UNCW Department of Theatre Unveils Exciting 2019-20 Season

Friday, August 23, 2019

The UNCW Department of Theatre’s 2019-20 season promises to deliver classic shows sure to please audiences.

“This season has something for everyone, from a world premiere to a classic Shakespearian comedy,” said Thomas Salzman, chair of the UNCW Department of Theatre.

Diana of Dobson’s
Written by Cicely Hamilton
Directed by Robin Post
Sept. 26-29 & Oct. 3-6
Suffragist, actress and playwright, Cicely Hamilton, was a woman ahead of her time. In 1908 she founded the Women’s Writer’s Suffrage League in the UK and her play, Diana of Dobson’s, had its London premiere. The play had an extended run in London and New York and portrays a woman of means, who after being left penniless by her deceased father, finds herself living the life of a “shop-girl” – a form of bonded slavery. She realizes that choices for women are ridiculously limited and after receiving an unexpected sum of money, takes an intentional journey of extravagance while testing what she believes to be the disparities of men and women and the power dynamic that society seems to support. Diana of Dobson’s is a romantic comedy tinged with an edginess that tends toward caustic and sardonic. The play has a wisdom way ahead of its time, making it relatable and relevant. Having just celebrated the 100-year anniversary of women's rights in the UK to be followed by the same in the U.S., it feels like the right time for Diana to reemerge and to potentially contemplate how far we have come.
Darkness: The Enemy Inside
Written by Gianluca Iumiento, Tale Næss, Albert Ostermaier, Kristin Erikisdottir and Sigbjørn Skåden
Directed by Paul Castagno
Nov. 14-17 & 21-24 
Darkness is a new hybrid play written collectively by five European playwrights as part of the EU Collective Plays project (the EUCP involves eight new play projects and more than 50 writers worldwide). This play explores the notion of darkness that is distinctly Scandinavian and illuminates its kaleidoscopic juxtapositions. Darkness explores how the seemingly harmonious Scandinavian society, where everything seems to be solved for you, makes the individual sometimes acutely aware of his or her inner demons. The Nordic group uses the descriptor, “the enemy inside,” to describe this phenomenon. What happens if your happiness becomes solely your own responsibility? Having all your dreams fulfilled can lead to existential crises – here explored from the different vantage points of the writing team from various Scandinavian countries and expressed in folk tales, Norse legends and in reference to the language and natural wonders of the Nordic landscape.

Dr. Castagno has been involved with the EUCP Project since 2015, now serving as editor of its anthology, Collaborative Playwriting: Polyvocal Approaches from the EU Collective Play Project (Routledge 2019). He won the 2018 Oslo International Festival of Acting award for advancing the pedagogy of polyvocal playwriting. (Originally scheduled for April 2019, this show was pushed back due to Hurricane Florence.)
Comedy of Errors
Directed and adapted by Christopher Marino
Feb. 20-23 & Feb. 27-March 2
A somewhat re-imagined Comedy of Errors will be a comedic tale of mistaken identity, love, a shipwreck, and some wonderfully bizarre inhabitants of this most mysterious town.

Written by Christopher Durang 
Directed by Ed Wagenseller
March 26-29 & April 2-5
Originally premiered Off-Broadway in 1976, this classic Durang farce takes a hysterical turn that has very little to do with the ship’s last voyage. Love triangles, illegitimate children and lust all make an appearance in Titanic, along with the infamous iceberg which brought the vessel to its demise and final resting place at the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean…or did it?
--This play has strong language, adult situations and may be unsuitable for children.
The Mainstage shows will take place at Mainstage Theatre in the UNCW Cultural Arts Building. Tickets are $15 for the general public; $12 for seniors, UNCW employees and alumni; and $6 for students (sales tax included). They are available at the Kenan Box Office, by calling 910.962.3500 or online. Tickets can also be purchased in person one hour prior to each show. Show times are 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.
Terry Rogers Scholarship/Student Lab Production:
The Fairytale of Russian Girls
Written by Meg Miroshnik
Directed by Lizzie Bennet ’19
Oct. 24-27
Once upon a time – in 2005 – a 20-year-old girl named Annie returned to her native Russia to brush up on the language and lose her American accent. Underneath a glamorous post-Soviet Moscow studded with dangerously high heels, designer bags and luxe fur coats, she discovers an enchanted motherland teeming with evil stepmothers, wicked witches and ravenous bears. Annie must learn how to become the heroine of a story more mysterious and treacherous than any childhood fairy tale: her own. This subversive story haunts the audience and carries a powerful message for young women living in a world where not everything ends up happily ever after.

Directed, designed, produced and performed by UNCW Theatre students, the Terry Rogers Student Lab/Scholarship production is a great learning experience for our students. Led by faculty mentors, students have the opportunity to present their own production. The guiding principle of this production is to create theatre that is creatively rich in a low-tech environment.

This show will take place at the SRO Blackbox Theatre at the UNCW Cultural Arts Building. The show will run Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. with a matinee showing Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 for the general public and $3 for students.
--Fairley Lloyd ’20