Coe College 2012-13 theatre season focuses on thorny issues

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Director of Marketing and Public Relations
(319) 399-8605 or

2012-08-03 07:29:54 - General

Plays centered on social structures, racial inequities and family relationships will be staged by the Coe College Department of Theatre Arts during the upcoming 2012-13 season. The offerings range from a newly adapted 19th-century classic exploring the theme of class and racial divide, to an ancient Greek tragedy highlighting the sometimes-conflicting demands of family versus society, to a mystical contemporary play with classic themes of prophecy and fate loosely based on the legend of Medea. The three mainstage productions will feature all-student casts.

Public patrons of Coe theatre productions can purchase individual play tickets now for $8, $6 for seniors and non-Coe students. After Sept. 1, tickets for the general public will be $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors.

For ticket information, call 399-8600, Monday - Friday, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. (summer hours).

All productions are being presented in the Dows Theatre on the Coe campus. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m., except for Sunday performances, which start at 2 p.m. This year's productions include:

"Elephant in the Room" - Sept. 28, 29, 30 and Oct. 4, 5, 6, written by Tisch Jones (under her maiden name of Patricia Rhone). Jones, a recently retired theatre professor at the University of Iowa, is also guest directing the play.

"Elephant in the Room" is a new adaptation of Strindberg's "Miss Julie." Originally an examination of class issues prevalent in Northern Europe during the late 19th century, this drama, in a provocative re-framing, provides us with a peek into the unique complexity that is born out of the collision between race and class in today's world. This "Miss Julie" is a violent and dangerous dance between three characters in antebellum New Orleans, foretelling of the quieter, but equally dangerous way we dance around issues of race today.

"Iphigenia at Aulis" - Nov. 16, 17, 18, 29, 30 and December 1, written by Euripides, translated by Elaine Terranova, directed by Coe Associate Professor of Theatre Arts Steven Marc Weiss.

While stranded with his troops at the port of Aulis, King Agamemnon of Argos faces the toughest decision of his life: should he or should he not yield to the goddess Artemis' directive that he willingly sacrifice his eldest daughter as the only apparent means of conjuring the winds that will allow the Greek troops to set sail in their quest to conquer Troy. At its heartfelt, poignant core, this "family drama" about the conflicting demands of kinship vs. society-at-large is as accessible today as it presumably was when first presented over 2,500 years ago.

"By the Bog of Cats" - April 19, 20, 21, 25, 26 and 27, written by Marina Carr, staged by Coe Associate Professor of Theatre Arts Dennis Barnett.

Moving "between the mythic and the real," this poetic venture into rural Ireland has quickly found its way into the contemporary canon. It is a story of an unrequited love and the ghosts that haunt it. It is a journey into the darkness of human frailty where ancient passions reside and consume the soul, where the past sucks the air out of the present and the future remains an illusive dream.

For more information, call 319-399-8600 or visit