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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Black Box Theater: Off and Running!

Two weeks ago, the students of UMass Boston inaugurated the theater season with a performance of David Ives’ “English Made Simple” in the Harbor Arts Gallery. Directed by Theater Arts student Charlie Moore, “Simple” proved to be … simply endearing!”

For those who remember “Sure Thing” from the spring semester, “Simple” is similarly a sparkling play full of wit and humor, in this instance focusing on the dark sinister truth of cocktail party conversations.

Heather Phillips captivated the audience as the friend of the hostess, while Tom Beard shined as her admirer. Charlie Moore provided the voice which patiently peeled back the subtext of their conversation.

On Thursday, October 18 – which should be the day you pick up this newspaper – UMB student Jenn Shea will direct “Love Course” by A.R. Gurney. “Love Course” is the story of two professors, two students, one syllabus, and a whole lotta love.

Small World Department: Jenn was one of the two actors in the aforementioned production of “Sure Thing.” You may have also seen her performing in “On the Razzle” with the Burlington Players over the summer. Look for more Jenn onstage in the upcoming Theater Department workshop production of “The Incident At Vichy”.

On November 1, Anton Kress will direct “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead,” Tom Stoppard’s groundbreaking parallel to Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” Roger Ebert was delighted with the Broadway production but appalled by the movie version; perhaps he should stop by the Harbor Arts Gallery and be delighted all over again.

Two weeks later, Jane Walsh will direct LeRoi Jones’ searing “Dutchman.” Described as an “eloquent and exceptionally powerful voice” full of “honest anger,” LeRoi Jones wrote “Dutchman” before changing his name to Amiri Baraka. An exploration of racial tension and hostility, “Dutchman” offers as much to today’s audience as it did in 1964.

In early December, Harbor Arts Gallery curator Ian Boyd will direct Jean-Paul Sartre’s existential masterpiece, “No Exit.” And still later, UMB alum Lorna Noguiera will present a selection of scenes from Shakespeare’s classic love tragedy, “Romeo and Juliet” – the perfect counterpoint to the comedies which open the season.