2018 Senior Company presents HIR by Taylor Mac (12/1-12/3)

HIR_paper_ver(updated)Isaac, an average, young, cis-het male, returns home from the war in Afghanistan to find his family exploring the uncharted frontiers of gender. Taylor Mac’s HIR is a hysterically queer spin on the classic American living-room drama that asks the age-old question – what makes or breaks a family? Come watch Isaac, his parents, Paige and Arnold, and his sibling, Max, as they crash through their run-down suburban house in an absurd and surprising shakeup of American family stereotypes.

Directed by Wesley Han ‘18 with Scenic Design by Yoshifumi Nomura ‘17, Costume Design by Tara Webb, Lighting Design by Robin Stamey, and Sound Design by Elizabeth Atkinson. Performed by Oliver Lipton ‘18, Alexandra Kingsley ‘20, Gerald “Jack” McManus ‘21, and Victoria Lee-A-Yong ‘21.

LPAC Frear Ensemble Theater
12/1 8PM
12/2 2PM, 8PM
12/3 2PM



spelling-bee-poster-FINALFINALNovember 10th at 8PM
November 11th at 2PM & 8PM
November 12th at 2PM

“Can I have a definition please?”

The swirl of vocabulary words. The thumping of the heart. The glare of the audience. And at stake…the chance of a lifetime. A group of adolescent kids vie for the title of spelling bee Champion in a hilarious, heart-warming snapshot of the terrors and pleasures of growing up. Six spellers enter; one speller leaves. At least the losers get a juice box.

In this exciting new collaboration, Swarthmore Departments of Theatre and Music & Dance come together to produce the Broadway musical hit THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE, Winner of the Tony and the Drama Desk Awards for Best Book, with Music & Lyrics by William Finn and Book by Rachel Sheinkin.

Directed by Alex Torra with Set Design by Matt Saunders, Costume Design by Laila Swanson, Lighting Design by James P. Murphy, and Sound Design by Liz Atkinson. Musical Direction by Shira Samuels-Shragg, Choreography by Dan Dunn, and Vocal Coaching by Rachel Camp.

Originally conceived by Rebecca Feldman with additional material by Jay Reiss and originally directed on Broadway by James Lapine. Originally produced on Broadway by David Stone, James L. Nederlander, Barbara Whitman, Patrick Catullo at Barrington Stage Company, Second Stage Theatre. Licensing courtesy of Music Theatre International.

Who’s Watching 2.0? (Or I C U 2)

The Eyeball Beacons present

Who’s Watching 2.0?  (or I C U 2)

A video projection on the water tower behind the Science Center

Friday 10/27- Tuesday 10/31


Best viewing from the Science Center Quad!

Fair weather only (the eye doesn’t like rain or snow).

Tune into WSRN on 10/31 for a LIVE sound accompaniment! http://www.wsrnfm.org

With support from the Language and Media Centers, the Department of Theater, the LPAC office, & Film and Media Studies and content inspired by horror visions of the past and future.



Film and Media Studies and the Department of Theater are excited to announce Building Genre: A Collaborative Design Workshop. Part workshop, part design challenge, Building Genre invites students from both FMST and Theater to explore the art of production design and mise-en-scene in real time. In their respective industries, theater, film, television, and new media all converge on the process of production design.This workpostershop provides students with an entry point into that process.

Presented with a genre scene on the day of, students will have four consecutive one-hour sessions to research and determine a design plan for their genre scene, assemble design-appropriate props and costumes, and finally stage the scene for the other groups and audience. True to professional life, participants will work as part of a team, emphasizing the importance of collaboration in production design. One student in each group will document the design process as it happens.

Final presentations will be juried and critiqued by participating faculty from both FMST and Theater.

We invite all interested students to participate! Workshop size limited to 30 total. Please register at this link. Lunch and snacks will be provided!

If you can’t participate but you’re interested in student work, come by for a visit! The workshop will be open to visitors and curious campus members who want to walk through and witness the process of building mise-en-scene.

