|Show & Synopsis||Content|
THE TAMING OF THE SHREW
SYNOPSIS: The beautiful Bianca has no shortage of admirers but her father insists that she cannot marry until her older horrible, shrewish sister, Katharina, is betrothed. Bianca's suitors persuade fortune-seeker Petruchio to court her. Petruchio marries Katharina and he carries her off to his country house with his servant Grumio. Petruchio sings Kate’s praises and yells that the food is not edible, the bed is too lumpy, that nothing is good enough for her, thereby denying her food and sleep while also showing her own shrewish treatment of other people. Slowly, Kate learns to change her ways and that you can catch more flies with honey that you can with vinegar. The couple returns to Padua where Lucentio has won Bianca, and Hortensio is also getting married. At a banquet the men all wager which wife will come from the other room when they call. Both Bianca and Hortensio’s wife send back churlish messages that they will not come, but Katherine quickly comes when called, earning praise from her father and the town and showing how the wildcat Kate has becoming a loving wife and partner.
|LANGUAGE: Shakespeare’s language includes sexual innuendo but no expletives.
SMOKING AND DRINKING: There may be drinking at the wedding and other festive occasions in the story.
SEX: The Taming of the Shrew is a bawdy romp with sexual innuendo that may be physicalized on stage. Any overt sexual gestures will be cut for the student matinees.
VIOLENCE: Any violence is unarmed and for comedic effect. This production is a “wild west” shrew, so pistols may be shot in the air for comic effect.
FOR WHICH AUDIENCES?: The play may be best suited for adolescents and teenagers who are able to handle the suggestiveness inherent in Shakespeare’s text.
RATING: If it were a movie, The Taming of the Shrew would be rated “PG.”
DRACULA: THE JOURNAL OF JONATHAN HARKER
SYNOPSIS: Seven years after the events of the novel, Jonathan Harker receives a letter from Bram Stoker asking about his adventures. Jonathan journeys up to his attic to retrieve his journal and papers. While reading the journal, he is transported back to the beginning of the story and relives his travel to Transylvania to sell a property in London to a strange man, Count Dracula. The Count first appears as an eccentric, but harmless old man, but events get weirder and weirder until Jonathan is left a prisoner in the castle while the Count, now grown young with fresh blood, journeys to London. Dracula first kills Lucy and makes her his undead slave, then enslaves Jonathan’s wife Mina. He also hides coffins all over London. Jonathan, after escaping from the castle, gathers together a group of heroes, including Dr. Van Helsing. Together they hunt Dracula down and drive him out of England. The exciting chase back to Dracula’s castle ends with Jonathan and Quincy Morris stabbing Dracula and cutting his head off. The production is played by one actor, playing Jonathan Harker, who as he relives his journal, plays all the other characters in a heart-stopping tour-de-force performance.
|LANGUAGE: There are no modern expletives in the production although heaven and hell in religious terms are mentioned.
SMOKING AND DRINKING: There are a few scenes of drinking wine.
SEX: There is one scene in which Dracula is seduced by three female vampires. There is some suggestive movement, but no nakedness or overt sexual motions.
VIOLENCE: There are gunshots in the play, but no blood or extreme violence.
FOR WHICH AUDIENCES?: Dracula is a classic ghost story, with atmospheric lighting and frightening scenes. The play is best suited for middle and high school students.
RATING: If it were a movie, Dracula would be rated “PG.”
IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE: A LIVE RADIO PLAY
SYNOPSIS: Tonight a group of 1940’s stars are putting on a high class radio play of It’s A Wonderful Life, complete with foley sound effects, jingles and commercials. George Bailey is a small-town man whose life seems so desperate he contemplates suicide. He had always wanted to leave Bedford Falls to see the world, but circumstances and his own good heart have led him to stay. He sacrificed his education for his brother's, kept the family-run savings and loan afloat, protected the town from the avarice of the greedy banker Mr. Potter, and married his childhood sweetheart. As he prepares to jump from a bridge, his guardian angel intercedes, showing him what life would have become for the residents of Bedford Falls is he had never lived. Eventually, he sees that he has had a profound effect on those around him for the good and that indeed he has had a wonderful life.
|LANGUAGE: No expletives are used in the show.
SMOKING AND DRINKING: One scene takes place in a bar with drunks.
FOR WHICH AUDIENCES?: It’s A Wonderful Life: A Radio Play is recommended for ages 8 and up.
RATING: If it were a movie, It’s A Wonderful Life: A Radio Play would be rated “G.”
THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF NICHOLAS NICKLEBY
SYNOPSIS: Hoping to provide support for his mother and sister after the death of his father, Nicholas turns to his uncle Ralph for assistance. Ralph wants nothing to do with his late brother's family and feigns to help Nicholas by securing a position as assistant master at a school in Yorkshire run by unscrupulous Mr. Squeers. Nicholas soon becomes disgusted with Squeer's treatment of his pupils and leaves, giving Squeers a sound thrashing and liberating Smike, a poor boy whom Squeers has mistreated for years. Nicholas and Smike move in with Newman Noggs in London and then travel to Portsmouth where they take up acting in Crummles stage company. On hearing of the mistreatment of his sister at the hands of his uncle, Nicholas and Smike return to London. Nicholas secures employment with the philanthropic Cheeryble brothers and later marries Madeline Bray whom he has helped rescue from the evil designs of Ralph and Arthur Gride. The story examines the awful school conditions in England at the time, working class poverty versus the powerful wealthy, and good versus evil.
|LANGUAGE: No modern expletives.
SMOKING AND DRINKING: Adults drink in a social setting. One individual is an alcoholic.
SEX: Some inappropriate advances are made towards a young woman, but overt physical displays.
VIOLENCE: Children are beaten with a cane on several occasions. An adult is beaten with a cane. Some adults exchange punches.
FOR WHICH AUDIENCES?: This play is an accurate reflection of the era in which it is set (Dickens). The play is best suited for middle and high school students.
RATING: If it were a movie, The Life and Times of Nicholas Nickleby would be rated “PG-13.”
SYNOPSIS: Julius Caesar is a highly ambitious political leader in Rome and his aim is to become dictator. Caesar is warned that he must "beware the Ides of March" . The prophecy comes true and Caesar is assassinated due to the plotting of Marcus Brutus and Cassius. The friend of Julius Caesar, Mark Antony, provides the famous funeral oration ("Friends, Romans, and countrymen…") Brutus and Cassius meet their inevitable defeat which plunges the country into civil war.
|LANGUAGE: Shakespeare’s language includes sexual innuendo but no expletives.
SMOKING AND DRINKING: Wine is consumed.
VIOLENCE: Julius Caesar is a political drama that turns on the assassination of a public figure. The stabbing of Caesar is depicted on stage, and there are subsequent scenes of combat and suicide.
FOR WHICH AUDIENCES?: The play is best suited for middle and high school students.
RATING: If it were a movie, Julius Caesar would be rated “PG-13.”
|HARRIETT'S NEW PLAY SERIES|
THE CORTEZ METHOD
SYNOPSIS: Sara and Bill have moved to the country 45 minutes out of Louisville, Kentucky to build their dream house, complete with kitchen of the future. When Bill arrives home at 6am from flying packages for a courier company, he finds his older brother, Walter, sitting in his kitchen. Walter wants to borrow some money so he can get established as a welder in Aspen. He was just at their home five months ago trying to borrow money. Bill is out of cash and out of patience. Sara is five months pregnant and wants Walter gone. Into the already tense atmosphere comes Odette, their pillbilly neighbor, wanting to please Sara with a little too much raw verve. This day is going to get rough.
|LANGUAGE: The language is very rough and the characters use expletives very frequently.
SMOKING AND DRINKING: One character is a methamphetimine addict and the story involves dealing drugs.
SEX: Characters make sexual references to one another.
VIOLENCE: One characters is stabbed to death on stage. Another is shot offstage.
FOR WHICH AUDIENCES?: The Cortez Method is an adult story of family disfunction, infidelity and controlled substances. The play is best suited for adult audiences.
RATING: If it were a movie, The Cortez Method would be rated “R.”
In the wake of a local tragedy, single mother Elizabeth Miller and her withdrawn son Bailey try to jump-start their relationship across the breakfast table. But with berserk appliances, shifting astronomy, the talkative new family dog, and some noisy, angry forces threatening to invade her kitchen, Elizabeth might not be able to really 'see' the person she needs to see most.
|LANGUAGE: The language is very explicit and the characters use expletives including the "f-word".
SMOKING AND DRINKING: There is no smoking or drinking during the production.
SEX: There are no sexual situations in the play.
VIOLENCE: The story revolves around the aftermath of a school shooting. Two characters are shown with large blood stains on them. A gun is fired during the show.
FOR WHICH AUDIENCES?: Pluto is a play containing adult language, blood and graphic violence. The play is best suited for adult audiences.
RATING: If it were a movie, Pluto would be rated “R.”