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A Night at the Theatah
at the on South Coast Repertory Theatre Various Evenings
at 7:45 or 8:00 p.m.
Note to theatah patrons: The promos below were lifted from the SCR website, and only slightly adapted. If you’d like a litle more info, go to <southcoastrepertory.org>. In a Garden
By Howard Korder World Premiere Thur 11 Mar 7:45pm
JULIANNE ARGYROS STAGE Designed by American architect Andrew Hackett, a summer house will adorn the garden of the Culture Minister of Aqaat—if he should live so long. The Culture Minister takes awhile to make up his mind, and likes nothing better than to skirmish over the renderings—plus his favorite Hollywood movies. Will the house be built before the two men, like their countries, change loyalties and find themselves caught up in history? n this cat-and-mouse game, set against a global background, cultures clash and world views are turned upside down. From the acclaimed writer for stage, screen and television—a new play for SCR audiences. In a Garden is not a traditional drama or comedy, but its theme is mesmerizing, and with the great actor Mark Harelik in the role of the Culture Minister, this play will appeal to everyone with a taste for great theater. The Language Archive
By Julia Cho World Premiere Fri 26 Mar or Fri 9 Apr 8:00 pm
SEGERSTROM STAGE George is a brilliant linguist. But he has a communication problem—with his wife, who’s about to leave him, and with his assistant, who can’t bring herself to leave him. This quirky comedy, by one of America’s most exciting young playwrights, proves love is the one language that can leave us all at a loss for words. Crimes of the Heart
By Beth Henley Fri 7 or Sat 8 May 8:00 pm
SEGERSTROM STAGE Babe shot her husband because he looked funny, Meg just hit town from Hollywood and a nervous breakdown, Lenny’s fast becoming an old maid, and today her pet horse got hit by lightning. They’re the Magrath sisters of Hazelhurst, Mississippi, and they’re the invention of SCR favorite Beth Henley, who won the Pulitzer Prize for this play. She may heap tragedy after tragedy upon her heroines, but she does so with love, compassion and a prodigious sense of humor—and then brings out the chocolate cake and lemonade to get them through it all. You’ll want to sit right down at the kitchen table and share their laughter. Student Mantra
(Please repeat 7 times daily) I know that my $10.25 cannot be refunded. I will present my receipt to Meister Whitchurch when requesting my ticket— and will remember to thank him for this glorious theatric opportunity! Arrive Fifteen Minutes Early— g reet yo u r f ri en d s, f in d y ou r sea t , an d en j oy t h e p r o gram n ot es ! Enjoying the Theatah Experience R v o q S One of the more satisfying differences between a play and a film is that at a play we are all united, witnessing a live per-formance by live actors. That lends a distinctive social quality, as individual audiences take on group characteristics. When we laugh, we laugh together. When we are touched, we all share that feeling. And w e can influence the actors. If we sit there like dullards, showing signs of life only by rattling candy wrappers, coughing or whispering, we may deserve the performance we get. On the other hand, when we respond to the performers by laughing at the humor, gasping with alarm, applauding with gusto—communicating our engagement— the actors are more likely to feel inspired, to feel we are at one with them, and to act (forgive the pun) accordingly. Then we’re part of “a good audience,” and everyone has more fun! More so than in film, which relies primarily on images, in a play the dialogue—what a person says and how he or she speaks—is crucial, especially in relation to the other elements. And whereas a large cinema screen allows film actors to register an emotion with a subtle narrowing of the eyes or twitching of the lower lip, stage actors have to keep the back rows in mind. Hence you’ll want to watch their body language and gestures. Pay attention to blocking: the physical placement of the characters in relation to objects or other characters can say much about social, political or moral relationships and attitudes. In a well-written and well-directed play, nothing is inert: everything contributes to the theme or overall effect. When you first take your seat, for example, what do you notice about the set? What mood does it evoke? Later, if the scen ery is changed, how does that affect the mood? How do lighting, music and sound effects affect your responses—and the meaning? What do the activities and interactions of the characters reveal? And costumes—what do they reveal about the characters? (Your clothes say something about you, don’t they?). Finally, how do all these factors contribute to the theme? Important Info Re. South Coast Repertory
Crucial: Come early! If you’re late, you may have to watch the first act on a small monitor screen. Allow time to fight traffic and crowds, park, walk to the theatre, elbow aside dowagers, and fetch your tickets. Directions: From GWC proceed SOUTH on 405 to Bristol. Take the B ristol North o fframp, turning LEFT (NORTH) onto B ristol. (You’ll soon see South Coast Plaza on your left.) Turn RIGHT onto Town Center Drive, driving toward the O range County Center for Performing Arts. Just before you reach it, on your right you’ll see a marquee and a low-slung building: SCR. If you haven’t come from shopping at Sears, pay $8 to park in the multi-story parking structure to your left, diagonally across from SCR. Address: 655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Attire: Neat. You needn’t wear a suit or gown, but look sharp: this is an event, and you are, after all, at the theatah. Clothing varies. Slacks & a shirt/blouse are fine. Wear a turtleneck, sports jacket or cocktail dress if you like. Attitude: Turn o ff cell phones. Do not whisper, twitter or crackle p aper! Do laugh, sigh–and applaud: that encourages the actors! If you’re wondering what to talk about during intermission (or write about in a paper) besides the concession fare, you could also consider a few general points: How do we come to know the characters? Look for: • Appearance or actions. • Conversations with others. • Style: variations in language that reveal the essence of a character. • Soliloquies compared with more public statements. • Imagery: specific images or patterns having a bearing on the character. • Parallels—comparisons and contrasts—with other characters. • Stages by which the characters are developed, either: as they reveal themselves during the course of the play, or as they undergo changes in insight or character. • Motivation: why do they do what they do? How believable are they? How do events of the plot generate meaning in this play? Look at: • The main conflicts. • Minor or secondary conflicts. • Elements of foreshadowing. • How logically (or illogically) events seem to follow from preceding actions. • The turning point or climax of the plot. • Dénouement: how the elements of the plot are resolved or clarified at the end. What is the meaning of the play? What does it all add up to? • During the play, notice the relationship between plot and character to see how the play’s theme d evelops partly through their interaction. Afterward, discuss with your friend or beloved questions like these: • Does the play illustrate a moral truth or insight into life? If so, what? • What traits of human nature does the play reveal? Are the characters compelling and convincing? Why or why not? Is it the acting or the writing that influences your judgment? • What significant symbols and images affect your understanding of the theme? • What powerful passages, lines, or scenes b est evoke the theme(s) of the play? ☞ Nota Bene: If you give something back to the performers, they’ll do a better job for you. So—express your enjoyment! ...
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- Spring '10