Shipwrecked! An Entertainment Opens March 30

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

UVA DRAMA TO PRESENT SHIPWRECKED! AN ENTERTAINMENT – THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF LOUIS DE ROUGEMONT (AS TOLD BY HIMSELF)

Opening March 30 in Ruth Caplin Theatre

The UVA Department of Drama invites young and old to enjoy the high seas exploits of a Victorian-era adventurer in Donald Margulies’ Shipwrecked! An Entertainment – The Amazing Adventures of Louis De Rougemont (As Told By Himself).  This celebration of the art of storytelling, directed by Marianne Kubik, will be presented March 30 & 31, April 1, April 5-8 at 8 p.m.  and April 8 at 2 p.m. in the Ruth Caplin Theatre.  Tickets are $14.00 for adults, $12.00 for UVA faculty, staff and UVA Alumni Association members, and $8.00 for students. They are currently available online at www.artsboxoffice.virginia.edu, by calling 434-924-3376, or in-person from noon until 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday at the UVA Arts Box Office, located in the lobby of the Drama building.  Full-time UVA students may receive one free ticket if reserved at least 24 hours in advance of their desired show date.

Shipwrecked! brings Louis De Rougemont center stage to tell us about the adventures of his youth sailing to exotic islands, meeting native peoples, and dealing with a giant octopus complete to a “soundtrack” created by the actors and original music by UVA Drama lecturer Matthew Marshall. 

“I was drawn to this work because I love telling stories visually,” said director Kubik.  “I believe the biggest value that live theatre has is that the audience watches bodies on stage living life and giving those lives emotional essence through action.”  The play is a true ensemble where nearly all of the cast play multiple roles and all are Foley artists creating the sound effects of the story live at each performance.  “This is a great opportunity for our students to learn to communicate the story through their bodies and to support a story wearing many hats.  It is a new theatre style for many of them challenging them to take a block of wood, for example, and make it an island in the eyes of the audience.  The power of live story telling can be in audience’s hands by suspending their disbelief and letting their imagination create the work.”

Playwright Donald Margulies will be UVA Drama’s 2017 Keenan Lecturer on March 31 at 4pm in the Ruth Caplin Theatre.  Margulies is a prolific playwright whose plays have been commissioned by and performed on and off Broadway and at major theatres across the United States including Manhattan Theatre Club, South Coast Repertory, Geffen Playhouse, Actors’ Theatre of Louisville, New York Shakespeare Festival, Primary Stages, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Long Wharf Theatre, and in cities all over the world.  His play Dinner with Friends won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2000 and was made into an Emmy-nominated film for HBO. 

Mr. Margulies is also a screenwriter and his film The End of the Tour will be screened on April 1 at 2pm in the Ruth Caplin Theatre followed by a moderated discussion with UVA Drama Assistant Professor Katelyn Wood.  Margulies adapted David Lipsky’s memoir Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace into the screenplay for the film which depicts the five day interview of David Foster Wallace by then “Rolling Stone” reporter Lipsky.

“We are honored to have Mr. Margulies as our Keenan Lecturer and guest artist,” said UVA Drama chair Colleen Kelly.  “Our students will be able to meet with him in classes and our audiences will be able to gain insight into his work as both a playwright and screenwriter through the lecture and the film screening.  There will also be a Q&A with Mr. Margulies and the cast of Shipwrecked! following the performance on April 1.”

Lawrence R. Keenan, UVA class of ‘66, a lawyer and a playwright, died in 1999 from complications of bone cancer.  In his honor, his friends and family established the Keenan Lectureship in UVA’s Drama Department.

A UVA Drama alumnus, Mr. Keenan received an M.F.A. in playwriting in 1992.  His play The Spot” was a based on the White Spot restaurant on the Corner and won first place in the West Virginia Play Festival.  Keenan began his legal career in 1972 as an assistant commonwealth’s attorney for Fairfax County.  He was a Falls Church City attorney from 1974 to 1976 and a trial lawyer with a private practice in Fairfax from 1977 to 1985. Turning his attention to writing, he moved to California in 1985 and joined the Actor's Alley Theater and Tracy Roberts Theater. In addition to writing, he served as a consultant on the staging of courtroom dramas. He practiced law in California for two years before pursuing graduate studies at the University of Virginia in the early 1990s.

Free parking is available for all UVA Drama production in the Culbreth Road Garage adjacent to the theatres.

Victorian adventurers (Danny Wagner, left, and Randy Risher, right) tell a tale of traveling to exotic islands, meeting native peoples, and encountering a giant octopus in the UVA Department of Drama's production of Shipwrecked! An Entertainment – The Amazing Adventures of Louis De Rougemont (As Told By Himself) by Donald Margulies.  Photo by Michael Bailey