2015 - 2016 Season


spring 2016

Eumenides production photo

The Eumenides

Directed By: Marcia Ferguson

Penn Museum

April 7-10 at 8pm

The Eumenides is the third play in Aeschylus’ great masterpiece, the tragic trilogy The Oresteia, written more than 2,500 years ago. In response to the pleadings of his sister Electra and at the command of the god Apollo, Orestes has murdered his mother, Clytemnestra, who was wife and murderer of his father Agamemnon. As a consequence, Orestes finds himself tormented by the terrible Furies, hideous ancient goddesses of the underworld divinely charged with punishing blood murders. Guests follow the actors through the Museum’s third floor galleries. Directed by Marcia Ferguson and featuring original music by composer Patrick Lamborn, this production is performed in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania Theatre Arts Program’s Artistic Resident for 2016, Sebastienne Mundheim/White Box Theatre, who will create the production design, with additional support from the Provost’s Interdisciplinary Arts fund. 

April 7 Performance only: On Thursday, April 7th, audiences are invited to join a post-show discussion of the performance with invited panelists.  Participants will include Prof. Sheila Murnaghan (Classics), Prof. Deb Thomas (Anthropology), Sebastienne Mundheim (Theatre Arts 2016 Artistic Resident and production designer), Patrick Lamborn (composer), Manfred Fishbeck (movement consultant) and Marcia Ferguson (director).

fall 2015

Bury the Dead production photo

Bury the Dead

Directed By: James Schlatter

Bruce Montgomery Theatre

November 18-21 at 7pm

  The Theatre Arts Program’s fall production, Bury the Dead, written by Irwin Shaw in 1936, is set, as he states in the script, “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 and all member of the Penn community are welcome to audition.  No experience necessary.  Student veterans are especially welcome to audition, as well as students interested in studying the literature and history of war, or its representation in art, theatre, and cinema.  Participation in the production earns academic credit.

Bury the Dead Veterans Special Events

Veterans Panel


Friday, November 20, 2015

Bruce Mongtomery Theatre
Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
3680 Walnut Street, Philadelphia

Theatre Arts will be presenting a special performance of Bury The Dead on Thursday, November 19 to be followed by a post-show panel featuring Lt. Col. John A. Nagl, veteran of both wars in Iraq and author of KNIFE FIGHTS : A Memoir of Modern War in Theory and Practice and other books. Other post-show panelists will include project director Dr. James F. Schlatter, and other members of the Penn Veterans community. Members of the public are encouraged to attend and participate in this discussion.

October 29 Rehearsal and Veterans Workshop

This workshop was centered around rehearsals for Theatre Arts Program’s fall production of Bury the Dead, a war play by Irwin Shaw, directed by Dr. James F. Schlatter. On this evening, members of the University of Pennsylvania Student Veterans Association (UPSVA) and Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) attended a rehearsal of the play.  Following a discussion with the cast, Warrior Writers of Philadelphia conducted a writing and art-making workshop with the veterans that focused on some of the issues raised in the production.  In particular, they wrote and created art on the subject of “thoughts of home,” which is central to the action of the play and to veterans’ experience during deployment.  Some of the work created will be displayed in the lobby of the Bruce Montgomery Theater, Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, during the run of the production, November 18-21 at 7:00.  

Naked Knotted Neurons

Bruce Montgomery Theatre

August 10-15, 2015 in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Scotland
September 4-5, 2015 at the Bruce Montgomery Theatre in the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Can cognitive neuroscience tell us who we, or the people around us, really are? Can we take puppets at face value? Do puppets have faces? This tragicomic puppet show explores the multiple pweronality in every individeual. Scientific experiments go wonderfully awry when a bunch of theatre artists get their hands on top secret, super powerful puppets, stumbling onto essential biological secrets and accidentally unleashing atomic energy. This devised performance was co-created by students of the University of Pennsylvania, and merges their study of diverse subject areas, ranging from mechanical engineering to theatre to international relations.

Cast of Characters:
CATHLEEN and MOTHER ..... Grayce Hoffman
KATE ..... Josef Hoenzch
ARIANNA .... Aliyah Harris
HAEWON and CRYSTAL .... Claris Park
KEIERA ..... Aizhaneya Carter
OLUFUNMBI and SARAH .... Taiwo Sokan

Directed by Marcia Ferguson
Design and Puppets by Martina Plag