Connecticut Repertory Theatre (CRT) will present Intimate Apparel, from October 25 through November 4, as the first show in its Studio Works Series in the Studio Theatre on the University of Connecticut, Storrs campus.
At 35, Esther is lonely. A skilled African-American seamstress in 1905 Manhattan, she makes exquisite undergarments for clients including a sincere socialite from tony Fifth Avenue and an earnest prostitute. Strong, practical and confident Esther resists her landlady’s insistence on marriage for marriage’s sake while cautiously allowing an unexpected friendship, filled with longing, to grow between her and her fabric merchant, an immigrant Jew. After exchanging letters with a West Indian laborer, Esther finally accepts his invitation and marries this man she has never met. Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage stitches a tale of romance, greed and ambition – and also a tender story of seeking real friendship across the vast social gulf separating a seamstress and a socialite, the yearning of inter-racial as well as inter-faith love, and the persistence of spirit as Esther tries to craft a life as beautiful as one of her camisoles.
Intimate Apparel offers both a historical exploration into the black experience in America in the beginning of the 20th century, as well as a personal exploration into how societal constructs directly affect an individual’s opportunities and choices.
Intimate Apparel won the 2004 New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play, the American Theatre Critics/Steinberg New Play Award and the Outer Critics Circle Best Play Award. Ms. Nottage has received a MacArthur “Genius” Grant (2007), two NAACP Theatre Awards for performance and the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award for a playwright in mid-career (2004). Ms. Nottage won the OBIE Award for Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Ruined in 2009. In 2010, she received the Distinguished Playwright Award.
The Design team includes Maureen Freedman, Scenic Designer; Paul Yeates, Lighting Designer; Janice Ferger, Costume Designer; Jack Nardi, Sound Designer; Anna Woodruff, Dramaturg; and Alayna Graziani, Stage Manager.
The play features graduate acting students Khetanya Henderson as Esther Mills and Colby Lewis as George, as well as undergraduate acting students Whitney Andrews as Mrs. Dickson, Alyson Danielczuk as Mrs. Van Buren, Harrison Haney as Mr. Marks, and Briana Maia as Mayme.
Please call 860-486-2113 or visit www.crt.uconn.edu for tickets or for more information. Evening performances start at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Matinee performances start at 2 p.m. on Saturday, November 3 and Sunday, November 4. The performance schedule is subject to change.
Ticket prices range from $6 - $30.
CRT is the professional producing arm of the Department of Dramatic Arts at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. CRT productions are directed, designed by, and cast with visiting professional artists, including Equity actors, faculty members, and the department’s most advanced student artists. The synergy between professional and advanced student artists creates extraordinary theatre and a unique learning environment.
Photo Credit: Gerry Goodstein