Trevecca’s 2019-2020 theatre season focuses on the classics, with productions of The Importance of Being Earnest and Life Is a Dream anchoring the lineup. Students will also present new works for the stage during the program’s annual MOSAIC performance, set for March 20-21, 2020.
Dr. Jeffrey Frame, director of Trevecca’s theatre program and a professor of dramatic arts and communication, says that while this year’s productions are centered on classics, the familiar stories will be presented in new ways.
“It’s good to just experience something that’s considered a classic,” Frame said. “But it’s also interesting when you take a classic, and you reshape it a little bit to make it more helpful to contemporary audiences.”
That was true for Little Women: The Broadway Musical, which Frame, alumni and students presented earlier this fall. In the spring, students, faculty and friends of the University can take in the program’s production of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest.
Performances are planned for Feb. 20-22 and 27-28 at 7 p.m. in Benson Auditorium, located in the McClurkan Building on Trevecca’s campus. On Feb. 29, theatre goers can choose from a 3 p.m. matinee and a 7 p.m. evening performance.
Dr. Jeffrey Wells, the chair of the Department of Communication Studies, will take on the role of director for this production. While Wells, along with the cast and crew, is still working on concepts for the production, he expects the play to be contemporized a bit.
“The idea is that it’ll be reimagined to a late 1960s setting,” Wells said. “The look will be a little different than the traditional look for the show, but [it’s] a comedy of manners that lots of people know, and a lot of people call it their favorite comedy. People who love the show are going to be able to come see a favorite of theirs, but they’ll also be able to see it reimagined as a more contemporary story.”
About a month later, Trevecca theatre goers will enjoy MOSAIC, set for March 20-21, 2020. Now an annual event, MOSAIC offers an opportunity for students to premiere original works.
“While Trevecca’s dramatic arts students train to produce professional, compelling interpretations of existing work by established playwrights, our emphasis on developing creative, new work has resulted in original, professional screenplays and films, professional staged readings of new plays at festivals and competitions, and nationally award-winning plays written by Trevecca graduates in theatre,” Frame said.
According to Frame, the student-written pieces will be interspersed with original dance and music. Students in Frame’s playwriting workshop class will present 10-minute, one-act scripts during the performances, scheduled for 7 p.m. in Benson Auditorium on March 20-21.
Life Is a Dream will round out the Trevecca theatre season, with performances set for April. The play, written by Pedro Calderón de la Barca during the Spanish golden age, has been updated by recent Pulitzer Prize winner Nilo Cruz.
“[Cruz] has written this incredible translation and adapted it so that it is accessible to contemporary audiences to look at the story again, and not be put off by how difficult the language [is], or how unusual the story is,” Frame said. “He’s made it into something we can experience and understand, and he’s still preserved the beauty of the language in his translation, which is hard to do. I’m really excited about that.”
Life Is a Dream will run from April 16-18 and 23-25, 2020, with performances in Benson Auditorium.