The Lortel Festival of New Plays by Women this Weekend
Theatre Fairfield, the resident production company at Fairfield University, is reviving its festival of new plays with Theatre in the Raw: The Lucille Lortel Festival of New Plays written by American Women as part of its season dedicated to celebrating American women playwrights.
Performances will take place at Fairfield University’s PepsiCo Theatre on Dec. 3 and 5 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 6 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 general admission, $6 seniors and University staff and $5 students. Tickets are available through the Quick Center Box Office: 203-254-4010.
The production is underwritten by the Estate of Lucille Lortel, whose wish was that Theatre Fairfield carry on her pioneering work in developing new American plays and playwrights. After a contest held in June 2015 called for submissions from professional and student playwrights, the chosen works are What Happened to Noura? by professional playwright Noura Embabi, Mechanics of Love by professional playwright Dipika Guha, and Anything, by Fairfield student Kelly Sheridan ’18.
What Happened to Noura follows the story of a girl who wishes to disassociate herself from the Muslim religion, much to the disappointment of her family. Anything shows the relationship between two best friends while one of them struggles to complete an essay about what is important to her. Mechanics of Love tells of the odd, yet interesting relationship between four unique characters: a ballerina, a man who forgets everything and his wife, and a mechanic.
Director Jackob Hofmann is no stranger to playwriting and introducing new works to the stage. In addition to directing, he is also an accomplished playwright. “I love working on new material,” he said. “I base most of my career on new works and nothing excites me more than bringing those works to life. I love exploring fertile ground and territory that hasn’t been covered before. I get to learn about things I never considered before. In this case, for example, I got to examine the Muslim religion and the inner workings of a college undergrad’s mind,” said Hofmann.
Assisting Hofmann on the production team are Dr. Martha Schmoyer LoMonaco and Professor Lynne Porter, co-producers; Lynne Porter, lighting designer; Julie Leavitt, costume designer; Jeremy Jenkins, technical director; Jessie Lizotte ’18, stage manager; and Maddie Craig ’19, assistant stage manager. The cast features Patrick Donegan ’18, Shannon Kelley ’19, Jordan Mason ’19, Brendan McNamara ’17, Romina Rabines ’19, Michelle Rakowsky ’17, Tori Schuchmann ’17, Aubrey Sierer ’17 and Nick Solimini ’17.
Theatre Fairfield is Fairfield University’s resident production company. The theatre program at Fairfield offers students a liberal arts education infused with the theoretical and practical aspects of the theatre profession. Theatre Fairfield produces three or more productions every year and serves as a platform for community engagement as well a positive and professional learning environment.
By Patrick Donegan '18
Pictured top left: Mechanics of Love. (L-R) Patrick Donegan '18 and Brendan McNamara '17 (not pictured: Michelle Rakowsky '17 and Aubrey Sierer '16)
Pictured middle right: What Happened to Noura? (L-R) Nick Solimini '16, Romina Rabines '19, Tori Schuchmann '16 and Shannon Kelley '19
Pictured bottom right: Anything. (L-R) Brendan McNamara '17 and Jordan Mason '19