This is Vassar: The newsletter for Vassar College Alumnae/i and Families

Photo credit: Courtesy of Powerhouse Theatre

The Drama Department Spring Season

Vassar’s drama department has two big productions on its lineup this spring. Over Parents’ Weekend (this coming weekend), Vassar Professor of Drama and Director of Theater Christopher Grabowski will direct Mary Zimmerman’s Tony-winning play Metamorphoses, which uses postmodern techniques to refashion the stories from Ovid’s great poem. “It is exciting to stage this profound and dreamlike tale,” says Professor Grabowski. “Metamorphoses explores the elemental and poetic aspects of Ovid’s classic, while underscoring the difficult, yet salutary, nature of change and changing.”

Mary Zimmerman’s play brings with it a very specific technical challenge. “We’ve had to build a pool onstage,” says Vassar Quarterly editorial assistant Baize Buzan ’10, who is performing in the production. “The Powerhouse,” she says, “now looks like it’s been flooded.” The stage of the theater is currently an eight-inch-deep wading pool, constructed out of fiberglass. A brick-faced stairway, designed to look like it is part of the theater, leads from the center of the pool to a metal sliding door through which gods and goddesses come and go. A four-foot-deep trough — indistinguishable to the audience from the rest of the onstage pool — allows both the divine and the mortal to make watery entrances and exits.

The Experimental Theater of Vassar College will present the play in the Powerhouse Theater April 2–4 at 8:00 p.m.; there will also be a 2:00 p.m. matinee on Saturday, April 4.

For her senior project, Julianna Allen ’09 has created, directed, and choreographed a new theatrical adaptation of the novel Peter and Wendy by J. M. Barrie, titled Fighting from Never/Land: A Badass Production. “Rather than a restatement of the traditional Peter Pan,Never/Land is a new interpretation of the experience of play and childhood,” says Allen, “possibly leaving everyone with a more hopeful outlook on adulthood.” Allen, an aspiring fight choreographer, hopes that her adaptation explores how people “can flourish or suffer with the use of their ability to learn and play, nurture and destroy,” she says. Never/Land will be performed in the Powerhouse April 29–May 1 at 8:00 p.m.

Although both productions are free and open to the public, seating is very limited and reservations are required. For more information, please contact the box office at or telephone 845.437.5584 or 5599. (Note that in Metamorphoses, some content may not be suitable for children.)

Speaking of the Powerhouse, parents of current college-age students and rising high school seniors might be curious to know that the Powerhouse Theater Apprentice Training Program is currently accepting applications. Now in its 25th season, Powerhouse offers young aspiring theater artists a chance to work with emerging and established professionals, and to produce their own shows (such asA Long Fatal Love Chase by Sarah Gmitter, pictured). Applications are due April 17. Learn more at the Powerhouse website.

April 2009

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