The Yale Repertory Theatre has announced its 35th Anniversary Season schedule. The autumn of 2000 will mark three important milestones for Yale Rep: the university is one year short of its 2001 tercentennial, the Yale School of Drama marks its 75th year and Yale Rep (the professional extension of the School) observes its 35th anniversary.
The Yale Rep season will include the following six productions:
Yale's season begins Sept. 14 with Mump and Smoot in Something Else with Zug. The show features two clowns in humorous sketches, all performed "in Ummonian, an invented language native to Mump and Smoot's universe, Umino, and the tongue of the clowns' god, Ummo." Michael Kennard (Mump) and John Turner ( Smoot) have been Yale Repertory Theatre associate artists since 1993. Mump and Smoot in Something Else with Zug runs through Oct. 7.
Next on the schedule is the world premiere of Sunil Kuruvilla's Rice Boy, which takes the second slot at Yale Rep. Directed by Liz Diamond, Rice Boy runs Oct. 19 - Nov. 11. In Rice Boy, a young boy sits in a tree overlooking "a world of memories and cross-cultural tales spanning the plains of Canada and 1975 India." A Canadian and 1999 graduate of Yale School of Drama 's playwriting program, Kuruvilla received workshop readings of Rice Boy at Mark Taper Forum's New Works Fest, New York Theatre Workshop's "Just Add Water" series and The Public Theater's New Work Now! festival. This June, he will workshop Fighting Words for South Coast Repertory, where he is also commissioned to write a new play. Director Liz Diamond is a resident director at Yale Repertory Theatre, where she recently staged Betrayal, as well as The Cure at Troy, Mrs. Warren's Profession, St. Joan of the Stockyards, The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World, and The America Play, among others. Recently, Diamond directed Phedre at American Repertory Theatre and she will direct The Trojan Women at Oregon Shakespeare Festival later this summer. Diamond has received an Obie award and a Connecticut Critics Circle award and she teaches directing at the Yale School of Drama. She also serves as the senior artistic associate at Harvard University's Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue.
Third in line is a staging of William Congreve's The Way of the World which will be directed by Yale rep's artistic director, Stan Wojewodski. A social satire, The Way of the World debuted in 1700, which also happens to be the year of Yale's founding. The story involves "multiple courses to betrayal, wealth, extra-marital dalliances and the first pre-nuptial agreement." The show runs Feb. 8 - Mar. 3, 2001. Next up is George F. Walker's exploration of cultural identity, Heaven which runs Nov. 24 - Dec. 16. Directed by Evan Yionoulis, Heaven is the story of a "human rights lawyer and perpetual cynic who watches his life crumble around him only to find that the afterlife may further defy his expectations." Director Yionoulis has been a resident director at Yale Repertory Theatre and chair of the acting program at Yale School of Drama since the fall of 1998. At Yale Rep, she directed Galileo, as well as the world premiere ofPetersburg. She has earned an Obie Award, a DramaLogue Award and the 1995 Oppenheimer Award. Yionoulis is a graduate of Yale College and Yale School of Drama.
The fifth offering of the season involves a nine-year tradition of presenting a "special project of Yale School of Drama's graduating acting class." The tradition continues this season with a world-premiere adaptation of Aristophanes' classic comedy The Birds. Directed by Christopher Bayes, The Birds will run Mar. 22 - Apr. 14. Director Christopher Bayes' New York credits include Red Noses, The Big Day (a clown show), Four by Feydeau, Ubu Roi and Wreckage. Known best for his work in physical comedy and clowning, Bayes received a 1999-2000 Fox Foundation Fellowship and is currently on the faculty of Yale School of Drama, Juilliard, New York University and The Actors Center.
Yale's season closes with 1929's Big Night by Dawn Powell, running Apr. 26 - May 19, 2001. Originally titled The Party and later produced as Big Night, this domestic tragicomedy takes a look at what happens when "the board room and the bedroom work hand in glove." In Big Night, Ed Bonney woos a big account with "good whiskey, fine food and a Broadway singer to belt a couple of tunes, until his wife balks at being part of the entertainment." Powell wrote more than 100 stories and several novels and counted among her friends Ernest Hemingway, e.e. cummings, Jean-Paul Sartre, Samuel Beckett and Dorothy Parker. Big Night was first produced by the Group Theater.
Subscription packages range from $60 to $220 and individual tickets for all Yale Rep productions range in price from $20 to $36. For more information call Yale Rep at (203) 432-1234.
-- By Murdoch McBride