Oldcastle to Host Family Drama Course
Sally Sugarman, a longtime professor at Bennington College, is joining with the Oldcastle Theatre Company to present a class, ‘The American Family Drama,’ for eight weekly sessions from Tuesday, January 8, through February 26, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Theatre, 331 Main Street in Bennington. Sugarman taught a similar class with other faculty members at the College. The idea for the new class came about during a discussion with Oldcastle’s producing artistic director, Eric Peterson about the breath and diversity of great American plays centered on the family. Several of the plays discussed during that conversation are included in the upcoming course. Every major American playwright has written at least one play about family. The times in which a play is written as well as when it is performed offer insights into what changes and what stays the same. Reading and discussing plays with others not only increases one’s enjoyment of particular plays, but deepens the play-going experience by offering fresh perspectives on how to view all family dramas, on stage and off. The plays the course will examine are: ‘Awake and Sing,’ ‘Long Day’s Journey into Night,’ ‘The Glass Menagerie,’ ‘Death of a Salesman,’ ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?,’ Brighton Beach Memoirs,’ ‘A Raisin in the Sun,’ ‘Buried Child,’ ‘August of Osage County,’ and ‘HIR.’ Some of the course sessions will include film treatments of plays in the series.
“Audience members often stay following a performance to discuss the characters, plot and meaning of a play,” Peterson said recently.”This will be an excellent opportunity to have those discussions with a life-long theatre buff and learned academic. Sally instinctively understands playwriting, plus she is married to a fine playwright. She and her husband, Bob, have a long-running radio program, now a podcast, interviewing directors, actors, playwrights and designers from all the regional theatres in southern Vermont, the Capital District and the Berkshires. These will be fascinating conversations about brilliant, unforgettable plays.” The cost of the class is $140 for the eight sessions. For further information or to sign up, call 802-447-0564 or visit the website at oldcastletheatre.org.