News and Events
The Contemporary Rock Musical
Music by Duncan Sheik, Book and Lyrics by Steven Sater
Directed by Giovanni Ortega
November 20, 21 (8pm), November 22 (2pm and 8pm), November 23 (2pm)
Spring Awakening, a contemporary rock musical, takes its inspiration from Franz Wedekind's 1891 German play of the same name. The original play is one of dramatic literature's most controversial masterpieces, a work so daring in its depiction of teenage self-discovery, it was banned from the stage and not performed in its complete form in English for nearly 100 years. These same incendiary qualities are very much in evidence in the musical, which was adapted by Steven Sater, with music by Duncan Sheik. Spring Awakening opened on Broadway at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre on December 10, 2006, winning eight Tonys, four Drama Desk Awards, and four Olivier Awards.
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Our annual and popular New Play Festival. Each year, all members of the Claremont Colleges Community are invited to submit new plays around a common theme. In this season the theme is the element of “Fire”. Winners are selected in December and the Department produces the five winning plays with student directors and performers.
Considered by many to be Chekhov’s greatest work for the stage. Uncle Vanya has been categorized as everything from sentimental comedy to tragedy. Instead, Uncle Vanya is an exquisitely drawn portrayal of a deeply troubled extended family of highly idiosyncratic characters. Mostly, they keep their passions, anger and frustrations roiling just beneath the surface. As critic Eric Bentley observed, “Nobody dies. Nobody is paired off. And the general point is clear; life knows no endings, happy or tragic.” Chekhov’s great genius is in leaving us wondering, worrying, and caring deeply over his characters’ fate in the years after the closing curtain has dropped.
Professor Leonard Pronko, well-known and admired for his knowledge and teaching of Asian theatre, is retiring after 57 years at Pomona College. Pronko is one of the U.S.’s leading experts on kabuki, a traditional Japanese art form that combines elaborate make-up and dance with stylized dramatic performance.
The Claremont-based theatre company, Ophelia’s Jump, under the support of Pomona College Department of Theatre and Dance ,will start the summer play season with Eurydice, Sarah Ruhl’s retelling of the Orpheus myth. Performances will be held Fri.-Sun., May 23-25, and Fri.-Sun., May 30-June 1, in Seaver Theatre.
In this play, the Orpheus story is told from the perspective of Eurydice, his wife. Under the affectionate tutelage of her father, Eurydice regains her memories of earthly love—but has to choose between her husband and her father, with both choices involving loss. Doug Oliphant is the director.
This Thursday, April 10, Theatre for Young Audiences will present Bird Talk, a re-imagining of the Persian poem “Conference of the Birds.” The performance will take place in Seaver Theatre, 300 East Bonita Ave. in Claremont, at 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Admission is free.
Students from Pomona College and the other Claremont Colleges have spent the year working with middle and high school students from Fremont Academy of Engineering & Design in Pomona to create the play from start to finish. The fall semester focused “on skill-building, community-building and generating text for our spring performance,” and the spring semester “on rehearsal, producing and performance,” says Rose Portillo, Pomona College Class of 1975, the play’s director and course instructor.
Take a trip back in time to Medieval Europe with a series of modernized mystery plays directed by performer, author and director Giovanni Ortega. Mystery plays, a form of performance that reached its height in the 15th century, are short but spectacle-filled plays about a variety of religious topics. With titles such as Creation, Temptation, Noah, and Second Shepherd’s Play, these chaste yet bawdy, witty yet moving plays promise to inspire and amuse.
Pomona College’s Sontag Greek Theatre will be alive with Shakespearean productions this summer thanks to a new affilliation with a local theatre company.
Ophelia’s Jump, a Claremont-based theatre company, with the support of the Department of Theatre and Dance, will produce four plays, beginning in May and running into September.