Fall mainstage production: Bury The Dead

Saturday, November 21, 2015 - 7:00pm
University Of Pennsylvania
Theatre Arts Program


This week only:

Opens Wednesday, November 18
Runs through Saturday, November 21
Performances at 7pm
Bruce Montgomery Theatre
Annenberg Center for Performing Arts


Theatre Arts Fall Mainstage Production
Directed by Dr. James F. Schlatter

The Theatre Arts Program’s fall production, Bury the Dead, written by Irwin Shaw in 1936, is set  “in the second year of the war that is to begin tomorrow night.” The scene is an unnamed battlefield somewhere in the world that also serves as the gravesite for six dead American soldiers.  About to be interred, the six young soldiers stand up in their shared grave and plead not to be buried.  This crisis is the focus of Shaw’s harrowing and deeply moving and provocative play, directed by Theatre Arts faculty member, Dr. James F. Schlatter,  Can a war ever end if the dead won’t be buried?  The play will be performed by an ensemble company.
November 18-21, all performances at 7pm.
Tickets on sale at the Annenberg Center Box Office, phone (215)898-3900 and through www.annenbergcenter.org

Penn Art & Culture production photo set

Penn Provost's  Art & Culture

Interview with Project Director
Dr. James Schlatter

Interview by Kathy Vinogradoff for Art & Culture 

Tell me a little about Bury the Dead.


JS: I’ve known about the play for a long time and always thought about doing it. The play deals with a battlefield that has become a gravesite where American soldiers are being buried during the middle of this unnamed war. Just as the soldiers are about to be buried, they stand up and refuse to. So the central question is how they can get these soldiers to lie down and be buried. If they don’t lie down, they’ll stink, and the smell of war will permeate the world, bringing everything to a cataclysmic end. So they try to work out ways to get these young men to lie down and be buried. 

They come to the decision later on in the play that the only way to get the men to lie down is for a woman to talk to each soldier into lying down. A wife comes to talk to a husband, a sister comes to talk to a brother, a girlfriend comes to talk to her fiancé, and so forth. But it doesn’t work.... 


Continue to  the full interview with photos here.