LEWISTON – Playwright John Guare’s “The House of Blue Leaves” is the major fall theater production of the Bates College theater department.

Directed by professor of theater Paul Kuritz, “Blue Leaves” will be performed at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 5-6 and 12-13, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 7 and 14.

Mixing black comedy with existential drama, “The House of Blue Leaves” premiered off-Broadway in 1971.

Built around a historic visit to New York City by Pope Paul VI on Oct. 4, 1965, it examines the human condition and the falsities of the American dream through the lens of a middle-class New York family.

The plot deals with the pains and hardships of protagonist Artie as he juggles his often-crazy home life and his desire to make it big as a songwriter. In the Bates production, Artie will be played by Kevin Weiler, a senior. Alexandra Hughes, a sophomore, portrays his wife, Bananas. Brandt Miller, a first-year student, plays their son, Ronnie, and Emmy Spencer, a first-year student, is Bunny, Artie’s mistress.

The play, says Kuritz, “forces the questions, ‘Why is this family as it is?’ ‘Why is my family the way it is?'”

He says, “Fundamental to any actor playing a role is the question, ‘What does my character want and what is he willing to do to get it?’ That question animates the characters in ‘The House of Blue Leaves,’ and returns to each of us throughout our lives.”

“Blue Leaves” received four Tony Awards, the Los Angeles Drama Critics Award and the New York Drama Critics Award for Best American Play.

Admission is $6 for the general public and $3 for Bates faculty and staff, senior citizens and non-Bates students.

For reservations and more information, people may call 786-6161.


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