School of Drama To Stage ‘Epic Tale of Revenge and Madness’

A single broken heart creates a national emergency in the Yale School of Drama’s adaptation of Friedrich Schiller’s “The Robbers,” an epic tale of revenge and madness running Friday-Thursday, Dec. 12-18, at the Yale Repertory Theatre, 1120 Chapel St.

In this second production of the school’s 2008-2009 season, one brother double-crosses another to gain their father’s fortune. Director Becca Wolff, a third-year M.F.A. candidate, shakes off the bonds of theatrical conventions in this gender-bent production, testing the limits of absolute freedom and violence.

“If we could take a snapshot of the human race in our young millennium, would we see a species beyond the brutalities of its past?” Wolff asks. “In this production, states will rise and fall in our own backyards because the problem of this play is very much alive: human beings are still alone in the space between angels and animals. And we still need to figure out how to live there.”

Wolff’s School of Drama credits include “Troilus vs. Cressida,” “Dramatis Personae” and “The Emperor of Ice Cream or Thirteen Ways of Looking at Donald Rumsfeld.” She co-created the musical “Bicycling for Ladies” for the Yale Cabaret and directed the musical “Usher,” which won Outstanding Musical at the 2008 New York International Fringe Festival. An upcoming work is the opera “The Country Doctor,” based on a Franz Kafka short story, which will be staged at Yale. Wolff has directed world premiere plays in Providence, Rhode Island, at Perishable Theatre and Elemental Theatre Ensemble, along with several seasons of work by young playwrights with The Manton Avenue Project. She co-wrote and directed “Explain This” (Aisles Productions), which went on to the International Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. She was a nominee for the 2008 Princess Grace Award and is a recipient of the John Badham Scholarship at Yale.

The cast for “The Robbers” includes Eddie Brown, Kevin Daniels, Austin Durant, Laura Esposito, Carter Gill, Aja-Naomi King, Ryan Lockwood, Barret O’Brien, Ken Robinson, Erica Sullivan and Nondumiso Tembe.

The production features sets by Katherine Day, costumes by Valerie Bart, lights by Chuan Chi Chan and sound by Scott Nielsen.

A series of behind-the-scenes videos for “The Robbers” will allow audience members to follow the creative process. The video blog is on three websites: www.drama.yale.edu, You Tube and Facebook.

Performances are at 8 p.m. each night (no show on Sunday, Dec. 14). Tickets are $20; $15 for seniors and $10 for students. Discounted rates for groups of 10 or more are available. Tickets may be purchased online at www.drama.yale.edu or by calling (203) 432-1234. They may also be purchased in person at the Yale Rep box office at 1120 Chapel St. (at York Street).

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