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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

ETB features diverse show lineup for spring term

<m, Carleton’s Experimental Theater Board (ETB) has a lot to offer. ETB’s spring season will feature three intriguing shows that couldn’t be more different from one another.

On sixth weekend, kicking off this term’s series of ETB shows will be Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead, written by Bert V. Royal and directed by Anna Johnson (2019). Dog Sees God reinvents the Peanuts characters as troubled teenagers. The play picks up ten years after we last saw Charlie Brown (named “C.B.” in the play) and his crew, opening just after the death of Snoopy. Although Dog Sees God contains many dark and disturbing elements, a New York Post review described the show as “raunchy” but “hilariously funny.” In a 2005 New York Times article, reviewer Jason Zinoman maintained that Dog Sees God provides a welcome alternative to the cloyingly cute and ever-innocent portrayal of the Peanuts characters and likens the show to Heathers and Mean Girls. If you’re a fan of the Peanuts, you should definitely go to this show— but make sure you steel yourself first.

Opening on eighth Wednesday and closing on eighth Friday will be two one-act plays from The Iphigenia Quartet that will be directed by Hannah Gellman (2018): Iphigenia, Scourge of Troy (aka Why Should I Die Cheap?) by Suhayla El-Bushra and Clytmenestra by Lulu Raczka. The plays are modern British adaptations of Euripedes’ Ancient Greek tragedy, Iphigenia at Aulis. Gellman maintains that the rehearsal process for the show is “different from…the standard Carleton model” and will include extensive ensemble-building, which is critical for shows with such dark and complex content. Iphigenia, Scourge of Troy and Clytmenestra are unique in style and subject matter, both exploring mythological stories from multiple angles, the former dealing with harmful family dynamics and the latter depicting sort of collective consciousness and what Gellman describes as “fragmented dialogue.” Additionally, Iphigenia, Scourge of Troy and Clytmenestra explore important questions about gender roles and toy with the notion of portraying stories through differing perspectives. These contemporary adaptations work to convey a classical piece in a more accessible way that is sure to be engaging and stimulating.

Finally, on ninth weekend Derin Arduman (2019) will direct The Laramie Project, a 2000 play written collaboratively by Moises Kaufman and several members of the Tectonic Theater Project. The Laramie Project focuses on the aftermath of the murder of gay University of Wyoming Student Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyoming in 1998. The three-act play incorporates hundreds of interviews conducted by the writers, and the relatively small cast portrays over 60 characters. Shepard’s murder, recognized as a hate crime, called attention to the absence of strong hate crime policies in many states, such as Wyoming. This historically-based play is sure to be both educational and emotional.

From history, to a reinterpreted classic, to Charlie Brown, this unique ETB season is not one you want to miss.

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