posted April 14, 2010

Hope College Theatre to Present Works by Harold Pinter

Hope College Theatre will present "The Pinter Project," a collection of short plays written by Harold Pinter, in the DeWittCenter studio theatre beginning Friday, April 23.

Several events will be included.  There will be evening performances of nine short plays by Pinter:   "The Dumbwaiter," "A Kind of Alaska," and seven "sketches" or "black-out scenes."  Performances are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, April 23 and 24, and Wednesday through Saturday, April 28 to May 1, all in the DeWitt Center studio theatre starting at 8 p.m.

The project's director, John Tammi, professor of theatre, noted that the late British playwright Harold Pinter is considered one of the most significant dramatists of the late 20th century.

"We are, in a real sense, creating a Pinter Festival," Tammi said.  "Our aim is to inform the public regarding the rich contributions made by Pinter and to pay homage to his continuing legacy."

In addition to the ticketed events, the department of theatre is sponsoring several free events during the two performance weeks.

On Wednesday, April 21, in the DeWitt Center Herrick Room at 4 p.m., the department will screen two documentaries featuring Pinter:  "A Conversation with Charlie Rose" and "Working with Pinter: A Master Class for the Stage."

A Pinter Symposium featuring a panel discussion will be held on Thursday, April 22, at 4 p.m. in the DeWittCenter studio theatre.  The event will be moderated by Dr. Stephen Hemenway, who is a professor of English and director of the Vienna Summer School, and David James, who is an adjunct associate professor of English and director of the Writing Center.

On Monday, April 26, at 4 p.m. in the Fried-Hemenway Auditorium of the Martha Miller Center for Global Communication, there will be a screening of the film "The Homecoming."

The film screenings will continue on Wednesday, April 28, at 4 p.m. in the DeWitt Center Herrick Room with the film "Betrayal."

A staged reading of Pinter's play "Moonlight" will be held on Thursday, April 29, at 4 p.m. in the DeWitt Center studio theatre.

And finally, audiences are encouraged to bring a brown bag lunch and join the department of theatre on Friday, April 30, at noon in the DeWitt Center studio theatre for a staged reading of the Pinter play "The Lover."

Harold Pinter's career as a playwright spanned more than 50 years, beginning with "The Room" in 1957 and continuing with another 28 plays.  Some of his best-known works include "The Birthday Party," "Betrayal" and "The Homecoming," winner of the 1967 Tony for Best Play.  For his contributions to literature through his playwriting and poetry, Harold Pinter was awarded the 2005 Nobel Prize for Literature.  He died on Dec. 24, 2008.

In addition to Tammi, other faculty members on the production team are Richard Smith, scenic and properties designer, and Michelle Bombe, costume design mentor. Erik Alberg, technical director for events and conferences, is the lighting and sound designer, and staff member Paul Anderson is the technical director.  Junior Katie Hoekstra of Kalamazoo is the costume designer.

The ensemble of "The Pinter Project" includes senior Tom Bird of Baraboo, Wis.; freshman Skye Edwards of Morrison, Colo.; senior Alex Martin of Saugatuck; senior Meg McNamee of Hartland; sophomore Caitlin Seay of Grandville; sophomore Madison Tustin of Plainwell; sophomore Christoff Visscher of Silver Spring, Md.; and senior Christine Worden of Midland.  The stage managers are junior Jacob Douma of Lansing, Ill., and sophomore Amanda K. VanAssen of Grand Rapids.

Tickets for "The Pinter Project" are $7 for regular admission, $5 for Hope faculty and staff, and $4 for students and senior citizens, and are available at the ticket office located in the main lobby of the DeVos Fieldhouse, which is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  In addition, the theatre lobby ticket office in the DeWitt Center will be open on performance nights at 7 p.m. The ticket office may be contacted at (616) 395-7890.

The DeVos Fieldhouse is located at 222 Fairbanks Avenue between Ninth and 11th streets. The DeWitt Center is located at 141 E. 12th St., on Columbia Avenue at 12th Street.  The Martha Miller Center for Global Communication is located at 257 Columbia Ave., on Columbia Avenue at 10th Street.