KEENE, N.H. 10/1/2015 – The Shape of Things, a contemporary drama by playwright Neil LaBute about love, art and so much more, will be presented Tuesday to Saturday, October 20 to 24, by the Keene State College Department of Theatre and Dance.
On the surface, The Shape of Things is about a budding relationship between two college students, but the drama tackles much deeper topics, including social manipulation, passive-aggressive behavior, and personal identity and values, explained KSC faculty director PeggyRae Johnson. The play deals with a ping-pong ball of perspectives about how people see themselves and how they are shaped by other forces, including commercials and advertising aimed at self-improvement.
“Does this obsession with external appearance also impact our behavior? Our values? And how might that impact our social and moral judgments?” asked Johnson.
One reason she chose to stage The Shape of Things is that some young women today seem to have returned to the “princess complex” of the ‘50s – a time of “Stepford wives” stereotyping when women thought more about trying to please and be liked than speaking their own minds. The play challenges the audience to explore contemporary perspectives about how young people determine their own path.
Set in a fictional college community, the four characters in the play share friendly, supportive relationships, until they are forced to make some difficult choices about how much each is willing to change for those relationships.
Neil LaBute, a contemporary American playwright hailed by John Lahr of The New Yorker as one of the most important artists working in the theatre, explores such difficult questions in The Shape of Things.LaBute understands the beauty of blending uncomfortable topics with humor and everyday characters to give audiences an alternative view of why people behave as they do, said Johnson.
Four cast members are KSC theatre majors. Cara Gerardi of East Dennis, Mass. plays the artist Evelyn and Keon Veno of Edgartown, Mass. plays Adam, who falls in love with Evelyn. Adams friends are portrayed by Megan Pereira of Randolph, N.J. and Mitch Hodge of Windham, Maine. Director PeggyRae Johnson added a fifth non-speaking role to this production, a human sculpture, as a thread for the play’s artistic themes, played by exercise science major Marisa Benson of Groton, Mass. Dana Angellis of Nashua, N.H. is the stage manager.
In the Shape of Things will be staged at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday, October 20 to 24, with a 2 p.m. matinee added on Saturday, October 24, in the Wright Theatre of the Redfern Arts Center on the KSC campus. Tickets are $10 for the general public, $8 for senior citizens, and $6 for KSC students. Call the Redfern Box Office at 603-358-2168 or order online at keene.edu/arts/redfern.
About Keene State Theatre and Dance Department
The Department of Theatre and Dance is dedicated to providing a comprehensive course of study that balances theory and practice within a sound liberal arts education. The collaborative nature of theatre and dance disciplines fosters an atmosphere in which students work closely with peers and faculty to gain practical experience in all facets or production and critical engagement. As artists and teachers, our primary focus is to encourage and guide our students as they find their creative voices and experience and question the world through the arts. For more information about the Theatre and Dance Department, visithttp://academics.keene.edu/tad or call 603-358-2162.