Stacey Stewart | September 4, 2017
Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television, and Theatre (FTT) announces four productions for its 2017-18 theater season, with two comedies, including the beloved "The Importance of Being Earnest"; an absurdist classic relevant to the current political climate; and Tony Award-winning musical "Spring Awakening."
Kicking off the season will be ND Theatre NOW! (Sept. 28–Oct. 8), a slot in the mainstage season which annually features a production realized entirely by student artists. This year, FTT presents Eugène Ionesco’s absurdist classic "Rhinoceros," directed by FTT senior Abbey Schnell. A rhinoceros suddenly appears in the streets. Then another. One by one, townspeople succumb to an epidemic that transforms them into rhinos, until only one resists. Inspired by the rise of European fascism in the 1940s, Ionesco’s exploration of conformity and resistance remains uncomfortably relevant in 2017.
Later in the fall, FTT revisits one of the theater’s most enduring comedies, Oscar Wilde’s "The Importance of Being Earnest" (Nov. 8-12). In Wilde’s “trivial comedy for serious people,” both ladies and gentlemen concoct elaborate fictions in order to evade the burdensome conventions of polite society — and hilarity ensues. FTT welcomes class of 1998 alumnus Mark Seamon as guest director.
The spring semester kicks off with Karen Zacarías’s good-natured comedy "Native Gardens" (Feb. 22–March 4), directed by FTT Director of Theatre Kevin Dreyer. When Pablo and Tania buy a house in an historic Washington, D.C., neighborhood, they’re welcomed warmly by next-door neighbors Frank and Virginia. But soon the couples are embroiled in a dispute over their backyard property line that threatens to uproot Frank’s meticulously cultivated garden and forces both sides to confront deeply ingrained notions of race, class and privilege.