Connecticut Repertory Theatre (CRT) will present Punk Rock, by Simon Stephens, Mar. 28 - Apr. 7, in the Studio Theatre on the Storrs campus. For tickets and information, call 860-486-2113 or visit www.crt.uconn.edu.
Simon Stephens' play Punk Rock, set at a British boarding school, is inspired by the 1999 Columbine shooting, which Stephens says, "felt like the start of the 21st century." Ferociously funny, complex, contemporary and unnerving, Punk Rock explores the underlying jittery tensions, hormonal headiness and potential violence in a group of affluent, articulate 17 year-old students as they begin to plan for college and the rest of their lives. What happens when kids have the world at their feet, and its weight on their shoulders?
Punk Rock will appear on the CRT Studio stage at a particularly relevant time. As lawmakers contemplate, and in some cases enact, gun control laws in the wake of multiple major crises, playwright Simon Stephens' play (written in 2009) peels back the layers of the teenage psyche for a deeper look into the complexities that may cause someone to break. Mr. Stephens, an award-winning English playwright characterized as part of the "in-yer-face" generation, artfully weaves the highly politically charged issue of gun control with a rich portrayal of the turbulence of adolescence. Warning: This show contains political, social and language content that some will find challenging, maybe even offensive.
Artistic Director Vincent J. Cardinal said, "Punk Rock's plot is horrifyingly ripped from today's headlines. Like the very best drama it challenges us to grapple with tragedy by finding compassion for the darkest heart."
Director Kristin Wold said, "This play is unflinching as it takes us into a world that is frightening, a world that we'd rather not look at, a world which explores the danger and latent violence of humanity. It asks the incredibly difficult question of how it is possible for a young person to go into his school and shoot his classmates. The issue is not gun control (handguns are illegal in England), but rather the psychological and social forces at play in the lives of the characters. The brilliance of the play is that it derails the impulse to demonize and blame the characters. We are asked to be courageous, look at them and see if we can understand."
THE CREATIVE TEAM
Kristin Wold (Director) teaches acting and movement in the BFA and MFA Acting programs at the University of Connecticut. Her directing credits for Connecticut Repertory Theatre include The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Abraham Lincoln's Big Gay Dance Party, Thin Air: Tales from a Revolution, North Shore Fish, Judevine, Brutality of Fact and Loose Knit. Since 1987, Ms. Wold has been a member of Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Massachusetts. Her acting credits there include The Tempest(Ariel) with Olympia Dukakis, The Memory of Water (Teresa), Sea Marks (Timothea Stiles), Othello (Emilia), Ice Glen (Sarah Harding), King Lear (Cordelia), Twelfth Night (Viola), Measure For Measure (Isabella) and Berkeley Square (Helen Pettigrew). She is a Master Teacher in movement and text for Shakespeare & Company's renowned professional actor training programs. Ms. Wold studied at Burt Reynold's Jupiter Theatre, Florida State University and with Tadashi Suzuki in Japan.
The Design team includes: Kailey Hays-Lenihan, Scenic Designer; Erika Johnson, Lighting Designer; Matt Iacozza, Costume Designer; Brandon Purstell, Sound Designer; Anna Woodruff, Dramaturg; and Christianne AE Glenn-Long, Stage Manager.
The play features undergraduate acting students: Alyson Danielczuk, Conor Donnally, Thomas Dubinski, Julia Estrada, Shane Tyler Harris, Colleen Labella, John Manning Jr., and Margaret Sulka; as well as localchild actor Courtney Schoeplein.