Fordham Notes: Madness Comes to Mainstage Theatre Season

Friday, October 2, 2009

Madness Comes to Mainstage Theatre Season

Each year Fordham’s theatre program chooses a theme around which to build the season’s repertoire. According to Matthew Maguire, director of the theatre program, this year’s theme of “madness” should prove to be a box-office draw.

The mainstage season kicks of on Thursday, Oct. 15 with “The Day Room,” a rarely performed play by Don DeLillo (FCRH ’59). The black comedy mocks our fears of hospitals, death, and insanity as it blurs the lines between patients and staff inside an insane asylum. DeLillo, an award-winning novelist (White Noise (1985), Underworld (1997)) has attended rehearsals, Maguire said, and will also attend one of the performances.

The season follows up with Emily Mann’s “Mrs. Packard ,” which explores the injustice of a system that allows husbands to commit their wives to asylums without consent; Irene Fornes’ “Sarita,” about a teenage girl’s violent love and madness; and Shakespeare’s famous tragedy about a mad prince, "Hamlet."

“There are multiple refractions of madness across our season,” Maguire said. “The task was to find the right plays to complete the mosaic.”

In the spring, the theatre program will join with Fordham’s Center for Religion and Culture to further explore all of the plays’ themes, in a forum, “Religion and Madness: Spirituality and Pathology.”


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