Mythology Meets Gritty Modernity
Inspired by the Greek mythological
characters in Ovid’s Metamorphoses and by
Jim Goldberg’s photographic essay Raised by Wolves, award-winning playwright
Naomi Iizuka’s Polaroid Stories is about the real-life stories of urban street
A scene from Polaroid Stories.
Stories, directed by
Daniel Elihu Kramer, will open during Family Weekend October
21 through 23, with performances also October 27 through
30, at 8 p.m. in Theatre 14, Mendenhall Center for the
Performing Arts. Note: the play contains
strong language and adult situations throughout.
The backdrop of a gritty,
decaying city landscape renders explosive characters in
Polaroid Stories, such as D (Dionysus), Orpheus, Eurydice
and G (Zeus/Hades) all the more vivid as they recount their
tales of love, pain, prejudice and abuse with a mixture
of poetry and brutality. The characters wage a fierce day-to-day
struggle for survival in an urban jungle even as they desperately
search for belonging, acceptance and self-worth.
Contemporary Japanese American
playwright Naomi Iizuka has already written a host of controversial
plays in her young career that have won her acclaim and
recognition, including 36 Views, Skin,
Eye, Strike-Slip, Ghostwritten, Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls and Tattoo
Girl. Her plays have been produced at the Children’s
Theater Company, the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts,
the Huntington Theater, Actors’ Theatre of Louisville,
and Berkeley Repertory Theater, and many other venues.
She is the recipient of an Alpert Award, a Joyce Foundation
Award, a Whiting Writers’ Award, a Stavis Award
from the National Theatre Conference, a Rockefeller Foundation
MAP grant, an NEA/TCG Artist-in-Residence grant, a McKnight
Fellowship, and a PEN Center USA West Award for Drama.
Daniel Kramer is assistant professor of acting/directing
at Smith, where last spring he directed an all-female production
of Shakespeare’s Henry
V. In 2009, he completed his first feature film, Kitchen
Hamlet, a contemporary setting of Shakespeare's Hamlet.
He received a 2007 Elliot Norton Award (the Boston area
theatre awards) for Outstanding Production for A
Midsummer Night's Dream at Boston Theatre Works. In 2008, his production
of The Pillowman at the Contemporary American Theatre Company
received awards for Best Production and Best Direction.
Kramer holds an MFA in Directing from Yale School of Drama
and a BA from Haverford College, and is a member of the
Society for Stage Directors and Choreographers (SSDC).
$8 adult, $5 students/seniors, $3 Smith students (at the
window with Smith ID). Wednesday, October 27, is Dollar
Night for all students. , by phone (413-585-2787),
or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Also, visit the Smith and .
is produced by special arrangement with The Dramatic Publishing
Company, Woodstock, Illinois.