A play reading class with online discussions and performances, curated and led by Northern Stage and our family of artists.
In response to the social isolation demanded of all of us during the coronavirus pandemic, we invite you to join Northern Stage for Play Date. Curated by Northern Stage and presented each week by a different artist, Play Date dives deep into some of the greatest plays and playwrights. Participants will read a new play every week and then come together at the end of the week for a conversation via Zoom (an online video-streaming platform). Each session will begin with a talk by the guest speaker about the play, its history, its importance in the canon, and their experience with the play. Scenes will be performed live by favorite Northern Stage artists who will join from their individual locations.
The play titles will be announced two weeks prior to each Play Date so there is ample time to acquire and read them. We hope you will support local bookstores by purchasing the plays through them. Anyone having difficulty obtaining the plays can email email@example.com for assistance.
WHEN: Every Friday from 4:00 to 5:30 PM EST beginning on Friday, April 3, 2020. End date TBD. Class schedule below. You do not need to participate in every class session, but we hope you’ll join us for as many as you can!
WHERE: Online via Zoom. Students will be given information on logging into Zoom once they have registered. Northern Stage has used Zoom for its online conferences since 2018, so we are adept at using the technology and excited to share its possibility with all, techno savvy and luddite alike!
COST: We acknowledge that many members of our community are experiencing financial insecurity due to this pandemic and therefore we are not charging tuition for this program. That being said, even the most vibrant not-for-profit theater companies operate with a narrow margin between success and failure, and a challenge like this is unprecedented in our lifetime. We hope those who are able will make a donation of $30+ per class, but gifts of every size are appreciated. Thank you for your consideration. Click here to donate.
Reading Tips & More from the Hosts
Participants can click HERE to access notes from each Play Date host, including script-reading tips, videos, and more.
Friday, April 3, 4:00 – 5:30 PM – The Seagull by Anton Chekhov, Hosted by Carol Dunne “This is one of my very favorite plays of all time. Anton Chekhov was the master of writing about the little triumphs and tragedies of everyday life. The Seagull plot revolves around the relationship between an aging diva Arkadina, her younger lover Trigorin (a famous but mediocre author), her completely neglected son Konstantin, who craves fame as a playwright in order to win his mother’s attention, and Konstantin’s love interest Nina, who lives on a neighboring farm in this rural Russian community. Nina is desperate to be a famous actress and becomes entangled in the lives of the other three. The Seagull is at once hysterically funny and heartbreakingly real. In addition to having an in-depth conversation about the play, a scene will be performed live by favorite Northern Stage artists who will join from their individual locations.” – Carol Dunne
Friday, April 10, 4:00 – 5:30 PM – Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl, Hosted by Eric Love You’ve heard of Orpheus, the legendary musician whose singing was so beautiful that even stones would weep. But what do you know about his bride, Eurydice? This beloved greek myth has been told and retold over the last 2,000 years, but never like this. Award-winning playwright Sarah Ruhl (The Clean House, In The Next Room, Dead Man’s Cell Phone) turns this myth upside down in this groundbreaking play, reinventing this myth from Eurydice’s perspective.
On the wedding day of Eurydice and Orpheus, there is a nasty and interesting accident, resulting in Eurydice’s death. We follow her into the underworld, where, after being dipped in the River of Forgetfulness, she struggles to remember her past life while being tormented by a Greek Chorus of Stones. When she reunites with her dead father in the underworld, he builds a house for them to live in, determined to restore her memories of their life together. But when Orpheus comes to the gates of hell singing the saddest song of all time, she must make a terrible choice between the father she has just rediscovered and the lover that she can barely remember. This poetic and heart-breaking play explores themes of love, death, and memory.
In 2015, Eric Love directed a production of Eurydice for Lost Nation Theater in Montpelier, Vermont. The stars from that production, Kate Kenney (Eurydice) and Christopher Scheer (Orpheus) will perform two scenes from the play.