Friday, November 3, 2017
12 PM – 5PM
LPAC Frear Ensemble Theat

Acting and Martial Dance in Peking Opera with M’me Li Shuyuan (10/24 at 4PM)

Workshop: Acting and Martial Dance in Peking Opera

Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2017
Time: 4-6pm
Location: LPAC Frear Ensemble Theater (Lower lobby black box theater)

Let us know if you are coming! Please fill in the information below by
Thursday, October 13. Follow the link below to register.
Are you interested in participating in a master class on acting and martial
dance in Peking opera with Madame Li Shuyuan? This class is open to all
students and faculty members with or without Chinese language but has a
limit of twelve participants.
Meet the Master:
Born in a family with a long tradition of acting in martial roles, Madame
Li had been China’s top-ranked martial female role and enjoyed over forty
years of stage life before coming to America. Since 1999, she has been the
artistic director of the Philadelphia Chinese Opera Society and has
performed in Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Mann Center for the
Performing Arts, Lang Performing Arts Center and Wilma Theater.

AUDITIONS: Senior Company 2018

HIRAuditionsProject: Taylor Mac’s HIR


Roles available: 1 male, 1 female, and 1 non-binary afab

About the play: In this suburban style family drama, Isaac has returned from the wars to help take care of his ailing father, only to discover his mom is rebelling and in revolt. Freeing herself from a stifling marriage, with Isaac’s newly out transgender sibling as her ally, Mom’s on a crusade to dismantle the patriarchy. This comic look at family dynamics tells us that destroying the past doesn’t always make you free.

AUDITION information

7-10PM Mon 9/4 and Wed 9/6

in the LPAC Frear Ensemble Theatre

Walkins also welcome! Email Laila Swanson (lswanso1) or Wesley Han ’18 (whan1) for more info!

AUDITIONS: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Fall 2017
produced by the Theatre Department
in collaboration with the Music and Dance Department


**Casting 8 singing roles and 1 non-singing role**

Monday, Sept 4, 7-10:30pm
Tuesday, Sept 5, 7-10:30pm

The Kuharksi Studio, rear entrance of The Matchbox



In Fall 2017, Swarthmore’s Theatre Department will be working on a production of the Broadway hit The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. The show will be presented as part of the Theatre Department Course “Production Ensemble” (THEA 22), which is designed to provide students the opportunity to work with professional theatre artists in the creation of a fully-designed and rendered production. Students cast in the show will have to enroll in THEA 22.


Winner of the Tony and the Drama Desk Awards for Best Book, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee has charmed audiences across the country with its effortless wit and humor.

An eclectic group of six mid-pubescents vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home lives, they spell their way through a series of (potentially made-up) words, hoping never to hear the soul-crushing, pout-inducing, life un-affirming “ding” of the bell that signals a spelling mistake. Six spellers enter; one speller leaves! At least the losers get a juice box.


We’ll be auditioning actors for all roles, including the non-speaking role.
If you’re interested in auditioning for this production:

Please sign up for an audition slot by filling out the online sign-up form which can be found here: goo.gl/W7mdMc. Walk-up auditions are possible, but those who have signed-up will have first priority.

For the audition, we’ll ask you to do two things: sing and to tell us a story.

• For the song: please prepare 32-bars of a song from a musical or a contemporary pop song. Please bring sheet music in the correct key, an accompanist will be provided. If you’d like to sing a capella, that’s okay, though an accompanied song is preferred. It is perfectly acceptable to sing music from SPELLING BEE, but please still bring a copy of the music. • For the story: Tell us a 1-2 minute story about yourself, something you find funny, sad, or moving. We’re using this opportunity to meet you and get to know you a little bit.

• If you’re auditioning for the non-singing role, you will be asked to ONLY tell us a story; you will not be required to sing.

• If you don’t know the show, take a listen to the soundtrack to get a sense of the show’s style, humor, and music.

Select students will be invited to a Callback Session on either Wed, Sept 6 (7-10:30pm) or Thurs, Nov 7 (4-10pm).

Callbacks will be posted late on Tuesday, Sept 5th. Casting will be announced the morning of Friday, Sept 8th.

• All cast performers are required to sign up for THEA 22 and be available for all rehearsals, which occur on:
Sundays 12-6pm
Tuesdays 7:30-10:30pm
Thursday 4:10-7:30pm

• You may be asked to schedule time with the production’s vocal coach outside of rehearsal times, though we will set this around your existing schedule.

• Cast members will also need to be available for all technical rehearsals:
Friday, Nov 3 – 6-10pm
Saturday, Nov 4 – 10am-10pm
Sunday, Nov 5 – 10am-10pm
Monday, Nov 6 – 6-10pm
Tuesday, Nov 7 – 6-10pm
Wednesday, Nov 8 – 6-10pm
Thursday, Nov 9 – 6-10pm

• Performances will be on:
Friday, Nov 10, 8pm
Saturday, Nov 11, 2 and 8pm
Sunday, Nov 12, 2pm

• After Nov 12th, your scheduled work for this class will be complete. There are no additional class meetings (though there will be one reflection paper due).

