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Theatre dept. press release    Date: 10/15/10 Bookmark and Share

Greek 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 kids.

A scene from Polaroid Stories.

Polaroid 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.

About Naomi Iizuka

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, Marlowe’s 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.

About Daniel Elihu Kramer

Director 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).

Tickets: $8 adult, $5 students/seniors, $3 Smith students (at the window with Smith ID). Wednesday, October 27, is Dollar Night for all students. Order tickets online, by phone (413-585-2787), or email ( Also, visit the Smith performing arts calendar and Facebook page.

Polaroid Stories is produced by special arrangement with The Dramatic Publishing Company, Woodstock, Illinois.

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