Posts Tagged ‘Moonchildren’

LIVE: “Moonchildren” @ Berkshire Theatre Festival, Stockbridge [GailSez]

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011
Moonchildren: Kathy (Norma Kuhling) and Ruth (Miriam Silverman) discuss life and men over coffee (photo: Jaime Davidson)

Moonchildren: Kathy (Norma Kuhling) and Ruth (Miriam Silverman) discuss life and men over coffee (photo: Jaime Davidson)

How could a woman who entered college in the 1960s and appeared in Animal House – the definitive depiction of college life in that decade – NOT understand what the 1960’s looked like??? I know director Karen Allen (1951- ) didn’t design the set (John Traub), costumes (George Veale) hair, and make-up for this misbegotten production of Moonchildren on the Unicorn Stage at the BTF, but she’s the director, for crying out loud, the creative team answers to her. And this is not the Podunk Amateur Community Theatre, it’s the Berkshire Theatre Festival – an Equity house with a long and illustrious history and sufficient funds to shell out for some vintage clothing, or replicas thereof.

In 1968 Allen began her studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology, from which she received an honorary Master’s degree, and runs her own fiber arts company here in the Berkshires. And she can’t tell that the costumes for this production are all wrong??? Gimme a break!

Moonchildren is a very early work by playwright Michael Weller (1942- ). Written in 1970, it was a big hit in London and Washington, DC, before moving to Broadway for a short run in 1972 with a stellar cast. It launched a wonderful career for Weller, who is now sharing his talents with a new generation of theatre artists through an innovative and award-winning mentor program. But the fact remains that this is an early effort of a young playwright, obviously writing about his own college experiences at Brandeis University.

Click to read the rest of this review at GailSez.

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LIVE: “Moonchildren” @ Berkshire Theatre Festival, Stockbridge [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011
Moonchildren: Matt Harrington, Joe Paulik, Samantha Richert and Carter Gill (photo by Jaime Davidson)

Moonchildren: Matt Harrington, Joe Paulik, Samantha Richert and Carter Gill (photo by Jaime Davidson)

It seems impossible that eight college students living together could be desperately lonely and unfulfilled. Yet in 1965-66 when the play Moonchildren is set, Michael Weller chooses such a group of nerdy and naive students to populate the rundown communal student apartment in his first successful play. It’s a familiar if unconventional group. They discuss esoteric ideas, eat each others food, make love, and protest war together. Moonchildren is the first play written that put the spotlight on a major change in America as it comes to grips with the conflict in Vietnam.

It is also the first play that Karen Allen has directed for the Berkshire Theatre Festival, though her second time directing Moonchildren, having previously put a young cast at Bard College through its paces.

The time of the play is interesting, taking place just as the first peace rallies (opposing the Vietnam war) were beginning to happen. Draft cards (and bras) are yet to be burned, the first huge rally on the Boston Common is several years away, and the music has not yet been shaken and stirred with acid. Professor Timothy Leary had been dismissed from Harvard in 1963 and it would be a few more years before LSD would become the drug of choice for many flower children.

Click to read the rest of this story at Berkshire on Stage.

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