Each academic year, the Department of Theatre’s season selection committee and faculty aim to construct show seasons that challenge students artistically and present opportunities for both audiences and artists to consider and discuss themes and issues important to society. Today, the Department announced the exciting performance lineup for the 2018/19 season.

According to department chair, Professor John Benitz, “The theme for the 2018/19 season is Monsters & The Other. Each of these productions explore our human tendency to gravitate to an ‘Us vs. Them’ paradigm that allows and promotes the diminution, social decay and even alleviation of ‘The Other.’ Each show examines the overarching theme from a different vantage point, all the while asking ‘how do we make monsters of those we perceive as different from us?’ ‘In what ways do we act monstrously towards others?’ ‘What is monstrous about ourselves?’ And ‘why do we make monstrous that which we don’t understand?’ While these subjects are serious in nature, the season is also filled with whimsy and teenage angst.”

FALL 2018

Dracula
by Steven Dietz, from the novel by Bram Stoker
Directed by Kari Hayter
Oct. 18–20 & Oct. 25–27

If All the Sky Were Paper
by Andrew Carroll
Directed by John B. Benitz
November 10

This powerful, humorous, and unforgettable play about one man’s search around the world for the “most extraordinary letters ever written,” is based entirely on real life war letters—letters written by soldiers and their loved ones during all wars from the American Revolutionary War to the present emails from Afghanistan.

Vinegar Tom
by Caryl Churchill
Directed by Associate Professor of Theatre Tamiko Washington
November 29–December 8

British playwright Caryl Churchill’s Vinegar Tom is a contemporary work that uses a 17th-century witch hunt to condemn both the past and present oppression of women. Churchill shows how marginalized women, who did not fit into the narrow social categories of the patriarchy, were often labeled witches for their non-conformity. The play explores interlocking systems of oppression such as class, gender, and sexuality, and how these identity constructs continue to be used by a patriarchal society to make monstrous those women who dare to live beyond the norm.

The Laramie Project
by Moisés Kaufman and fellow members of the Tectonic Theater Project
Directed by Trevor Biship
Date TBA

In October 1998 Matthew Shepard was kidnapped, severely beaten and left to die, tied to a fence on the outskirts of Laramie, WY. Five weeks later, Moisés Kaufman and fellow members of the Tectonic Theater Project went to Laramie, and over the course of the next year, conducted more than 200 interviews with people of the town. From these interviews they wrote The Laramie Project, a chronicle of the life of the town of Laramie in the year after the murder. This work is one of the most-performed plays in America today. Chapman’s special reading of this play will feature faculty and student performers as we mark the 20th anniversary of Matthew Shepard’s death, and will serve as a reflection on the decades that have passed since his murder.

SPRING 2019

Avenue Q
Music and Lyrics by Jeff Marx and Robert Lopez
Book by Jeff Whitty
Based on an original concept by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx
Directed by Luke Yankee
February 14–16

A huge Broadway hit,  this musical tells the familiar story of a newly minted college grad named Princeton, who moves into a shoddy New York apartment way out on Avenue Q. He soon realizes that, while his neighbors seem nice, this is certainly not your ordinary neighborhood. Together, Princeton and his new friends struggle to find jobs, find love, and to discover their true purpose in life. Tony Award winner for Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book, this show addresses adult issues humorously in a setting similar to a beloved children’s show you may have grown up watching; a place where puppets are friends, monsters are benevolent, and life lessons are learned.

She Kills Monsters
by Qui Nguyen
Directed by Assistant Professor of Theatre Nick Gabriel
April 25–27 & May 2–4

A journey into the world of fantasy role-playing games, author Qui Nguyen tells the story of Agnes Evans who is mourning the unexpected death of her teenage sister, Tilly. When Agnes finds Tilly’s Dungeons & Dragons notebook, she stumbles into a journey of discovery and action-packed adventure in the imaginary world that was Tilly’s refuge.

Tickets for the entire College of Performing Arts 2018/19 season of dance, music, and theatre events go on sale August 1, 2018. For more information, visit chapman.edu/events, email copatickets@chapman.edu, or call (714) 997-6624.