Thirty-two student actors will perform in the Theatre Department's Boston premiere of selections from The Saint Plays collection by Erik Ehn, while five students and alumni assume directing and production roles. The short plays will be staged Nov. 13-16 at Suffolk University’s Modern Theatre.
Professor Wesley Savick directs a fast-paced 90-minute performance that is surprising, innovative and profound. The Saint Plays explore the mysteries of spiritual yearning, human desire, and the eternal quest for the divine. Ehn describes the collection of hundreds of short plays as “contemporary fairy tales for the stage inspired by the lives of saints, biblical characters, and angels.”
Two selections are world premieres
The Theatre Department selected six plays to include in the production, including two world premieres: Burnt Siena, a story of St. Catherine of Siena set in Oklahoma in the 1930s; and Five More, a poetic play inspired by the five sorrowful mysteries. The other plays are The Imp of Simplicity, based on the story of St. Thomas à Kempis; Wholly Joan, celebrating Joan of Arc; 16670, about Maximilian Mary Kolbe, who volunteered to die in place of a stranger at Auschwitz; and The Freak, a piece filled with acrobatics commemorating St. George of dragon-slaying fame.
About the playwright
While the plays are secular in nature, the playwright’s own Catholicism inspired these evocative pieces. Ehn, the head of playwriting and chair of Theatre Studies and Performance Studies at Brown University and former dean of Theatre at the California Institute of the Arts, is a seminal figure in contemporary theater.
Savick is a director, writer and Theatre Department professor specializing in new work, play development, the avant-garde, intercultural performance, and post-modern interpretations of classical theater. He is joined in directing this production by Associate Directors Marina Silva, (Class of 2014) and students Sydney Grant and Raya Malcolm .
The design team includes Sara L. Brown, scenic designer; Paula Peasley-Ninestein, costume designer; student Stephanie Yackovetskey, sound designer; and Bozkurt Karasu, lighting designer. Alumnus Anthony Schiavo is production stage manager. Performances will include live, original music written by Brian Bernhard, Class of 2014), lead singer of the band Rich People Food.
The Saint Plays opens Thursday, Nov. 13, and runs through Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014.