A Bright Room Called Day
written by Tony Kushner
Directed by Lindsay Teter
March 29 – April 14, 2019
Fridays and Saturdays: 7:30 p.m., Sunday matinees: 2:00 p.m.
“This age wanted heroes. It got us instead…”
In the face of an erupting volcano, do we struggle? Do we acquiesce? Do we hold fast to our community or let it slip away? Our human spirit can force us to greatness or it can lead us to darkness where we question our basic humanity.
A Bright Room Called Day, by Tony Kushner, epitomizes the struggle against inaction, apathy, and fragmentation. Weimar Germany was a slow explosion. No one could have fathomed that a democracy founded on the hope of German unity would end in totalitarian despotism, and few could have predicted the slaughter that would follow. In this dangerous world we all have a choice. We all have a voice. Kushner’s characters, bohemian artists and dreamers, fight for their better world and see it slip away. They encourage us to ask ourselves how we confront insidious hate, glut for power, and how we can weather the changes in the political climate with hope, solidarity and community.
A Bright Room Called Day is a chilling dramatization of fragmentation, a slow explosion. Set in a democracy facing fatal peril, the stories of our characters ask what happens to hope, solidarity and community in the wake of an overwhelming and evil political tide. Of the democracies that met their fractious end in the 20th century, the death of the Weimar Republic is debatably the most infamous, preluding a second world war that would take as many as 85 million human lives. This nascent democracy, beleaguered by economic instability, internal factionalism, and an inherently flawed constitution, began with the hope of German unity and dissolved beneath autocracy and despotism.
Before the Great Depression of 1929, Weimar Germany enjoyed a period of relative social stability, cultural burgeoning, and economic growth from 1923-1929, known as the “Goldene Zwanziger” or “Golden Twenties.” This Golden Era, marked by notable advancements in labor rights, low unemployment, and cultural advancement (including one of the earliest attempts to legalize homosexuality), welcomed Americanization through jazz, fashion, and film, and saw a stabilization of the hyperinflation that had plagued the Nation. Unfortunately, there were strong countercultures that challenged the democratic order and soon came a conflagration that would stymie many of these efforts for the next 40 years. Post war Germany’s link to American finance through the “Dawes Plan”, an attempt to finance reparations from WWI, had sewn the German economy to the health of the New York Stock Exchange, and when the banks melted in the crash of ‘29, Germany was one of the worst victims.
Unemployment and economic volatility rose sharply, raising the tide of Nationalism with it. Fanning the tumult, conditions in The Treaty of Versailles forced Germany to recognize sole responsibility for WWI. Popularly seen as overbearingly punitive, this “War Guilt Clause,” exacerbated a growing sense among conservative German’s and radical leftists alike, that they had been betrayed by their leadership in this acquiescence to the Allies, encouraging distrust of government. As some longed for a savior or patriarch, others cried for a people’s Revolution and Solidarity. Ultimately, political parties on the Left, including the Communist “KPD” and the majority Social Democratic Party of Germany, or the “SPD,” failed in the ensuing instability to unite against a popular conservative movement that would later destroy any semblance of the Republic. The Nazi’s, by pouncing on the Left’s disorganization, extorting their leader’s conservative hubris, and exacerbating the swelling tide of German Nationalism with racism and fear, deftly assumed the mantle of power and quickly exsanguinated any ideologies that threatened their dominance. Following Hitler’s chancellorship, his government asphyxiated any resistance with the patriarchal arm of its paramilitary S. A. police, alluding to the slaughter that was to come in the holocaust. Democracy is messy; factions are frustrating and slow. Perhaps we don’t realize the freedoms we risk to lose when we court the Devil, until his hand has left our pocket. The hour is late. Welcome to Germany.
April 27, 2019
24-hour Playwrighting, Rehearsing and Performance. One Day Only!
May 9-12, 2019
First-graders write the plays, college students direct and perform them!
Book and Lyrics by Jon Hartmere
Book and Music by Damon Intrabartolo
Directed by Troy Nickerson
May 24 – June 16, 2019
A pulsating, electric contemporary rock opera, bare follows a group of students at a Catholic boarding school as they grapple with issues of sexuality, identity, and the future. As the group attempts to put up a production of Romeo and Juliet, tension flares, self-doubt simmers, and God’s path seems more difficult to find than ever. With heart-pounding lyrics and a cast of bright young characters, bare is a provocative, fresh, and utterly honest look at the dangers of baring your soul, and the consequences of continuing to hide.
(Bare replaces the previously scheduled Threepenny Opera, which will now be seen in the 2019 season.)
Season Show (Closed)
By George Orwell
Adapted for the stage by Michael Gene Sullivan
Directed by Chris Wooley
September 7-23, 2018
Based on the iconic novel by George Orwell, 1984 brings us the story of Winston Smith, a cog in the giant machine state of Oceania. Physically and mentally under the omnipresent eye of Big Brother, Winston has been caught struggling for scraps of love and freedom in a world awash with distrust and violence. With the brutal “help” of four Party Members, Winston is forced to confess his Thoughtcrimes before an unseen inquisitor, and the audience — which acts as a silent witness to his torture. A ferocious and provocative adaptation of one of the most prescient works of literature of the last century.
Suitable for mature audiences only!
CLOSING IT UP
October 11-21, 2018
Written by Stage Left resident playwright Molly Allen
Directed by Heather McHenry-Kroetch
A World Premiere by Stage Left’s Playwright in Residence, Molly Allen.
Discover the delights of family dynamics in this humorous evening of entertainment.
Playwright Festival (Closed)
October 26-28, 2018
Original 10-minute plays from playwrights around the world.
Season Show (Closed)
Written by Sean Devine
Directed by Chris Hansen
November 16 – December 2, 2018
The Long Christmas Ride Home
Written by Paula Vogel
Directed by Susan Hardie
December 13-23, 2018
This hauntingly beautiful play follows a family of five through their emotional Christmas day and more. Their story is told with the help of Japanese style Bunraku puppet theatre performances and corresponding live music, giving the play a magical quality. This journey explores cultures, religions, genders, values, life and death as the family travels to church and grandparent’s home for the holiday.
…“one of the most absorbing evenings of theatre to come along in some time.” – Variety
Season Show (Closed)
The Controversy of Valladolid
by Jean-Claude Carrière, English version by Richard Nelson
Directed by Maynard Villers
January 11-27, 2019
Season Show (Closed)
written by Marina Carr
Directed by Rebecca McNeill
February 22 – March 10, 2019
Troy has fallen. It’s the end of war and the beginning of something else. Something worse. As the cries die down after the final battle, there are reckonings to be made. Humiliated by her defeat and imprisoned by the charismatic victor Agamemnon, the great queen Hecuba must wash the blood of her buried sons from her hands and lead her daughters forward into a world they no longer recognize. Agamemnon has slaughtered his own daughter to win this war. But now another sacrifice is demanded…In a world where human instinct has been ravaged by violence, is everything as it seems in the hearts of the winners and those they have defeated?