6) Got any questions? Email Professor Alex Torra, atorra1@swarthmore.edu

(Cast actors will play additional small roles not listed below)


Olive Ostrovsky: Mezzo-Soprano. A young newcomer to competitive spelling. Her mother is in an ashram in India, and her father is working late, as usual, but he is trying to come sometime during the bee. She made friends with her dictionary at a very young age, helping her to make it to the competition.

William Morris Barfée: Tenor. A Putnam County Spelling Bee finalist last year, he was eliminated because of an allergic reaction to peanuts. His famous “Magic Foot” method of spelling has boosted him to spelling glory, even though he only has one working nostril and a touchy personality. He has an often-mispronounced last name: it is Bar-FAY, not BARF-ee (“there’s an accent aigu, he explains with some hostility). He develops a crush on Olive.

Logainne “Schwarzy” SchwartzandGrubenierre: Mezzo-Soprano. Logainne is the youngest and most politically aware speller, often making comments about current political figures, with two overbearing gay fathers pushing her to win at any cost. She is somewhat of a neat freak, speaks with a lisp, and knows she’ll return to the bee next year.

Marcy Park: Mezzo-Soprano. A recent transfer from Virginia, Marcy placed ninth in last year’s nationals. She speaks six languages, is a member of all-American hockey, a championship rugby player, plays Chopin and Mozart on multiple instruments, sleeps only three hours a night, and is getting very tired of always winning. She is a total over-achiever, and attends a Catholic school called “Our Lady of Intermittent Sorrows.” She is also not allowed to cry.

Leaf Coneybear: Tenor. A homeschooler and the second runner-up in his district. Leaf comes from a large family of former hippies and makes his own clothes. He spells words correctly while in a trance. In his song, “I’m Not That Smart”, he sings that his family thinks he is “not that smart,” but he insinuates that he is merely easily distracted.

Charlito “Chip” Tolentino: Tenor. A Boy Scout and champion of the Twenty-Fourth Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, he returns to defend his title. Relatively social and athletic, as he plays little league, Chip expects things to come easily but he finds puberty hitting at an inopportune moment.


Rona Lisa Peretti: Mezzo-Soprano. The number-one realtor in Putnam County, a former Putnam County Spelling Bee Champion herself, and returning moderator. She is a sweet woman who loves children, but she can be very stern when it comes to dealing with Vice Principal Panch, who has feelings for her that she most likely does not return. Ms. Peretti herself won the Third Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee by spelling the word “syzygy”.

Vice Principal Douglas Panch: Non-singing Role. After five years’ absence from the Bee, Panch returns as judge. There was an “incident” at the Twentieth Annual Bee, but he claims to be in “a better place” now (or so we think), thanks to a high-fiber diet and Jungian analysis. He is infatuated with Rona Lisa Peretti, but she does not return his affections.

Mitch Mahoney: Tenor. The Official Comfort Counselor. An ex-convict, Mitch is performing his community service with the Bee, and hands out juice boxes to losing students


The Department of Theater presents an Independent Study in Sound Design (THEA 014E) by Oliver Lipton ‘18: WHAT WE FEAR (OR, THE POLITICS OF MONSTROSITY), a radio drama.

WHAT WE FEAR (OR, THE POLITICS OF MONSTROSITY) is a modernization, satire, and spin-off of the gothic horror genre. It tells the story of a world where humans live in fear of vampires, werewolves, and a new and even greater threat that has begun to emerge. Juxtaposing dialogue, soundscapes, and original music, the radio drama follows the story of the last living vampire and the hunter tracking him down, who begins to learn there’s more to the monsters outside the walls than she ever realized.

WHAT WE FEAR is an art performance/radio/drama created by Oliver Lipton ‘18 and features Amber Sheth ‘18, David Zuckerman ‘18, Rachel Davis ‘19, and Emma Mogavero ‘20.

Release date: May 5th, 2017 

Available here for listening –


Original Soundtrack:

Directing II Night of Scenes (5/1 and 5/2 at 8PM)

NOS2The Department of Theater’s Directing II Workshop is proud to present SPRING 2017 NIGHT OF SCENES with brand new devised work directed by

Simon Bloch ’17,
Wesley Han ’18,
Oliver Lipton ’18 and
John Wojciehowski ’19
May 1st at 8PM 
May 2nd at 8 PM

LPAC Frear Ensemble Theater