The Yale Dramat’s first show of the fall season closed this weekend to a sellout crowd, and preparations for three more events are already well underway.
The show, “The Cosmonaut’s Last Message to the Woman He Loved in the Former Soviet Union,” was one of two experimental theater works being produced by the Dramat this fall, along with “Habeas Corpus,” a British sex farce that opens next weekend. Also in the works for this semester are a mainstage musical entitled “Bat Boy,” and a playwriting festival.
Dramat officers said they were very pleased with the success of “Cosmonaut.”
“We want to keep people interested in the shows and to make sure the production runs really smoothly, and ‘Cosmonaut’ was very successful in that,” said Kelsey Lents ’05, the Dramat’s marketing director.
The technical aspects of the production also went very well, Lents said.
“Cosmonaut” was written by David Greig, produced by Daniel Guando ’04, and directed by Michael Lew ’03.
Carla Federman ’04, the vice president of the Dramat, said that the show’s experimental nature reflected the nature of the upcoming season as a whole.
“I think that we’ve chosen a very experimental season, and I think it’s going to show,” said Federman. “With ‘Cosmonaut,’ we took a chance that definitely paid off.”
“Habeas Corpus,” the Dramat’s next production, opens Oct. 10 and runs through Oct. 12, with nightly performances at 8 p.m. and a Saturday matinee at 2 p.m. All shows are in the New Theater in Holcombe T. Green Jr. Hall at 1156 Chapel St.
Lents said she has high expectations for the production.
“‘Habeas Corpus’ is absolutely hilarious. I saw a run-through and it looks like it will be just as successful [as ‘Cosmonaut’],” she said.
Federman is encouraged by the show’s timing.
“It’s on Parents’ Weekend, which is great because it’s the kind of thing that you can take your parents to and it will be fun for everyone,” she said.
“Habeas Corpus” was written by Alan Bennett, directed by Cecelia Morelli ’04, and produced by John Danilovich ’04.
The Dramat’s plans this year are not limited to professionally-penned plays. The Dramat’s playwriting festival, now in its second year, has called for submissions from student playwrights. Five or six of the submissions will be selected for production and will be performed Oct. 25 and 26 in Nick Chapel.
Michael Schulman ’03, who is running the festival this year, said that it is a very important thing for the Dramat to be doing.
“There are a lot of very talented student playwrights here, but it’s often difficult for them to find a venue for their work to be produced,” said Schulman.
The Dramat’s final production of the season, “Bat Boy,” opens Nov. 13 at the University Theatre and runs through Nov. 16. Based on an article in the tabloid “Weekly World News,” it tells the story of a boy, raised by bats, trying to fit into a small, conservative Midwestern town. A relatively new play, “Bat Boy” only recently had its off-Broadway debut, and Lents said people who had seen the show in New York City were very interested in seeing a Yale rendition.
Federman said the prospects for the musical were bright.
“I don’t think there’s been a show in recent Dramat history that people have been as excited about as this one,” she said. “It’s really funny.”