Classic Theatre’s 10th Anniversary Season: What is Home?

Classic Theatre’s 10th Anniversary Season – 2017-2018 – What is Home?

How do we choose plays?

This past year, as Classic looked towards choosing shows for our 10th Anniversary celebration season, the Artistic Directors and Executive Director came together on a weekly basis to look at lists of classic plays we love: plays that are monumental in their time and that continue to be relevant. We looked at surveys from our patrons and input from previous Classic artists. We asked ourselves, “what are some of the best known classic plays that we have not done yet, that have something to say to our particular community today?” We read the plays, shared the plays, discussed the plays, and ultimately chose four of the plays that we felt were masterpieces that were relevant and would be exciting and engaging to our audiences. As we continued to discuss each play and how it connects to our community and ourselves, we found ourselves being drawn to the question of What is Home that each play explores in different ways. We then knew we had found our season – four plays of different genres (a madcap comedy, a modern tragedy, a Chicano coming-of-age drama, and a tragicomedy), each delving into one of the most important questions we will ever ask…

What is Home?

You Can’t Take It With You (Kaufman & Hart) – This 1937 Pulitzer Prize winner is a madcap, idealistic comedy that pits a family of happy-go-lucky non-conformists against a respectable “real” world big business family. It leads the audience to question what is most important in life, and what makes them happy. In You Can’t Take It With You, home is where the freedom to express oneself is. It’s where one can find acceptance and love.

A Doll’s House (Henrik Ibsen) This “modern tragedy” written in 1879 changed theatre forever. It opened the door to realism. So explosive was the message that a marriage was not sacrosanct, that a man’s authority in his home should not go unchallenged, and that the prime duty of anyone was to find out who he or she really is and to become that person, that the play shocked audiences then and still resonates with them today. Sometimes the perfectly presented family and home are not what they seem… Sometimes finding your home means finding yourself first. Our production is set in 1950’s America. Think Mad Men.

Bless me, Ultima (Rudolfo Anya) The Classic Theatre pays homage to Chicano literature pioneer, playwright and 2016 National Medal of Arts recipient, Rudolfo Anaya with a fully staged version of his iconic breakthrough 1972 novel. Anaya lets the audience discover what happens when what we learn and observe goes against what home has taught us to believe. Home takes on many forms; be it a house, a village, or the arms of a familiar healer. This is the story of a young boy who learns to better understand and accept himself and the confusing world around him- a lesson we can all learn from.

The Cherry Orchard (Anton Chekhov) In The Cherry Orchard, home is a place of change – changing culture, changing society, and changing economics, as a family struggles to find their place in a new life. How will they cope? This is incredibly relevant to today, as the play showcases these huge societal changes; the same changes that can be seen sweeping our country in the current political climate. Letting the audience reflect on these parallels can lead to introspective conversation and connections about today’s society, sparking much-needed discussion about who we are and how we cope.

 

 

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