Villanova Theatre Debuts New Play from Award-Winning Author
Posterity will run from November 9 to November 19 in the Court Theatre at the John and Joan Mullen Center for the Performing Arts.
Villanova Theatre proudly presents celebrated playwright Wendy MacLeod’s new play Posterity, directed by Theatre Professor Edward Sobel, on stage November 9 to November 19 in the Court Theatre at the John and Joan Mullen Center for the Performing Arts. As part of its longstanding commitment to new work and living playwrights, the Theatre Department has also named Posterity the latest recipient of its annual Sue Winge Playwriting Award.
Posterity tells a captivating collage of stories – from the Civil War to 9/11 and up to the present moment – three families seek connection, meaning and solace through the modern miracle of photography. Playwright Wendy MacLeod brings to life intimate snapshots of parents, children, siblings and lovers, brilliantly capturing the universal longing to freeze time and cling to those we hold dear.
Sobel describes Posterity – staged at Villanova for the first time anywhere – as “an exploration of our need and desire to hold onto what is ephemeral and escapes our grasp.” His vision for the play is for it to move freely between time and space creating a sense of fluidity, “as though written on water,” while invoking the notion of transparency as moments and memories appear and disappear before our very eyes.
Thanks to support made available through the Theatre Department’s Sue Winge New Play program, MacLeod will be in residence and an active participant in the production process. Established in 2010 in remembrance of Villanova employee Sue Winge, who served the University for many years in the Theatre Department and the President’s Office, the Award annually supports the creation and development of new plays on campus in one of three ways: workshopping an established playwright's work; commissioning original scripts; and the Sue Winge Playwriting Competition, open to students, alumni and other members of the Villanova community.
Having MacLeod in the rehearsal room offers students an opportunity not only to collaborate with a distinguished and widely produced playwright but also to actively contribute to the development of a brand-new play – part of the Theatre Department’s mission to expose students to new work and living writers. As part of her residency on campus, MacLeod will also offer a playwriting workshop to graduate and undergraduate students.
The six-person cast of Posterity includes a mix of full- and part-time Master’s in Theatre students, including second year scholar, Sara Buscaglia who plays Rose and Minnie. According to Buscaglia, “It is a beautiful thing to be able to capture a snapshot of a very specific moment in time in these characters’ lives. I’m honored to portray stories of love and loss, which are, at their heart so human and to which every audience member will be able to relate.”
Dramaturg Reagan Venturi’s insightful research is rich with material on the various time periods the play spans, the different meanings of the word “posterity,” and select resources on how to cultivate safe rehearsal spaces for projects that grapple with sensitive content. Venturi’s guiding questions for her research are as follows: “How do I hold onto myself? And how do I hold onto others?” These questions prompted the beginnings of her research, leading her to focus on photography and the importance of capturing moments in time through an artistic medium. Specifically, she has explored the role photography plays in grief with her question, “How do we hold onto ourselves when we’re losing others?”
Posterity will run from November 9 to November 19 in the Court Theatre at the John and Joan Mullen Center for the Performing Arts. Performances will be held Thursdays-Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets discounted for the Villanova community. Speaker’s Series, immediately following the 2 p.m. performance on November 12, will feature a Q&A session with director Edward Sobel, production dramaturg Reagan Venturi, and playwright Wendy MacLeod.