SEPT. 21, 2019
Theatre Alumni Staged Reading: Room Service
By Allen Boretz and John Murray
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21
While at Carthage, the cast of the farcical comedy Room Service always said that in 10 years they would get back together and do a staged reading of the show that had so many memories tied to it. Room Service is a farcical comedy about theater people living and producing a play in the White Way Hotel in NYC. The only problem? They have no money to do so. After checking the books, the hotel staff attempt to get this whole production team out. Will the director, producer and theatre troupe find a way to wipe their hotel bill clean before the Regional Manager kicks them to the curb? Fake deaths, squatters rights, zany games of hide and seek, and the age-old theater motto the show must go on at whatever cost all spring to life in this charming comedy. Come enjoy as theatre alumni reunite a decade later to relive this great moment they had at Carthage.
OCT. 4-12, 2019
A Doll’s House, Part 2
By Lucas Hnath
Directed by Herschel Kruger
7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5
3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 6
7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10
7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12
Modernist playwright Henrik Ibsen changed the face of dramatic literature as we knew it. Often referred to as the “father of realism”, his inventive dramas gave way to a new era of theatre. This is especially true of his 1879 drama, A Doll’s House, in which Nora Helmer, a married woman with little opportunity for self-fulfillment, grapples with the confines of her station in life in a way that sparked controversy among its audiences. In the final scene of Ibsen’s 1879 groundbreaking masterwork, Nora Helmer makes the shocking decision to leave her husband and children, and begin a life on her own. This climactic event - when Nora slams the door on everything in her life - instantly propelled world drama into the modern age. In A Doll’s House, Part Two, a sequel crafted in 2017 by award-winning contemporary playwright Lucas Hnath, many years have passed since Nora’s exit. Now, there’s a knock on that same door. Nora has returned. But why? And what will it mean for those she left behind?
OCT. 25-27, 2019
Written by Annie Baker
Directed by Samantha Salmi ’20
7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26
3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27
Produced as part of playwright Annie Baker’s “Vermont plays”, Body Awareness tells the story of a fiery academic psychology professor Phyllis living in the fictional Shirley, Vermont with her equally intellectual partner Joyce, a high school social studies teacher, and Jared, Joyce’s adult son from a previous marriage. At the start of the play, Phyllis is organizing Body Awareness Week at her school. Meanwhile, Jared is displaying symptoms of Asperger’s but refuses to seek professional evaluation, struggles to express himself. Tensions rise when Frank Bonitatibus, a photographer and guest artist of Body Awareness Week, comes to stay with the women and shines a light on the stark differences in Phyllis’s and Joyce’s world views. Described by the New York Times as “An engaging new comedy by a young playwright with a probing, understated voice,” Body Awareness explores themes of love, health, and family in this contemporary one act.
NOV. 1-9, 2019
New Play Initiative: The Handbook
By Laura Schellhardt
Directed by Neil Kristian Scharnick
7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2
3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3
7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7
7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9
Based on true events surrounding the controversy of former New Orleans Saints cheerleader Bailey Davis’s 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 (based on Ms. Davis’s 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.
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. 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. Schellhardt oversees the undergraduate playwriting initiative in the Department of Theatre.
NOV. 11, 2019
Vet Night of the Arts: Stories of Service
7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11
The fourth annual Vet Night of the Arts will once again provide a venue for our community to gather and encounter veteran and non-veteran artists, dedicated to creating meaningful, artistic dialogue about improving life for service members as they return to the civilian world. This year’s event is called Stories of Service, and will feature storytelling and two unique theatrical events:
- Voices of VOW 2019: Hear stories taken from interviews with residents of the VOW Vet Village in Racine. Actors will portray four of the VOW Village residents, telling in their own words about the reality of veteran homelessness, and the beacon of hope provided by the VOW Village.
- “Welcome Back?”: A new play by Martin McClendon. This two-person performance follows the stories of two veterans with very different struggles, transitioning back to civilian life and dealing with wounds inside and out. Ultimately, they find their way home in a world that doesn’t know how to welcome them back. Featuring award-winning Chicago actors and Carthage alumni Alex Johnson ’16 and Elodie Senetra ’13, this event will be followed by a talkback with the artists and members of the Veterans Outreach Community.
Vet Night of the Arts was created as a way to raise awareness and understanding of the lives our veterans lead, and to show them that they are supported and appreciated. Using a combination of performance and visual arts, the event raises money for organizations that provide veterans with financial and emotional support. Donations to these support organizations will be accepted.
