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Carthage Theatre Presents: ‘The Handbook’

Time: 7:30pm CST November 9

Location: Wartburg Theatre

Carthage Theatre’s 11th annual New Play Initiative welcomes Laura Schellhardt with the world premiere of “The Handbook” November 1-9 in the Wartburg Theatre, directed by Professor Neil Kristian Scharnick.

Based on true events surrounding the controversy of former New Orleans Saints cheerleader Bailey Davis’ dismissal, “The Handbook” is an incisive account of the rampant discrimination in the world of professional cheerleading and the effects it has on the cheerleaders. The play follows members of the fictitious Flames NFL cheerleading team and begins with the controversy of veteran cheerleader Laney’s termination from the team, which is based on Ms. Davis’ account.

Throughout the play, the Flames face discrimination at every turn: they must adhere to strict rules not imposed on male athletes, they must pass objectifying physical examinations, and they feel left to their own devices to protect themselves from unwanted advances. Through it all, the Flames cheerleaders must rely on their sisterhood to take care of one another and maintain their dignity despite every injustice threatening to take it from them.

Exposing ugly truths with lovable and complex characters, “The Handbook” is a call to action to level the playing field for women in sports and beyond.

Talkback Information

Former New Orleans Saints cheerleader Bailey Davis and former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader Erica Wilkins will join the cast for a talkback after the opening night performance on Nov. 1.

Former Miami Dolphins cheerleader Kristan Ann Ware will join the cast for talkbacks after the performances on Nov. 7-9. 

Ticket Information

Showtimes:
Nov. 1-2 | 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 3 | 3 p.m.
Nov. 7-9 | 7:30 p.m.

Tickets:
Adults $14
Seniors (55+) $10
Students* $8

To purchase tickets, please visit www.carthage.edu/tickets 24/7 or call the Fine Arts Box Office at 262-551-6661 Tuesday to Friday, noon to 5 p.m. This play contains content that may not be suitable for children.

*Carthage students, faculty, and staff receive complimentary ticket(s) for this event. Please visit www.carthage.edu/fine-arts/box-office for ticket information and policies, or contact the Fine Arts Box Office with any additional questions. All complimentary ticket reservations must be redeemed in-person with a Carthage photo I.D. at the Box Office. Email or phone reservations will not be accepted.

The Wartburg Theatre is located inside the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Natural and Social Sciences.

About the playwright

Laura Schellhardt is a playwright and adaptor. Her original works include “Upright Grand,” “Air Guitar High,” “Auctioning the Ainsleys” (Jeff Award Nominee), “The Apothecary’s Daughter,” “How to Remove Blood From a Carpet,” “The K of D” (Jeff Award Nominee, 2010 NYC Fringe Festival Best New Play Award), “Courting Vampires,” “Shapeshifter,” “Inheritance,” and “Je Ne Sais Quoi.” Her adaptations include “The Phantom Tollbooth,” “The Mysteries of Harris Burdick,” “The Outfit” (Jeff Award Nominee), and “Creole Folktales.” She is also the author of “Screenwriting for Dummies.” Schellhardt is a recipient of the TCG National Playwriting Residency, the Jerome Fellowship, the New Play Award from ACT in Seattle, and a Dramatist Guild Playwriting Fellowship. She has participated in the SoHo Rep Writer/Director Lab, the Women Playwrights Festival at SRC, The Kennedy Center’s New Voices/New Visions Festival, The Bonderman TYA Symposium, and the O’Neill National Playwright’s Festival. She received her graduate degree from Brown University, under the tutelage of Paula Vogel.

  • ‘The Handbook’ poster

Location: Wartburg Theatre