365 Days/ 365 Plays at Pacific
365 Days - 365 Plays by Suzan-Lori Parks
DeMarcus Brown Studio Theater
March 23, 24, 29, 30, 31st at 8:00 pm
March 25th at 2:00 pm
Director Macelle Mahala, PhD
The Department of Theatre Arts at University of the Pacific is staging 365 Days/ 365 Plays, written by Suzan-LoriParks and directed by Professor Macelle Mahala. The playwright wrote one play a day for a year, some of which are connected and some not. A group of 12 students will be performing 70 out of the 365 plays.
Parks, the first African American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize in drama, has inspired Mahala for years: "I saw the play for which she won the Pulitzer Prize on Broadway performed by Jeffrey Wright and Mos Def: it was mesmerizing." Mahala staged another of Parks' plays, Devotees in the Garden of Love, as part of her graduate work at the University of Minnesota. This is her directorial debut at University of the Pacific.
"I'm interested in using theatre as creatively as possible to engage the mind in whatever questions or experiences a particular play explores. It's really the same thing I'm interested in as a writer, performer, and teacher." Mahala, a professor at Pacific since 2007, teaches Introduction to Theatre, Beginning Acting, Directing, Playwriting, Theatre Heritage I and II, and Pacific Seminar I. She describes 365 Days/ 365 Plays as a celebration of the creative process, and of writing and theatre in particular. "The show touches on a multitude of subjects and themes: history, war, relationships, politics, and art. There is a beautiful, poetic sparseness to the language and imagery in the piece. It is about using the craft of playwriting to tune in to the world at a particular moment, to capture the essence of that moment and then to let that moment pass by and tune in to something else."
This fast-paced, witty collection of short plays is full of vibrant characters and circumstances. The production contains situations that include a face off between a disillusioned shopping mall Santa and a soccer mom, a strange encounter at a bus stop, a wandering mariachi, the personification of the Hindu gods Arjuna and Krishna, and a homecoming queen's fleeting five minutes of fame. The production also incorporates singing, dancing, and video projection.
The show dates and times are March 23, 24, 29, 30, and 31 at 8 p.m. and March 25th at 2 p.m. in the DeMarcus Brown Studio Theatre at Pacific. Tickets are $15 for the general public, $12 for students, staff and faculty, and $10 for seniors. Tickets can be purchased at www.go.pacific.edu/tickets or the box office at 209.926.2UOP.