The Brown University/Trinity Rep MFA Programs present Sophie Treadwell's groundbreaking expressionistic drama Machinal, directed by Aubrey Snowden (Brown/Trinity Rep MFA Programs '13). Powerful, and gripping, the play traces the plight of a woman fighting the rules of society – and ultimately paying the highest price.
Performances are December 4 through December 16 in the Citizens Bank Theater, Pell Chafee Performance Center, 87 Empire Street, Providence. General admission is $12, with a $6 admission for seniors and students. Tickets are now on sale at the Trinity Rep box office, by phone (401) 351-4242, and online at trinityrep.com.
With its ripped-from-the-headlines subject matter, Sophie Treadwell's Machinal is still held in high acclaim today as an expressionist masterpiece. The play's narrative strikes a balance between probing drama and dreamlike storytelling to create a compassionate portrayal of the first woman sent to the electric chair. Struggling to find a place in an oppressive culture, she makes a choice to 'wake up' to her life, which propels her on a course towards her tragic demise.
When asked about the play's relevance today, director Aubrey Snowden says, "This play forces the audience to ask, themselves some very powerful questions: How do you survive when you have no agency, no support in life? Whose rules did you live by, if not your own? When we find ourselves facing our own final moments, will each of us be able to look back and be satisfied with what choices we made within our lives?"
Snowden has brought the play into stark focus by setting the production in a claustrophic, dehumanizing world that could exist in the long-distant past or the very-near future. Treadwell's nameless heroine negotiates a landscape of people she does not understand and who overlook her presence. To highlight the isolation of this character in this oppressive society, and to make use of the series of short heightened scenes that make up the play, Snowden is utilizing stylized movement and design in order to launch a bold new attack on this decades-old play.
The cast features members of the third-year MFA acting students Jaime Rosenstein (Young Woman), Drew Ledbetter (George H. Jones), Leah Anderson (Telephone girl), Alston Brown (Lover), Grant Chapman (Lawyer for Defense), Amanda Dolan (Mother), Liz Morgan (Judge), and Brandon Vukovic (Lawyer for Prosecution).
Aubrey Snowden is a third year director at Brown Trinity. Previous productions at Brown/Trinity Rep include, Waiting for Godot, Macbeth, and The Glass Menagerie. She has assisted Brian Mertes on the main stage at Trinity Rep and will assist Brian McEleney in the spring for Trinity's production of House and Garden. Starting in January, Aubrey will also be joining La Salle Academy in the spring to direct a production of The Importance of Being Earnest. Prior to moving to Providence, Aubrey was a freelance director in New York City. Her extensive training includes a B.A. in Theater Studies from Manhattanville College, acting and directing training at the National Theater Institute, as well as Suzuki/ Viewpoints under the Siti Company in New York. Most recently, she attended the International Symposium of Directors with the experimental theater company, La Mama in Umbria Italy. She is a founding Member of Wide Eyed Productions in NYC and is the youngest Arts Advisory Board member for Miss Hall's School.
The Brown University/Trinity Rep MFA Programs provides a three-year professional training program for eighteen students under the auspices of an Ivy League University and Rhode Island's Tony Award-winning theater company. Brown University's Department of Theatre, Speech and Dance is internationally recognized for the quality of its faculty and instruction. Trinity Rep, with its deep tradition of resident artists, provides powerful artistic assets and creates a firm foundation for a new generation of theater artists.
Director: Aubrey Snowden (Brown/Trinity MFA Programs '13)
Stage Manager: Sara E. Sheets
Costume Design: Cait O'Connor
Lighting Design: Scott Bolman
Set Design: Tilly Grimes
Sound Design: Daniel Baker of Broken Chord Collective