UW News

October 4, 2007

Drama School opens season with ‘Ring Round the Moon’

The UW School of Drama will open its first production of the 2007-08 season, Jean Anouilh’s, Ring Round the Moon, Oct. 14. The play, adapted by Christopher Fry and directed by John Langs, will run through Oct. 28 in the Penthouse Theatre.

Set in the winter garden of a chateau in the spring of 1912, Ring Round the Moon concerns a pair of identical twins. One, Frederic, is sweet and innocent, while the other, Hugo, is sour and devious.

Frederic is engaged to the rich and ravishing Diana, but Hugo is convinced she is really pining for him. Hugo decides to save his brother from a loveless marriage by inviting a poor, but breathtakingly beautiful ballerina to charm his brother at a party given by his aristocratic aunt, and in the process unleashes a chain of events that even he can’t foresee. The plot with its mistaken identities, misguided love affairs, and the wheelchair bound but still powerful aristocrat aunt and assorted house guests and servants provides uproarious twists and turns in this romantic comedy.

Similar to much of Anouilh’s work, Ring pits the forces of innocence, embodied by a girl of great purity, against those of an iniquitous and sophisticated society. However, unlike similarly themed Anouilh works (Antigone and The Rehearsal), this one lets love triumph, though not before introducing some currents of sadism and social oppression.

Peter Brook directed the original French production in Paris in 1947, and immediately decided that an English version must be made. He knew that the poetic flow and rhythm of the French could only be captured by a playwright of equal caliber and linguistic style. In the spring of 1949, Brook approached Christopher Fry to translate the play for his London production. Brook and Fry spent a lot of time working together on the correct rendering of actions and words for the English version.

Tickets are $8 for previews and $15 ($13 for faculty and staff) for all other performances. Seniors pay $12 and students $10. Group discounts are available. Reservations and information are available at the UW Arts Ticket Office, 4001 University Way NE, 206-543-4880 & at http://depts.washington.edu/uwdrama.

Special deals are available for faculty and staff on season tickets and other multi-play packages. The remaining plays in the season are:

Our Lady of 121st Street
by Stephen Adly Guirgis
directed by Valerie Curtis-Newton
Oct. 28-Nov. 11
Meany Studio Theatre

In this insightful and funny comedy, the body of Sister Rose, a no-nonsense but encouraging teacher, has been stolen. While waiting for the body to resurface, former students reconnect and square off with each other, motivated by rage, pain and a scary desire to come clean—perhaps for the benefit of remembering their own “lady.” Strong Language.

Arabian Nights
adaptation by Dominic Cooke
director TBA
Nov. 26-Dec. 9
Penthouse Theatre

It is the wedding night of King Shahrayar. By morning, the new Queen will be put to death, like a thousand brides before her. But she has one gift that could save her life — the gift of storytelling. This wildly inventive new adaptation breathes theatrical magic into the age-old legends of the 1,001 nights with such tales as Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves and Sinbad the Sailor.

Wild Black-Eyed Susans
by Kara Lee Corthron
directed by Valerie Curtis-Newton
Feb. 3-17
Ethnic Cultural Theatre

On the edge of poverty in rural West Virginia, sisters Rita and Brady dream of new and creative lives. Rita’s poetic longing flows into her songwriting and Brady is positive she’s got the right stuff to be the next big super-model. This funny, moving and emotionally charged story captures unconditional love, resilience and friendship as their dreams are put into motion.

She Stoops to Conquer
by Oliver Goldsmith
directed by Matthew Arbour
Feb. 3-17
Meany Studio Theatre

When a pair of eligible young ladies from well-to-do rural families meet two young suitors from London, one of them must take romantic matters into her own hands—concealing herself as a barmaid to win the heart of a man who is too shy to court women of his own class. Disguise, mistaken identity, false pretenses and unique surprises abound in this rollicking classic comedy.

by Octavio Solis
directed by Desdemona Chiang
Feb. 24-March 9
Penthouse Theatre

On a dark evening in the marina district of San Francisco, chance brings together Palo, a wandering traveler, and Amy, a mourning widow. As Amy and Palo’s secrets gradually unravel, so do ghost stories of passion, jealousy, and betrayal. A poetic, powerful tale of a journey into the heart of darkness, Gibraltar is a poignant exploration of love, loss, danger, guilt, and salvation.

Fair Play
by Anna Rosa Parker
directed by Shanga Parker
April 27- May 11
Meany Studio Theatre

In an old farm house in South Carolina, Ryan and Carol welcome old friends to their home to plan a 15-year high school reunion. The house, decorated like a movie set from Moulin Rouge, reflects Ryan and Carol, who truly believe that reality is overrated. After one intoxicating night together, events start taking frenetic spins in this clever and outrageous comedy.

The Misanthrope
by Moliere
translation by Richard Wilbur
directed by David Crowe
May 25- June 8
Penthouse Theatre

Aghast and appalled by the hypocritical society that surrounds him, the self righteous Alceste decides to tell the truth — only the truth — and nothing but the truth. But just as he commits to his new life, he falls hopelessly in love with a beautiful and dishonest young socialite who embodies everything he despises. Considered one of Moliere’s “most intelligent” plays, this sharply written comedy explores the importance of truth in society.