Grove City College’s Theatre Program is bringing drama back to the stage on March 16 with a series of three award-winning plays performed in front of a limited audience.
Students will stage “A Walk in the Woods” and “Eleemosynary” by Lee Blessing and “Art” by Yasmina Reza in Ketler Auditorium of the Pew Fine Arts Center on a rotating schedule from Tuesday, March 16 to Saturday, March 20.
Only students, faculty and staff of the College will be admitted and audiences for each performances will be limited to 275 people, or about half of the hall’s capacity. Audiences will be required to wear masks and observe responsible social distancing under the College’s coronavirus policy.
Program Director and Professor of English and Theatre Betsy J. Craig ’77 said the award-winning plays, originally produced in the 1980s and 1990s to critical success, were chosen for a reason. The Theatre Program is committed to performing plays that inspire and invite interesting – though not always easy-to-have – conversations.
“All three plays are both funny and … problematic. They tackle some difficult questions that aren’t easy for any of us, but do so in an entertaining and thought-provoking way,” Craig said. The subject matter and situations also makes the plays “excellent addendums” for some classes at the College, she said.
“For instance, ‘Eleemosynary’ is a play about difficult family relations between a grandmother, daughter and granddaughter. ‘Art’ is a relational drama around the value of contemporary art that shows how a good friendship can devolve over petty opinion differences – but it also gives a very real discussion on the value of contemporary art and deconstruction,” Craig said.
“’A Walk in the Woods’ is loosely based on the real story of Soviet and American arms negotiators. It has been used in everything from interpersonal training to political negotiation training. The play is focused more on the ‘people’ side of the negotiation than the arms side of things – how negotiations break down and why,” Craig said.
“A Walk in the Woods” will be performed at 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 16; 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 17; 4 p.m. Friday, March 19; and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 20.
“Eleemosynary” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 16; 5 p.m. Thursday, March 18; 8:30 p.m. Friday, March 19; and 2 p.m. Saturday, March 20.
“Art” will be performed at 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 17; 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 18; 6:30 p.m. Friday, March 19; and 5 p.m. Saturday, March 20.
Theater has long been a big part of Grove City College campus life, with students from a variety of majors participating in major musical and dramatic productions each semester and smaller, more intimate shows throughout the year, including one-act festivals sponsored by the theater honorary Tau Alpha Pi and an annual Children’s Theatre show presented for area school children. Shows are directed by both students and faculty. Students can earn credit by working on College productions or pursue a minor in theatre. The Theatre Program has been nationally recognized with invitations to the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.