Denison University Theatre Opens Season With Story of 'Intimate Apparel'
Posted: September 15, 2007
The Denison University Department of Theatre will open its 2007-2008 season with a play that won the 2004 New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Play. "Intimate Apparel" by Lynn Nottage is directed by Associate Professor Peter Pauze, chair of the department. The production will open at 8 p.m. on Friday (Sept. 28) in the Ace Morgan Theatre and will continue on Saturday (Sept. 29) and Tuesday through Saturday (Oct. 2-6). Tickets are available at the box office or by calling 740-587-6527. General admission is $8, senior citizens $5 and students $4.
Set in New York City in 1905, "Intimate Apparel" tells the story of Esther, a black seamstress living in a boarding house where she sews intimate apparel for clients who range from wealthy white patrons to prostitutes. The six characters of this award-winning play "wear" the intimate, emotional underpinning of race, class, education, hope or despair. It is this psychological clothing that shapes their destinies. The play is a bittersweet tale of one woman who triumphs over life's adversities because she wears the ineffable quality of "heart," the most intimate apparel of all.
"On one level," says Pauze, "this is a simple, lovely, bittersweet tale of ordinary people trying to play the cards that life has dealt them. On another level, 'Intimate Apparel' is powerful social commentary that exposes the fault lines of race, class, and religion that divide America to this day. The fact that the play manages to do that without becoming a polemic or dehumanizing its characters is a tribute to Lynn Nottage's skill as a playwright. This is a play that moves you intellectually and emotionally in equal parts."
Nottage is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2005 Obie Award for Playwriting for her play "Fabulation," and the 2005 National Black Theatre Festival August Wilson Playwriting Award. A graduate of Brown University and the Yale School of Drama, the Brooklyn playwright now is a visiting lecturer at Yale. She has won fellowships from both the New York Foundation for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation and, this year, was awarded the Lucille Lortel Foundation Fellowship.
Students appearing on stage include: Jordan King '09 (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) as Esther; Jessica Blaise '10 (Mattapan, Mass.) as Mrs. Dickson; Danya El Zein '08 (Dayton) as Mrs. Van Buren; Stephen Geering '09 (Mason, Ohio) as Mr. Marks; Natasha Wright '10 (Aurora, Colo.) as Mayme; and Marcus Eagan '11 (Detroit) as George. Jonathan Gardner '09 (Charlotte, N.C.) serves as assistant director, Kehler Relick '08 (Springboro, Ohio), as costume designer, and Kathleen Munford '10 (Crawfordsville, Ind.) as stage manager. Vail Artists-in-Residence Tammy Honesty and Jeffrey Gress are scenic designer and lighting designer, respectively.
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CALENDAR LISTING: Denison University, Granville -- The Department of Theatre presents "Intimate Apparel" by Lynn Nottage; 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday (Sept. 28-29) and Tuesday through Saturday (Oct. 2-6), Ace Morgan Theatre (211 W. College St.). Open to the public; general admission is $8; senior citizens $5; students $4. Call (740) 587-6527 to reserve seats or confirm information.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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