A Night in the Dungeon

Press Release Edited by Sarah Wallace

Maria Fornes ‘14 and Jane Huffman ’15 direct their own choice of theatre as a part of the annual Senior Performance Series.

A scene from "What She Wills: An Evening with Shakespeare" by senior Arshia Will, featuring Lindsay Worthington in white and Johanna Drentlaw in the chair. Photo provided by Arshia Will.

Two of Kalamazoo College’s students have chosen to increase the heavy winter quarter load by devoting countless hours to a daunting task–directing. From February 13-16 in the Dungeon Theatre, their own theatre will be featured for the Kalamazoo community to see.

Festival Playhouse’s Senior Performances Series is an annual fixture of the College’s Theatre Arts Department. This year, senior and junior directors Arshia Will ‘14 and Huffman ’15 will share their work. This quarter, Huffman directed Maria Irene Fornes’ Mud and Will has directed a compilation of Shakespeare scenes titled What She Wills.

Maria Irene Fornes’ play Mud is a Two Act play with seventeen scenes, in which the characters Mae, Henry, and Lloyd are swept into a dysfunctional “love triangle” by necessity and compulsion.

One reason Huffman chose to direct Mud because she sees the character Mae as later-day Antigone.

“Cunningly and aggressively, she [Mae] subverts the paradigms that oppress her. She is a mirror. She is a call to action. She is a singular voice that resounds with that of countless women who have been rendered voiceless,” said Huffman.

In What She Wills, Will also wanted to bring to life the voices of Shakespeare that were never heard, because they were never played. Every role in Shakespeare’s time was played by men, and so her play has provided an opportunity for Shakespeare’s female characters to be heard from a woman’s perspective.

“The women characters he created are complex and compelling. What She Wills takes these famous Shakespearean women and puts them into new environments and under ‘new lights.’ It illustrates how enduring and relevant Shakespeare is today,” said Wills.

Both works offer two highly contrasting portrayals of women—one places Shakespeare’s female characters in a new setting with fresh voices; the other portrays a woman’s uncompromising effort to carve out her own life amidst severe poverty and abusive relationships.

The Senior Performance Series continues the tradition of featuring the work of Kalamazoo College students creating their own theatre.

The show will open on Thursday, February 13, at 7:30pm, and run Friday and Saturday, February 14 and 15, at 8pm. The show closes on Sunday, February 16, at 2pm. Tickets are $5 and may be purchased at the door. For more information about these – and the remainder of Festival Playhouse’s golden anniversary season (including The Firebugs and Peer Gynt) – call 269.337.7333 or visit www.kzoo.edu/theatre.

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