanted to do something in that realm,” Chen said. “I chose ‘Prometheus Burning’ specifically because it adhered so well to the original story and themes of Mary Shelley’s novel.”
Majors have the option to concentrate their SCE in a number of theatrical elements, including acting, directing, technical theatre, or dramaturgy; “Prometheus Burning” will serve as an acting capstone for Chen, who believes that an a performance SCE has the ability to connect the lead actor and audience in a more intimate way than usual due to the actor’s investment in the production.
“Personally, I think it makes the connection between the audience and the SCE student a little stronger,” Chen said.
Another theatre major gearing up for their production this season is senior Skye Hass, who will be producing and directing a lesbian adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.”
“I wanted to put queer theater on the stage,” Hass said. “One, you should expect lesbians. Two, you should expect sword fights. Three, you should expect lesbians in the sword fights.”
While Hass has not begun rehearsals for their production, they have prepared for their play for almost a year prior, something they credit to WC’s capstone process.
“I think [the theatre department’s SCE’s are] great. I think our…process is so different from the other departments because we’re putting on entire productions, but also we start thinking about our SCE process in the fall of junior year,” Hass said.
The final performance for this semester is senior Julia Stanley’s performance SCE of “Machinal” by Sophie Treadwill, produced by Stanley and directed by Erin Coffman ’17.
Even though “Machinal” was first performed in 1928, Stanley chose the play due to how “topical” it still is.
“It’s about a government hellbent on control and a world where power and privilege are weapons and commodities. It asks more questions of the audience than it answers and I love that,” Stanley said. “The play is a serious one, but it’s weird and cool and strangely beautiful.”
The fall theatre production schedule kicks off with “Prometheus Burning” on Oct. 27 and 28, “Machinal” on Nov. 3 and 4, and “Romeo and Juliet” on Nov. 17 and 18.
Elm Photo Archive
Photo caption: All four performances will premiere in the Daniel Z. Gibson Center for the Arts