The Modern Theatre at Suffolk University announces the programming lineup for its 2014-2015 season, featuring conversation, film, opera, and new and classic plays.
Ram Slam Your Story
A story slam presented by Suffolk University and massmouth
7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 30
Three seasoned storytellers will each tell an eight-minute story, and then amateur storytellers selected by lottery from an audience that includes Suffolk students will each share a 4-minute story on the chosen theme: YOLO (You Only Live Once). The audience will choose a winner. Massmouth is a Massachusetts-based non-profit committed to increasing the visibility of storytelling. This event is part of ArtWeek Boston.
Molière Malgré Moi (Moliere in Spite of Myself)
Starring Francis Perrin; presented by the French Theatrical Foundation
7:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 5, and Monday, Oct. 6
Discover Molière with the well-known stage, screen, and television actor Francis Perrin in Molière Malgré Moi. Perrin, known for his portrayal of characters such as Scapin, Alceste, and Philinte at the Comédié Française, revisits Molière’s life and career, linking his plays to his personal life and presenting short sequences from his most well-known creations. Molière—the entrepreneur, leader of men, boundless imaginative writer, insatiable lover of women—all come to life in this fascinating and touching play. The show, which has delighted audiences in France during this season’s summer festivals, is uplifting and provides a greater understanding of and appreciation for France’s most famous playwright. The play will be presented in French with English subtitles.
The Pleasures of Being Out of Step
A screening of a documentary film about Nat Hentoff; narrated by Emmy-award winning actor Andre Braugher; presented by the Suffolk Cinema Series.
7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16
A pre-screening performance by the Boston Latin School Jazz Combo will be begin at 6:30 p.m. The Pleasures of Being Out of Step is a documentary film about the life of Nat Hentoff—seminal jazz critic, free-speech activist, and Boston native. Hentoff is a pioneer in the creation of “alternative journalism.” His writing and activism focused on the greatest cultural and political movements of the last 65 years, stretching from the Great Depression to the Patriot Act. The film uses Hentoff’s writings, archival footage, interviews, photographs, and jazz music to explore the themes of liberty and identity. A discussion and Q & A with Nat Hentoff will follow the screening via Skype.
The Wildest Dream: Conquest of Everest
Presented by the Suffolk Cinema Series.
6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 20
This documentary film depicts the expedition and disappearance of British climbers George Mallory and Andrew Irvine on Mount Everest in 1924 and the quest by renowned mountaineer Conrad Anker to recover their bodies 85 years later. The film features archival footage of the trek and is told through the voices of Anker, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Natasha Richardson, and Alan Rickman. The screening will be followed by a discussion with award-winning mountaineer, photographer, author, and Georgy Mallory expert Ed Webster.
Innovation Hub Live with Kara Miller
"You, Inc.: Creativity and Individual Power in the 21st Century”
7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 23
WGBH’s Innovation Hub comes to the Modern Theatre for an exclusive, interactive radio taping. Host Kara Miller will look at whether technology is shifting from big corporations to individuals and small groups. Panelists include Jason Pontin, editor-in-chief of MIT Tech Review; Nicco Mele, author of The End of Big; Jessica Banks, founder of Rock, Paper, Robot; and Karim Lakhani, professor at Harvard Business School and principal investigator of Harvard-NASA Tournament Lab.
The Saint Plays
By Erik Ehn, directed by Wesley Savick; presented by the Suffolk University Theatre Department
Ehn’s short plays resemble contemporary fairy tales for the stage and are inspired by the lives of saints, biblical characters, and angels. The Saint Plays explore spiritual yearning, human conflict, good and evil, and the divine.
A Water Bird Talk and Miss Havisham’s Wedding Night
Two operas by Dominick Argento, with music and stage direction by Gil Rose; presented by Odyssey Opera
8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22
3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 23
A Water Bird Talk features baritone Aaron Engebreth. At a provincial club on the East Coast of the United States in the late 19th century, the Lecturer begins his talk about water birds. At the beginning of the lecture his wife prompts him with coughing and throat-clearing. When she leaves in the disgust, the Lecturer digresses, describing his unhinged home life, his “dominating, ill-tempered wife,” and regret about unfulfilled promises of his youth. Even his daughters make fun of him! At last, his wife returns, and his projector explodes. He leaves the stage.
Miss Havisham’s Wedding Night, based on Charles Dickens’ novel Great Expectations, features soprano Heather Buck. Miss Havisham, deserted by her lover on their nuptial day 50 years before, still wears her wedding attire. As she has done countless times, she describes that catastrophic turning point from so many years ago and imagines what her life could have been.
A New England premiere created for the stage by Julian Crouch and Phelim McDermott; original music and lyrics by The Tiger Lillies; originally conceived and produced by Michael Morris for Cultural Industry, London; directed by Steven Bogart; featuring Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys; co-presented by Company One and Suffolk University
March 6-April 4
Fall into the world of Victorian SteamCRUNK nightmares as a manic music-box spins stories of naughty children and misguided parents. Silly and sinister, Shockheaded Peter, with the musical mayhem of Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys, dares us to ask what’s beneath the floorboards. Don’t miss the most damning tale ever told on stage.
Ariadne auf Naxos
By Georg Benda; presented by Musicians of the Old Post Road
4 p.m. Sunday, April 12
This regional premiere of Benda’s 1775 setting of the Greek myth written in the rare melodrama form—sometimes referred to as “opera without singing”—features the Old Post Road ensemble and actors Marya Lowry and Robert Walsh, founding members of the Actors’ Shakespeare Project. A riveting instrumental score and spoken drama (in English) combine to portray the tale of love and loss, destiny and tragedy, lived by Ariadne and Theseus on the island of Naxos. Mozart was said to have loved this work. This program also showcases a flute concerto and trio sonata by Benda.
Henry VI Part 2
By William Shakespeare; directed by Tina Packer; presented by Actors’ Shakespeare Project
May 13-June 7
Packer, an esteemed director and founder of Shakespeare and Company, will direct Henry VI Part 2, the rarely produced Shakespeare history play, with more characters than any other in the canon and rife with conflicts from days gone by.
Tickets are available online or by calling 866-811-4111. Show times and prices vary. The Modern Theatre at Suffolk University is located at 525 Washington St. in Downtown Boston.
All programming subject to change