Department Chair:
Caroline Jackson Smith

Phone: (440) 775-8154

Warner Center 100
30 N. Professor St.
Oberlin, OH, 44074

Lab Series 13-14

Lab Series 13-14


My Ghosts, My Own

Five Short Plays by Romulus Linney '53

Director: Annie Obermeyer '14
Dates: October 10-12, 2014
Location: Little Theater

As part of the weekend-long celebration Drama in Every Human Life: The Art of Romulus Linney ’53, the theater department presents five of the late author’s one-act plays: Can Can, Claire de Lune, Stars, Juliet, and Songs of Love. Director Annie Obermeyer ’14, says she chose these five plays to give a taste of the prolific Linney’s immense range. The stories vary in tone—some are abstract, some are literal. They also are diverse in setting; from a porch in Florida to the balcony of a Manhattan penthouse, the interior of New York theater to a Southern Institute for the Aging. Yet despite these aesthetic differences, each story explores loneliness and connectedness, the sweet pain of nostalgia, and most importantly, what it means to say goodbye.


Dead Man's Cell Phone

by Sarah Ruhl

Director: Taylor Greenthal '15
Dates: November 21-24, 2013
Location: Little Theater

An empty bowl of soup. A dead man in a cafe. A ringing cell phone. Step into the curious world of Jean, a lonely young woman in search of meaning amongst the seemingly mundane. After impulsively answering a dead man’s cell phone, Jean is whisked into the private life of a man she never knew, ultimately finding a new beginning for herself in his ended existence. Yet as she attempts to bring closure to his life, the surprising details of his character emerge, forcing Jean to question all that she values. Playful, poetic, and haunting, Sarah Ruhl’s Dead Man’s Cell Phone is a relevant exploration of both the deep isolation and connection enabled by technology.


The World 'n' the Beat:

The Color of Cool

Devised by the Black Arts Workshop
with Professor Caroline Jackson Smith

Dates: December 5-8, 2013
Location: Little Theater

Now in its third iteration, The Word 'n' The Beat: The Color of Cool returns this winter with an explosion of poetry, spoken word, jazz, rap, hip hop dance, gospel and theater. Devised over the course of the fall semester in Associate Professor Caroline Jackson-Smith's Black Arts Workshop, this year's ensemble explores the Oberlin Black experience through the lens of recent political strife and resilience. Transforming Little Theater with traditional African cloth, current newspapers, and graffiti illustrated by students and audience, these pieces rooted in the historical and personal form a vibrant and stunning collage. Joined by student artists Mike Braugher ('14) and Gynarva Monroe ('14), this fall's The Word 'n' The Beat promises to be a truly singular artistic experience.


Circle Mirror Transformation

by Annie Baker

Director: Abigail Barr '15
Dates: December 8-10, 2013
Location: Warner Studio Three

Visit Warner's Studio Three as director Abigail Barr ('15) transforms the space into Mary's acting studio at the local community center of Annie Baker's Circle Mirror Transformation. A group of disparate students from recent divorcees to former actresses enter the classroom with expectations to match - leading roles, a break from reality. As group movement exercises transition into more intimate sharing of personal memories and passions, they form a bond that reaches past the mirrored walls of the studio, finding emotional truth in reality through the fictional world of acting.


Rosencrantz and Guildenstern

are Dead

by Tom Stoppard

Director: Sarah Rosengarten '14
Dates: February 1-4, 2014
Location: Little Theater

Look on any exit as being an entrance somewhere else,” says the Player to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. These two minor characters in Shakespeare’s Hamlet take center stage in Tom Stoppard’s hilarious Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. The two find themselves at the mercy of meta-theatrical circumstances. While constantly disoriented by tragicomical situation, even confusing themselves for the other, the pair engage in slapstick-like games and musings in order to understand their roles in the play and the world at large. Ultimately, their diversions and contemplations provide a comical take on how much control we have over destiny.

new electric

The New Electric Ballroom

by Edna Walsh

Director: Zachary Weinberg '14
Dates: March 6-9 2014
Location: Little Theater

Three costumes hang on the wall and three sisters stuck in their tales of loss and love. Every day, Breda and Clara, now in their sixties, re-enact the night at The New Electric Ballroom, when hopes of a whirlwind romance turned sour and the sisters’ relationship was forever altered. Though their younger sister Ada acts as a warden to this self-inflicted prison, she dreams of a future, of stories yet to come. Directed by Zachary Weinberg (‘14), The New Electric Ballroom by Enda Walsh is a play charged with fear, nostalgia and the vulnerability of falling in love. In his rich language and idiosyncratic characters, Walsh brings the humor and dark undertones of classic Irish drama to the modern stage. The ballroom has lost its glitz over time and the grimier details have started to show through the red lipstick.


Death and the Maiden

by Ariel Dorfman

Director: Sophie Weiskoff '14
Dates: April 10-13, 2014
Location: Little Theater

Fifteen years after Paulina Salas underwent a brutal questioning that ended in rape and electrocution, Paulina has come face to face with her torturer. Maybe. As she considers the appropriate punishment of her abuser, Paulina must reevaluate her relationship to her husband, Gerardo Escobar, who insists she use hard evidence in her conviction. She must also confront the captive himself, Roberto Miranda, a doctor who insists he is innocent. Set in the wake of the late 20th century Chilean military dictatorship, Death and the Maiden follows three citizen’s fight for the survival of themselves, their sanity and their relationships, in the privacy of one couple’s home. Ariel Dorfman’s groundbreaking play questions the meaning and purpose of justice in healing a nation still full of individuals disfigured by the past.


Hear Say

A documentary performance by Leila Goldstein '14

Dates: March 14-15, 2014
Location: Warner Main Space

As Leila Goldstein (‘14) puts on a set of headphones, she inhabits the words and worlds of women affected by the BRCA mutation, a genetic mutation which greatly increases a woman’s risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer. Based on interviews Goldstein conducted, the stories the women tell expose both the difficulties and fears linked to these cancers, but also how personal health issues intertwine with family secrets, generational differences, and divergent memories. Complete with live original music by Valerie Perczek ('14), Hear Say is a verbatim style, solo performance full of the intimate, yet immediate visceral impact of documentary theater