WVU Theatre students take on themes of power and relationships in their next play, “The Love of the Nightingale,” by Timberlake Wertenbaker, which opens at the Creative Arts Center, Thurs., Nov. 19.

A dark meditation on violence and its legacies, the play is also about love, language and loss that ultimately questions what kind of world we will pass on to our children. It is an adaptation of the ancient Greek myth of Philomela.

Directed by Theatre professor Phil Beck, “Love of the Nightingale” opens Nov. 19, at 7:30 p.m. in the Gladys G. Davis Theatre. There will be performances Nov. 20 and also (after the Thanksgiving holiday) Dec. 1-5 at 7:30 p.m. There will be a matinee Dec. 6 at 2 p.m.

“Love of the Nightingale” was commissioned for the Royal Shakespeare Company and published in 1989.

“It is an explosive mixture of ethics, politics and feminism,” said Beck, who is associate professor of theatre at WVU. “The play takes an uncompromising look at the issue of voice and power: who speaks, and for whom; who is heard and who is silenced.

“While the play deals with an ancient myth, it is by no means a story without meaning for today’s audience,” he said.

The play tells of the brutal rape of Philomela by her brother-in-law Tereus, who cuts out her tongue to keep her quiet and tells her sister that she is dead.

Five years pass before Philomela and her sister Procne are finally able to enact their devastating and gruesome revenge during the annual Bachann/Dionysian festival, which is the only day of the year in which women can act madly and drink.

The traditional Greek Chorus is used to explore the responsibility of onlookers in the tragedy.

The Male Chorus provides commentary on the action in the play, but is never empowered to intervene. The Female Chorus, on the other hand, is integral to the play’s action, but seems incapable of affecting the outcome of events that are deemed inescapable.

“While the sisters are reunited through a magical ending, there are no easy answers given for questions of justice and accountability,” Beck said.

The cast of “Love of the Nightingale” features WVU Theatre students Laura Peters, Greg Holt, Taylor Ferrera, Brian Edelman, Brittany Sowards, and Blair Wendel.

Members of the Male Chorus are Matt Webster, Vinny Greco, Brandon Pro, Chasdan Mike and Dan Evans.

The Female Chorus includes Melissa Allen, Ashley Shade, Helene Waldemarson, Roxy Hauserman, and Sarah Lemanski. Graduate student Audrey Ahern plays the role of Itys.

Scene design is by Theatre professor Bob Klingelhoefer, assisted by student Amanda Lawson. Costume design is by student Hannah Wold and the lighting designer is student Bethany Fisher. Puppetry is by student/Stage Manager, Matt Laird and the dance choreographer is Barbara Yurick.

For tickets or more information, call the Mountainlair or CAC Box Offices at (304) 293-SHOW. Special ticket prices are available for groups of ten or more.

For more information, visit the WVU Division of Theatre and Dance on the internet at: http://theatre.wvu.edu.

-WVU-

Photo 1:
WVU Theatre students Taylor Ferrera and Laura Peters perform in “Love of the Nightingale,” by Timberlake Wertenbaker, based on the ancient Greek myth of Philomela. Performances will be held Nov. 19-20 and also (after the Thanksgiving holiday) Dec. 1-5 at 7:30 p.m. There will also be a matinee Dec. 6 at 2 p.m. For tickets or more information, call the Mountainlair or CAC Box Offices at (304) 293-SHOW.

Photo 2:
WVU Theatre students Laura Peters and Greg Holt perform in “Love of the Nightingale,” by Timberlake Wertenbaker, based on the ancient Greek myth of Philomela. Performances will be held Nov. 19-20 and also (after the Thanksgiving holiday) Dec. 1-5 at 7:30 p.m. There will also be a matinee Dec. 6 at 2 p.m. For tickets or more information, call the Mountainlair or CAC Box Offices at (304) 293-SHOW.

CONTACT: Charlene Lattea, College of Creative Arts
304-293-4841 ext. 3108, Charlene.Lattea@mail.wvu.edu