Department of Theatre

UNCW Theatre Presents Getting Out

The UNCW Theatre Department opens their 2018-2019 production season with Getting Out by Marsha Norman. Norman received the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her play “’night, Mother.” Her other career highlights include writing the libretto for the musical The Color Purple and winning a Tony Award for the book and lyrics to the musical The Secret Garden.

Getting Out is the story of Arlene, who has just been deemed “completely rehabilitated” from serving an eight-year prison sentence for robbery, attempted kidnapping, and murder. Throughout the play Arlene is trying to navigate her way through her post-prison life, while avoiding falling back into old habits that got her into jail in the first place. Mixing the past and the present, we catch glimpses of Arlene’s younger self and more violent self, Arlie, through memories and flashbacks. Director Dr. Anne Berkeley notes, “this superimposition creates a third dimension that exists in the pervasive intervention of Arlene’s memories as she attempts to cope with her first day on the outside.” 

Getting Out is a play that does not offer any simple solutions or explanations, but it does provide an inside look into what comes after “completely rehabilitated” ex-cons are sent back into the real world, which in many cases is back into the environment that contributed to them being sent to prison. Thus, return to prison is always a possibility for incarcerated people—especially when they are left adrift with few prospects upon release. Even though Arlene’s future is unpredictable, Norman still shows us that there is always a sliver of hope in any situation.

Getting Out contains profanity and depictions of assault and harassment that may not be suitable for children under the age of 14. 

Getting Out will run November 8-11 and 15-18 on the Mainstage Theatre in UNCW’s Cultural Arts Building. Show times on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday performances are at 8pm and Sunday performances are at 2pm.

Tickets for Getting Out are $15 for the general public, $12 for seniors, UNCW Alum, and UNCW Faculty and Staff, and $6 for students. Tickets are available for purchase at the Kenan Box Office on UNCW’s campus, by calling 910.962.3500, or online at their website, Tickets can also be bought in person an hour before the show on show dates.