The Coe College Department of Theatre Arts will open the season with a play focusing on racial inequities. “Elephant in the Room” will be presented on Sept. 28-30 and Oct. 4-6 in Dows Theatre on the Coe campus. All performances begin at 7:30 p.m. with the exception of the Sunday, Sept. 30 show, which starts at 2 p.m.
Seats are reserved, and tickets are $10 for general admission and $8 for students and seniors. Tickets can be purchased at the door, or by calling the Coe College Box Office at 399-8600, Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
“Elephant in the Room” is written by Tisch Jones (under her maiden name of Patricia Rhone). Jones, a recently retired theatre professor at the University of Iowa, is also guest directing the play.
The play is a new adaptation of Strindberg’s “Miss Julie.” Originally an examination of class issues prevalent in Northern Europe during the late 19th century, this drama, in a provocative reframing, provides the audience with a peek into the unique complexity that is born out of the collision between race and class in today’s world. This “Miss Julie” is a violent and dangerous dance between three characters in antebellum New Orleans, foretelling of the quieter, but equally dangerous way we dance around issues of race today.
“The original script, ‘Miss Julie,’ focused on class issues in a Scandinavian country, but I envisioned it in America with the focus on race. When my (graduate school) classmates argued the reality of a band showing up in Miss Julie’s home in the middle of the play, I saw it as normal,” noted Jones in her director’s comments. “Being from New Orleans, I completely embraced such an occurrence happening during Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Such moments fostered the beginning of ‘Elephant in the Room.’ When invited to Coe to work on my fantasy production of ‘Miss Julie, it was a graduate school dream come true, 40 years later.”
For more information, call 319-399-8600 or visit theatre.coe.edu.
Cutline: Coe students Rashad Harris ’14 (left, as Jean), Jane Lindemann ’15 (center, as Miss Julie) and Tierre Henry ’14 (right, as Celeste) are featured in the upcoming Coe theatre production of “Elephant in the Room.”