CMU School of Drama

Monday, September 26, 2016

New Drama Season Proves Laughter Is Best Medicine The School of Drama kicks off its 2016-2017 season with a mixture of old and new plays that reflect on gender politics and social systems through several distinct lenses.

“This year’s productions will use humor as a primary device to shed light on the human condition,” said Peter Cooke, head of the School of Drama. “From Irish politics to a feminist 17th century classic, these plays prove the adage that ‘laughter is the best medicine.’”


Jake Poser said...

This press release is a great one! Well written and highlights all that is happening within the School of Drama, not just the mainstages which often receive the most press. For me, this season, though heavily filled with comedy, is more about social change and justice. The Fall and Spring seasons both offer a piece for everyone but all relate back to social change and politics. When the season was announced last year, the theme was obvious and exciting to many students, me included. School of Drama should be raising the bar and presenting sometimes difficult subject matter on stage. We are the next generation of theater makers, this is the type of theater we need to be producing. The Playboy of the Westernworld scenery, advertising, and costumes all seem somewhat serious in tone, color, and quite realistic. The show is being marketed visually as a drama, but produced as a comedy. I am eager to see how an audience expected one thing reacts to the actual performance. I hope the surprise only adds to the comedy. I am also excited about the extensive period work in all four mainstages this year. Though it is costly I feel it is important to all involved that they be able to work on period pieces before graduating. This season proves a great challenge and learning experience for all involved.

Katherine Sharpless said...

It's great to see the School of Drama's productions represented so well and placed into the context of society at large, specifically concerning gender and politics. This season really does a great job of integrating a variety of shows with current events. Not only can humor be the best medicine, it can be one of the best tools to change and develop our perception of the world around us. Especially when comedy works together with romance and drama, the world around us can seem lighter and and more understandable. I'm really interested in seeing how the CMU Community at large will react to the shows and if they will be able to place today's struggles in these stories from the past. I imagine New Works and Playground will continue the trend and will contribute to the SoD's trend of the year; to use humor to inspire and motivate thespians and audience members alike.

Benjamin King said...

I think so often as students that are involved in individual productions, we forget (at least I know I do), we are part of something larger that is being presented to audiences. The shows we are a part of are part of a larger deliverable that is one thing, the School of Drama 2016-17 season. I think season programming is such an interesting responsibility. At the theatre I worked at this summer, the Artistic Director made it very clear why each show was chosen for the season we were presenting. Twice, I was attending the first preview of a production there and each time, the Artistic Director would give a brief speech about why this play was picked. It must be unbelievably challenging to choose 7 shows (where I worked this summer) that fit together as one season, and to think the volume of shows that are selected each year at the School of Drama. I’m excited to be a part of this year’s season and to see how audiences react to the productions we are fortunate enough to be able to present.