A thoroughly memorable romantic meeting in an art gallery leads to an examination “of our obsession with the surface of things,” in Neil Labute’s “The Shape of Things.”
This 2001 drama by critically acclaimed and controversial playwright Neil Labute will be presented by the West Virginia University School of Theatre & Dance, Sept. 28-Oct.7, at the Gladys G. Davis Theatre in the Creative Arts Center.
The characters are the self-deprecating part-time security guard and undergraduate, Adam, his very confident friend, Phillip, and Phillip’s fianc�e, Jenny.
Enter Evelyn, a boldly opinionated graduate student in art, who takes a keen interest in Adam, forcing change both in his relationships, as well as in how he perceives himself. In a Pygmalion role-reversal filled with devastating neuroses, Evelyn is a femme fatale Henry Higgins, slowly crafting the average-looking Adam into a confident sex object.
“The Shape of Things” is directed by Resident Artist and Visiting Professor of Acting, Jenna Cole. Cole’s many acting credits for the theater, as well as film and television, include: “It’s A Wonderful Life” (with Alfred Molina and Michael Richards), and “Private Lives,” at the Pasadena Playhouse, as well as “Picket Fences,” “The George Carlin Show” and “Saved by the Bell.”
Neil Labute, one of today’s most provocative playwrights, specializes in stripping away the fa�ade of manners and morals in our society through his characters and consistently manages to expose the dark side of human relationships.
“Labute has said that everybody has the ability to be manipulative, to be hateful and deceitful, and if you really go after what you want, anything is possible,” Cole said. “Labute holds the debate of the nature of true art in the embrace of a college romance, with all the twists and turns that come with desire, perception and deception, and we are riveted with what might happen next.”
“The Shape of Things” first premiered in London at the Almeida Theatre in 2001, and subsequently opened at the Promenade Theater in New York City under Labute’s direction.
Labute’s other works include, “Fat Pig,” “Reasons to be Pretty” and “The Distance From Here.” Also a filmmaker and screenwriter, Labute’s list of film credits include, “In the Company of Men,” “Nurse Betty” and “Lakeview Terrace.”
Designers for “The Shape of Things” are Master of Fine Arts candidate in costume design, Randall Browning, and lighting design professor Joshua Williamson. Scenic design is by Professor Bob Klingelhoefer.
The cast of “The Shape of Things” features theater students Josh Leeper as Adam, Sara Gianola as Evelyn, Shannon Uphold as Jenny and Eric Dexter Brown as Phillip.
Performances of “The Shape of Things” at the Gladys G. Davis Theatre in the Creative Arts Center will begin at 7:30 p.m. nightly during Sept. 28, 29 and Oct. 2-6, with a matinee performance at 2 p.m. on two Sundays, Sept. 30 and Oct. 7.
This show contains adult language and adult situations and is not recommended for those under 18.
Tickets are $20 for the general public, and $15 for senior citizens and students. There is a group rate of $10 per ticket for groups of 10 or more.
An ongoing rehearsal blog is available on the School of Theatre & Dance website at http://ccarts.wvu.edu/theatreanddanceblog.
CONTACT: Charlene Lattea, College of Creative Arts
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