Are you tired of CTA? Do you want to see quality theater productions at a fraction of the price? Maybe you just don’t want to schlep into Collegetown. Well, you’re in luck. The student run theatre groups are gearing up for their fall 2000 seasons, with an eclectic mix of comedies, musicals, and poetry.
Gateway Theatre will be performing We Bombed in New Haven from November 17-18 at Risley Theatre. The show is by Joseph Heller, of Catch-22 fame. It is a humorous commentary on the nature of war, and is directed by senior Amanda Birnbaum.
“Gateway is pleased with the way the semester is going. We’ve attracted new people, and that’s what Gateway is about. Our purpose is to provide more of a creative outlet for students than they’d get at CTA,” said Gateway production member Margaret Collins. Gateway scored a hit this past weekend with The Revenger’s Tragedy, which featured Katy Dixon, James Del Rosso, and Upstage Left alum John Sebastian.
Risley has two productions in the making for this semester. The first is Hooked, by student Keelah Calloway. Chris Stubs, General Manager of Risley, notes, “She is excited to see it come to life. She is also directing.”
The show is a character-driven story that focuses on two roommates in New York City. All of the characters are “hooked” on something, but it is the audience’s job to figure out what. The show runs November 10-11.
Risley’s second performance is Downrising, a poetry reading it holds every semester. It is a workshop series, where anyone can get involved. Stubs commented, “I am very excited about this year. We have lots of enthusiasm and energy; I hope it carries into the spring.”
After they blew audiences away last year with a production of Cabaret that would bring Sam Mendes himself to his knees, Brand X will deliver another recent Broadway revival to the Risley stage — You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown. The show is enjoying a lot of hype now, as it recently had a revival at the Ambassador Theatre on Broadway during the summer of 1999. Harvey Young is directing, under producers Rachel Altman and Emily Apsel.
The show is based on Charles Schultz’s popular comic strip, and recounts a day in the life of Charlie Brown. Unfortunately, the group was not able to buy the rights to the revival, which included new songs by Andrew Lippa, so they’re just performing the classic version. The cast of six includes Jenna Grossman (also general manager) and Samuel Knowlton. It runs from November 4-7 in Risley.
Asian American Playhouse
The Asian American Playhouse has two events in the making. Their Fall Showcase (October 14 and 15) will include For Whom the Southern Bell Tolls, Medea, and S.A.M. I Am. Their full length plays will be Zoo Story and Family Life:Three Brutal Comedies, which will run November 10-11.
“The Asian American Playhouse is dedicated to providing the Cornell community with the opportunities to become involved with all aspects of theatre. We welcome members of all colors, but our goals are to challenge the traditional casting and stereotyping of Asian Americans on stage and off,” said the president of the group. And the group certainly challenged expectations last year, with a multi-racial cast of West Side Story.
Coming off the success of last year’s Noises Off and The Odd Couple, Upstage Left will be performing Exit the Body, the hilarious farce by Fred Carmichael. Johnny Merrill is at the helm as director. After performing for several semesters with Brand X, Merrill was excited to join Upstage Left. The show stars Daina Schatz, Howie Goldstein, and Molly Hoyne.
According to Merrill, the show is a murder mystery farce, sort of like the movie Clue. Merrill notes, “In the tradition of any good farce, it has false entrances, mistaken identities, double entendres, and slapstick humor. It’s hysterical.” Exit the Body will go up at Risley Theatre from October 26-29.
Archived article by Daniel Fischer