Time and again the Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University mounts productions that are marvels of excellence.
Caryl Churchill has had an amazing career since she graduated from Oxford University’s Lady Margaret Hall women’s college with a degree in English Literature in 1960. Her plays often focus on sexual politics, the abuse of power and a non-traditional look at history from a feminist point of view.
Mary Zimmerman comes by her academic standards naturally, as the daughter of two college professors at the University of Nebraska. Her writing skills, however, are the product of a fanciful imagination that has guided her artistic achievements since childhood.
In Joe Orton’s short but prolific career as a writer, the Englishman developed a reputation for incisive and biting humor that lampooned the Establishment in merry olde England. Before his abilities could fully blossom, Orton tragically was bludgeoned to death by his lover, another writer/actor named Kenneth Halliwell, in 1967 at the age of 34.
In the lobby of the area's local Taj Mahal, otherwise known as the Scheidegger Center for the Arts at Lindenwood University, is a display window paying homage to early 20th century scenic designer Lyobov Popova.
Kirkwood Theatre Guild recently unveiled its 80th season with an audience-pleasing presentation of Noel Coward's charming comedy, Blithe Spirit. It's the type of show and production that has pleased patrons of the venerable community theater for eight decades.
Sam Shepard shocked the sensibilities of American theater when his literary voice first was raised in the 1960s and '70s. At first specializing in absurdist works, his style evolved into an alternate realism, a landscape where emotions and thoughts are as exaggerated as the mythic value of the American West. Such is the setting of Curse of the Starving Class, the first of Shepard's trio of works about the destructive dynamics of a family dysfunctional with a capital 'D.' He followed that foray into family foibles with the Pulitzer Prize-winning Buried Child and the Gothic tale, True West.
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