The University of Delaware’s Resident Ensemble Players will offer a two-play 2022-23 season, with bonus weekend-only chamber shows.
The REP, as the University of Delaware’s professional acting troupe is called, will offer “Arsenic and Old Lace” Nov. 3-Nov. 20 and “Medea” April 13-April 30.
In addition, the resident ensemble will off something new: Chamber REP, a series of one-weekend events, including the play “Love Letters,” “Suite Blackness, Black Dance in Cinema;” A Chicago storefront version of a Shakespearean play; and an arts festival feature UD undergrads.
“It’s the REP, but as you’ve never seen it before,” said Steve Tague, the interim producing artistic director.
The season is the first in 33 years to not have Sanford “Sandy” Robbins at the helm of the theater department. He announced his retirement in 2021 after the theater’s budget was cut to $2 million from $5 million, forcing layoffs and a shrinking of seasons. The theater routinely did seasons of five or six plays until last year.
Robbins left the school in August. Tague has been a member of the ensemble and directed shows there and at Delaware Theatre Co., among other things.
“We are happy to be producing two great plays, the first an escapist, classic American comedy and the second, an all-too relevant play about the position of women in a man’s world,” Tague said in a press release.
Classic comedy “Arsenic and Old Lace” by Joseph Kesselring, focuses on two sisters who poison lonely old men with a glass of elderberry wine laced with “arsenic, strychnine, and just a pinch of cyanide.”
Their nephew, Mortimer, also has to deal with crazy brothers: Teddy, who believes he is Theodore Roosevelt, and Jonathan, a homicidal fugitive who looks like Frankenstein’s monster thanks to a botched plastic surgery.
The troupe will turn to classic Greek tragedy with “Medea” by Euripides. It details Medea’s love and loyalty to Jason was unquestionable until he married someone else for political gain. Hot mess Medea doesn’t take it well.
A two-show subscription package for the REP’s season of plays, on sale in August, offers substantial savings with special subscriber benefits. Single tickets for REP plays and Chamber REP will go on sale in September.
Tickets can be purchased at www.rep.udel.edu, by contacting the REP box office at (302) 831-2204, or visiting in person at the Roselle Center for the Arts located at 110 Orchard Rd. Newark, Delaware Tuesday – Friday, noon to 5 p.m.
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience, including 15 at The News Journal in Delaware.
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