With the beginning of every new school year comes a new season of performing arts. The student theater groups at Georgetown University have prepared an outstanding season of drama and comedy. Here is what to expect this fall on campus from the Mask and Bauble Dramatic Society, Nomadic Theatre and Georgetown Improv Association.
Mask and Bauble, the nation’s oldest continuously running student theatre organization, opens its 166th season with the theme “incredibly rare and dangerously new.” Written by Neil Simon, the first show “Rumors” follows a dinner party gone awry. The initially cheerful 10-year wedding anniversary celebration of New York City’s deputy mayor transforms into a public scandal when the mayor accidentally shoots himself in the ear and his wife goes missing. As guests arrive and hear what has happened, different versions begin to circulate and rumors escalate. Running Oct. 12 to 15 in Poulton Hall Stage III, Mask and Bauble’s adaptation of this highly amusing play will be directed by Ryan Seideman (COL ’19) and produced by Colton Wade (SFS ’18).
Another event to watch out for is Mask and Bauble’s Donn B. Murphy One Acts Festival. This student-written one acts festival serves to honor Murphy, who directed Mask and Bauble for 21 years, as well as to celebrate student creativity. This year’s DBMOAF competition-winning play is “Roots” by Devika Ranjan (SFS ’17), which tells the story of an Indian woman who deals with exclusion and hostility in a new environment. While “Roots” is the focal point of the festival, other performances include staged readings of “Diagnos-Mis” by Vanessa Chapoy (COL ’18) and “Evelyne” by Claire Derriennic (COL ’17), along with presentations by other cocurricular groups. Directed by Gabriel Berkowitz (MSB ’20) and produced by Christian Collier (COL ’19), DBMOAF takes place over the course of November 14 to 18 in Poulton Hall Stage III.
Since 1982, Nomadic Theatre has committed itself to its mission “to create theatre that is both technically ambitious and socially engaged.” Nomadic will kick off its fall season with a production of “Exit, Pursued by a Bear” by Lauren Gunderson. In this show, protagonist Nan is finally ready to escape from her abusive marriage to a man named Kyle, and she decides to do it in the most over-the-top way possible. With help from her friend and a stripper, Nan decides to make Kyle understand what he has done to her by re-enacting all of his misdeeds right in front of him. The team of three then leaves Kyle in a house covered with honey and raw meat with the hope that a bear will come along to finish the job. The pairing of twisted humor and anguish serves to explore how one can confront the past and move forward to the future. Nomadic’s adaptation of this exhilarating revenge comedy is directed by Bailey Premeaux (COL ’19) and produced by Cristin Crowley (MSB ’20). “Exit, Pursued by a Bear” runs Oct. 19 to 21 and Oct. 25 to 28 in the Village C Theater.
The Georgetown Improv Association enters its 23rd season with a mission: “to promote improv as an art form and to provide frequent and affordable performances to the Georgetown community and the greater public of the Washington area.” This talented group has alumni who can be found working for Saturday Night Live, The New Yorker, Comedy Central and Broadway. Its current members are ready to present another season of humor to the Georgetown community. There will be three shows this fall, on Oct. 21, Nov. 10 and Dec. 2. All shows take place in Bulldog Alley, located in the Leavey Center on Georgetown’s campus. The shows usually sell out quickly, so it is best to buy those tickets early.
Another group to watch is the Black Theatre Ensemble. The group was established in 1979 with the goal of “producing dramatic works that celebrate and enrich the Black and minority cultural heritage, and expand and challenge the discourse on the Underrepresented experience.” Highlights from last season include a coproduction with Mask and Bauble of “An American Daughter” by Wendy Wasserstein, a production of “Hookman” by Lauren Yee and coffeehouse events with presentations of music and improvisation.
This is just a sneak peak of what is to come on Georgetown’s campus. Whether enjoying a brilliant array of student works, a dramatic revenge play or just a few hours of nonstop laughs, Georgetown students will find a diverse selection of plays to choose from this fall from its on-campus theater groups.