The UNM Department of Theatre and Dance opens its 2013-2014 production season with The Dispute by Pierre de Marivaux, translation by Neil Bartlett, directed by Gregory Moss, through Sunday, Oct. 6 in The Experimental Theatre. Written in the heyday of French farce, this comedic masterpiece uses needle-sharp wit to examine the genesis of love, desire, betrayal, and passion.
Marivaux is considered to be one of the most important French playwrights of the 18th century. His plays are known for witty wordplay, physical humor and often take for their subject the battle between the forces of love and rationalism. The Dispute is no exception; it is frothy, fun and filled with commedia dell'arte touches while delving deeply into the mysteries of life and love. In The Dispute, an erotic, philosophical comedy, a Prince wagers with his mistress on the outcome of a social experiment: four wild children, two boys and two girls, have been reared in isolation since birth, and are released into a garden to see who will first be unfaithful in love. Considered too risqué and provocative when it was written, this 1744 comedy continues to astonish as it explores the very nature of love and faithfulness.
This is the first time Assistant Professor Gregory Moss directs for the Department of Theatre and Dance at UNM. He joined the UNM faculty in 2012, teaching the MFA playwrights in the department’s award-winning dramatic writing program. He holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing from Brown University’s Literary Arts Program and is a 2012 MacDowell Fellow, an Affiliated Artist with Clubbed Thumb, a member of SPACE at Ryder Farm’s inaugural Working Farm writers group, a Playwrights Center Core Member, and the recipient of a 2010-2011 Jerome Fellowship and a 2011-2012 McKnight Fellowship.
The scenic design for The Dispute is by another newcomer to the department, Inseung Park. Park, who joined the faculty at UNM this fall, was the resident scene designer and scenic charge artist for Raclin School of the Arts at Indiana University South Bend 2006-2013 where he designed and painted sets for numerous productions including Pippin, Westside Story, Godspell, James and Giant Peach, and Raisin In The Sun. Inseung is a company member at Provision Theatre in Chicago, where he has designed a number of world-premiere productions. He is a native Seoul Korean designer and brings his passion and experience in scene design to the students at UNM.
Student designers for this production include costume design is by Loren Kathleen Billington and lighting design is by Matthew Lee. Choreography is by UNM graduate student Lisa Nevada and live music will be performed by cellist Briana Reed. The cast features Stephen Armijo as The Prince, Katie Farmin as Hermaine, his mistress, Jenny Hoffman and Jose Castro as Carise and Mesrou, the servants. The young lovers are Rhiannon Frazier as Eglé, Grey Blanco as Azor , Andee Schray as Adine and Harrison Sim as Mesrin. Gabby Lara, Nick Pippin, and Saranda Kalaveshi complete the cast as courtiers.
Performances of The Dispute are Thursday, Oct. 3, through Saturday, Oct. 5 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 6 at 2 p.m. in the Experimental Theatre, located in the lower level of the Center for the Arts on UNM’s main campus. Due to some mature content this production is not suitable for children and is recommended for teens and above. Ticket prices are $15 General admission, $12 UNM Faculty & Seniors, and $10 UNM Staff & all Students. Tickets are available at the UNM Ticket Offices located at the UNM Bookstore, Central and Cornell, or the Arena (The Pit), University and Avenida Caesar Chavez, and by calling (505) 925-5858. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.unmtickets.com. More information is available online at http://theatre.unm.edu or by calling (505)277-4332.