UW News

April 17, 2008

World premier of ‘Fair Play’ kicks off drama school’s Discovery Lab Series

The UW School of Drama presents the world premiere of Fair Play by Seattle playwright Anna Rosa Parker April 27 through May 11 in the Meany Studio Theatre.

As the play opens, Carol and Ryan invite five former classmates to their home to plan a high school reunion, but more is at play than just catching up on old times. Their house, decorated like a movie set from Moulin Rouge, reflects their belief that “reality is overrated.” This escape is something desperately needed by their guests: Dovile, a once-famous writer who gave up her wealth and success to please her “friends;” Melinda, the unpopular girl who became a high powered executive; and Jasmine, a wife stuck in a marriage and life on repeat, exhausted by the looping of events her life has become. Also in attendance are several denizens of the fashion world: Daniel, who works in retail and personally dresses a wealthy woman who keeps him in her hip pocket and French Boy, a dressmaker living in Paris.

This seemingly innocuous reunion between old friends becomes a bewildering event when a bottle of absinthe is introduced. Points of view flip and personalities change as realities are turned upside-down and spin out of control. A vivid collage of theatrical spectacle, Fair Play challenges our notion of what is real and what isn’t. It is a collision of experiences that these characters have with each other, creating unexpected turns and surprises that they discover about themselves along the way. The play is joyful and bold, courageous and experimental, full of twists and turns that reflect our own uncertainties about life itself.

Fair Play is the inaugural production of the new UW School of Drama Discovery Lab series, an innovative program to further contributions to the theatre arts. It will provide members of the drama faculty a place where they can create/research daring new work and new visions in a supportive environment with artists from the community and the student body.

Associate Professor Shanga Parker, the director of Fair Play, said, “Working on new plays has been my primary area of research since arriving at the UW. I have taught Beginning Playwriting and an undergraduate acting class in Solo Performance several times. I have overseen the Professional Actor Training Program’s (PATP) Solo Shows this year. I was a creator of the Original Ten-Minute Play Festival, and Once Upon A Weekend — two projects that are involved in getting students to create their own material. It is a joy to work on a new play with the writer and watch its development toward production.”

In this Lab, MFA acting students from the PATP will work closely with the director and playwright to edit and perfect the play to its premiere. “I look forward to that editing process the most,” said playwright Anna Rosa Parker. “It’s great when actors are bold and make good choices and I love being able to hear the words in action.”

Anna Rosa Parker’s plays have been presented in the Mae West Fest in Seattle, Penthouse Theatre at the UW, Tjarnabio Theatre, the Opera House in Reykjavik Iceland, and Theatre Row (Off-Broadway) in New York City. Her plays include: Eat the Chicken, Plums in New York and Scandinavian Abstract Jazz. They have been described as “…written with obvious passion, a vivid imagination and a distinct talent for writing…”, “…highly innovative that explores universal themes…”, and “…smart and contemporary.”

Tickets are $8 for previews and $15 for all other shows ($10 for students and $12 for seniors). They are available at the UW Arts Ticket Office, 4001 University Way NE, 206-543-4880 and at http://depts.washington.edu/uwdrama.