Festival Playhouse of Kalamazoo College presents its 57th season: Our Time Is Now: #ourstories. We at Festival Playhouse believe there is no better time than now to express the ideas, challenges, and celebrations of our community. Our productions this year focus upon the stories and ideas that celebrate our uniqueness and reflect upon that which brings us together. Our fall Devised Theatre Production reflects a one-and-a-half year process of outside guest-artists working alongside our students, creating, and telling #ourstories. Our second Fall production of Kokoro: True Heart allows us to experience cultural viewpoints through a lens which may be very different than our own. In Winter, we produce one of our own storytellers, Joe Tracz’s (K’04) Broadway musical Be More Chill. And, in Spring, our interactive production of The Compass (originally devised and produced at Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago) will include your idea of telling the story with ours.
Kokoro: True Heart by Velina Hasu Houston
Produced by our students as a main stage show, this heartbreaking story explores the struggle of a young Japanese mother as she tries to navigate the foreign culture of the United States. The audience is forced to reckon with the clash of two very different cultures’ moral codes after she commits a horrible crime.
November 5 – 8 (Family Weekend)
Original Devised Theatre Production (This is a work in progress and yet to be titled.)
Guest-Artist-in-Residence Emilio Rodriguez (Artistic Director of the Black and Brown Theatre, Detroit, MI) will direct this original piece developed and written by students from our ‘Community Dialogue Techniques’ class, as well as Winter 2020 and Spring 2020 Devised Theatre Workshop participants.This world-premiere work is based on themes relevant to current students at Kalamazoo College offering audience members fresh reflections and the opportunity to see how their stories relate to #ourstories.
Senior Performance Series
Despite a variety of factors including the pandemic, we hope to produce student-created work, and we will confirm a plan as we are able.
February 25 – 28
Be More Chill: The Musical. Book by Joe Tracz (K’04). Music and Lyrics by Joe Iconis.
This Tony Award-nominated musical comes to Kalamazoo College! Be More Chill follows the story of social outcast Jeremy Heere as he climbs the social ladder with the help of a tiny super computer (or, SQUIP). But is popularity all it’s cracked up to be? We are proud to bring more of Alumnus Joe Tracz’s (K’04) work back to Festival Playhouse!
May 20 – 23
The Compass by Michael Rohd
Originally devised and produced at Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago, this interactive play explores technology’s impact on decision-making. When an app tells a teenager to call a bomb threat into her school in order to prevent a mass shooting, can she be held accountable? You, the audience, will decide her fate.
Theatre that is always provocative. Theatre that is always thoughtful.