Monday, September 19, 2016

Grossmont College 2016-17 theatre season gets underway


Cast of "Blood Wedding"
William Shakespeare’s classic comedy The Taming of the Shrew and a bilingual performance of Frederico Garcia Lorca’s once-banned Blood Wedding are among the productions set for the 2016-17 season at Grossmont College’s Stagehouse Theatre.

     The fall season opens with Garcia Lorca’s Blood Wedding, a story set in Spain and inspired by a sensational crime detailed in a newspaper clipping. The play, which includes both Spanish- and English-speaking actors, unveils how a bride runs from her groom on her wedding day and into the arms of a former lover – the son of the man who killed her father. Essentially left at the altar, the groom vows to set out to find and kill his would-be wife’s lover. The play, considered a classic of 20th century drama, was banned during former Spanish dictator’s Francisco Franco’s reign. Directed by Rob Lutfy, performance dates are Oct. 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, and 15 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 8 and 15 at 2 p.m.

      Directed by Jerry Hager and based on a children’s book, Blue explores bullying and offers a message of tolerance and inclusion, all set within the colorful world of the circus big top. “Blue” is a quiet clown in the Circus of Colors. “Red” is the ringmaster who picks on “Blue.” The other clowns don’t like what they see, but what can they do? Blue is this year’s children’s touring show, but will be performed for all audiences at the Stagehouse Theatre on Oct. 28 and 29 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 29 at 2 p.m.

     Directed by Grossmont College Theatre Arts Department Chair Beth Duggan, These Shining Lives is set during the 1920s in Ottawa, Ill., and recounts the true story of several women who landed a well-paying factory job – unusual for the time – adorning the hour markings on clocks and watches with glow-in-the-dark radium paint whose dangerously radioactive properties are unknown by the workers and downplayed by their bosses. These Shining Lives, written by Melanie Marnich, details their deadly ordeal in a search for justice that left a legacy of better working conditions for future generations. Performance dates are Dec. 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, and 10 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 3 and 10 at 2 p.m.

     Directed by Jerry Hager, Inside the Actor’s Process: Ensemble is this year’s high school touring show, an annual presentation offering audiences at peek at the actor’s process of discovering their character by continually looking to the text with a fresh perspective. Viewers will watch as each reading and re-reading of the script has the potential to unlock new discoveries and new ways of bringing the story to life for an audience. Inside the Actor’s Process is performed at more than a dozen San Diego County high schools to expose teens to the finer points of stage performance. Stagehouse Theatre performances on Feb. 3 and 4 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 4 at 2 p.m. are open to the public.

     Directed by Jeannette Thomas, A Piece of My Heart is the Shirley Lauro classic about a group of unsung American women who served in Vietnam and are left grappling with the senselessness of the conflict and a nation that turned against them. Underscored by the music that defined a generation, this prize-winning play is a compelling, vivid, moving piece of theatre that will take the audience on an unforgettable journey. Performance dates are March 16, 17, 18, 23, 24 and 25 at 7:30 p.m. and March 18 and 25 at 2 p.m.

     A special deaf and hearing production of The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler is a joint presentation of Grossmont College’s Theatre Arts and American Sign Language departments, with proceeds from this special fundraising event supporting Grossmont College’s American Sign Language program and the Theatre Department’s Summer Conservatory. Because of adult language and content, no one under the age of 18 will be admitted. Performances will be held in Room 220 on April 14 and 15 at 7:30 p.m.

     The 2016-17 season concludes with a production of William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. Written between 1590 and 1592, Shakespeare’s bawdy comedy about the politics of love and marriage remains relevant no matter the time period.  Taming of the Shrew explodes with fun as Petruchio and Kate, each as hard-headed as the other, manage their wild game of courtship. Yet this production marries the Bard’s classic text with a modern setting. Directed by Brian Rickel, performance dates are May 11, 12, 13, 18, 19 and 20 at 7:30 p.m. and May 13 and 20 at 2 p.m.

     Tickets, including a season ticket plan, can be purchased by phone, online, or at the box office. For online tickets, visit www.grossmont.edu/theatrebrochure. By Phone, call (619) 644-7234. The box office is at Grossmont College, Building 22A/Room 200A1 (Back of Parking Lot #1) The box office opens one hour prior to each production.

      More information about the productions, including prices, is at www.grossmont.edu/theatrebrochure.