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    NOVEMBER 17, 2005
 
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Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy
‘The Heidi Chronicles’ to debut

heidi
Corey Sorenson (left), Arnica Skulstad-Brown and Kunal Nayyar, all third-year M.F.A. students in acting, star in the bittersweet comedy The Heidi Chronicles. The Temple Theaters production runs Nov. 17 through Dec. 3 in Randall Theater.

Wendy Wasserstein’s bittersweet comedy The Heidi Chronicles was awarded virtually every major prize after its off-Broadway opening at Playwrights Horizons in 1988 and its move to Broadway’s Plymouth Theatre a few months later: the Pulitzer, the New York Drama Critics Circle Prize, the Drama Desk Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award and the Tony Award.

Temple Theaters will present The Heidi Chronicles from Thursday, Nov. 17, to Saturday, Dec. 3, in Randall Theater.

The celebrated drama follows art historian/baby boomer Heidi Holland and a few of her close friends through three decades of dizzying social change from the mid-1960s to the late 1980s.

Through a series of flashbacks and interwoven scenes, it tracks Heidi’s quest to “have it all” while she struggles to figure out just what “all” is. Along the way, in dialogue that is funny, touching, poignant and provocative, the play touches on politics, relationships and the influences of the women’s liberation movement on a coming-of-age generation.

From a high school dance in 1965 Chicago, the drama follows Heidi and her friends through the decades to a McCarthy for President campaign event, a women’s consciousness-raising group, a feminist demonstration, a TV talk show and a power lunch. It feelingly examines their evolution from the youthful idealism and political activism of the ’60s through militant feminism to the materialistic, success-driven ’80s.

“At the time it was first produced, it was an important play for women,” said director Caitlin Moon, a second-year M.F.A. candidate in directing. “While it speaks powerfully to a generational experience, the story of people loving and disappointing each other is timeless.”

So, too, is reconciling what you think you want out of life and what actually happens, she added.

As she was studying the script and preparing for rehearsals, Moon said she was actually stunned by how the play transcended its time period. “It’s not really dated,” she said. “The choices people are asked to make are not so radically different. The real story lies in these characters — who they are, who they turn out to be, and rooting for them and loving them along the way.”

The set designer for the Temple Theaters production is Anthony Hostetter, theater faculty lecturer. Costume design is by senior theater major Erin Snider; the lighting designer is Shon Causer, a third-year M.F.A. in design; video and media design is by Luke Schantz, a senior film and media arts major; and sound design is by senior theater major Tom Puketza.

- By Harriet Goodheart

‘The Heidi Chronicles’
Opening night curtain for The Heidi Chronicles on Thursday, Nov. 17, is at 7 p.m. in Randall Theater. Performances continue Friday and Saturday, Nov. 18 and 19, and Monday through Saturday, Nov. 21–Dec. 3, at 8 p.m., with Saturday matinees Nov. 19 and Dec. 3 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $18. Seniors, students and Temple employees and alumni pay $13, and Temple students are free with TUid and confirmation card with GAF codes. Tickets are available at the Liacouras Center box office, Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., online at www.liacourascenter. com, or by telephone at 1-888- OWLSTIX (discount tickets are not available for online or phone sales). For more information, call the Temple Theaters information line at 215-204-1122.

heidi


Up close with Heidi star Arnica Skulstad-Brown
“It’s the first time I’ve had to carry a show,” said Arnica Skulstad-Brown of her title role in The Heidi Chronicles. “I never leave the stage, except to change costumes.”
After playing primarily love interest roles (Nina in The Seagull, Thaisa in Pericles), she is relishing the challenges of a funny but touchingly complex comedy. “It’s wonderful playing Heidi. She’s intelligent, funny, not intimidated by life, and she goes through a lot of changes as she figures out how to relate to a world that’s in mass upheaval.
“Comedy requires so much more energy and chutzpah to keep it alive. And I love doing it.”
After receiving her M.F.A., Skulstad-Brown, a native of British Columbia (she did her undergrad at Trinity Western University outside Vancouver) plans to move to New York and establish herself as a professional actor. Her dream roles? Beatrice (Much Ado About Nothing), Hedda (Hedda Gabler) and Elizabeth Procter (The Crucible).
“There are so many stories I want to tell...”

 

 


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