NOV. 22-24, 2019
Artistic direction by Stacy Pottinger
7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23
3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 24
The Department of Theatre presents its annual Fall dance production, Shift,which provides opportunities for Carthage dancers to embody new dance works created for them by guest artists, alongside works that have been re-staged and given new life, and new insights by Carthage performers. Shift features a variety of choreographic voices, including regional guest artists and faculty, Stacy Pottinger, Valerie Gonzalez, Jenna Jozefowski, Jenny Barreca, and Juliet Towne. The program will also premiere works by Carthage’s very own emerging choreographers.
FEB. 21-29, 2020
Fighting for Home
By Martin McClendon
Directed by Marcella Kearns
7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22
3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23
7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27
7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 29
Carthage Theatre’s latest verbatim play examines the issues of women in the armed forces. Based on interviews women specifically about issues related to being a female in the military in the last 30 years, “Fighting For Home” will highlight women’s struggles to protect their country from all enemies while they deal with rapidly changing policies and deeply entrenched beliefs within the military. How do the stated military policies and declarations of support match up with the realities confronting women as they fight for their country as well as fighting for a place within the military? We hear from the front lines of a battle to create a safe place—safe meaning free from fear of their fellow soldiers (harassment, assault), free of policies that don’t let them advance, free of stigma, stereotypes, of the “don’t ask/don’t tell” policies going back 30 years, but also of policies that have lifted women up, and of their triumphs and successes, either because of or in spite of, these issues. Stories of courage, hope, and struggle as the United States comes to grips with this vital issue facing us all.
Although women have served alongside men in our armed forces since the beginning of the republic, it was only in 1991 during the Gulf War that they were openly acknowledged to be participating in combat zones. And it was only in 2017 that the first women participated in fully integrated infantry combat training with the US Army. Women have a long history of serving in the military, but the changes of the last three decades have brought them into a new prominence and forced the nation to confront many of its beliefs and prejudices regarding women’s roles in the military and their rights and responsibilities in society at large. Fighting For Home will present stories from the front lines of one of the most significant policy shifts of our time, straight from the women who lived it.
MARCH 27-29, 2020
Baltimore Waltz — CANCELED
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, this event has been canceled.
Written by Paula Voegel
Directed by Joshua Maloney ’20
Presented as a series of comic vignettes, The Baltimore Waltz tells the story of a woman, Ann, and her brother, Carl, who plan to take one last incredible trip around the world. Ann has contracted “Acquired Toilet Disease” (or ATD, as it is referred to), and in an effort to do one last amazing thing, Ann and Carl travel from Paris to Germany. On their trip, the pair search for a miracle cure for Ann’s disease, and meet as many people as they can along the way, all aided by a mysterious character called The Third Man (who plays all other intermittent roles). Full of strange and quirky characters and heartfelt connection, The Baltimore Waltz is Paula Voegel’s semi-autobiographical ode to her late brother. The dynamic combination of farcical silliness and poignant themes make The Baltimore Waltz a show you won’t soon forget.
APRIL 24-MAY 2, 2020
Kiss Me, Kate — CANCELED
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, this event has been canceled.
Music by Cole Porter
Directed by Martin McClendon
Music direction by Jeremy Ryan Mossman
This Cole Porter classic tells the story of a troupe of actors putting on a musical rendition of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. The project is spearheaded by director and producer Fred Graham, who plays Petruchio, alongside his ex-wife, Lilli Vanessi, a movie star playing Katherine in the production. Their vitriolic relationship is evident as they fight about Fred’s interest in the young actress Lois Lane, who is playing Bianca, and Lilli’s engagement to Washington insider Harrison Howell. As they work on the project, old sparks reignite between the duo. Meanwhile, Lois Lane’s boyfriend, Bill, lands the production in hot water with a $10,000 IOU that brings a pair of gangsters to the theatre. Even as passions flare and danger is imminent, the show must go on! Will Lilli and Fred reconcile? Will Bill’s debts be paid? Find out in this delightful musical comedy with music by the incomparable Cole Porter.
MAY 8-9 2020
Away from the Mirror — CANCELED
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, this event has been canceled.
Choreographed by Carthage dance students
The Department of Theatre presents its annual student dance concert, Away From The Mirror, providing Carthage’s emerging artists opportunities to develop their inspirations through dance, to share in the development of their own production, and to engage in community discourse. The program will feature new dance works developed by dance minors in a less produced revelation of the dance-making process.