The Boston College Theatre Department continues its 2012-2013 season with its second student-directed workshop production of the year: the contemporary romantic comedy Jack and Jill. This now-funny, now-serious show--about the ups and downs of love and relationships--is directed by BC senior Theatre major Hana Hyseni and was written by the pseudonymous Jane Martin. The production will be presented in BC's Robsham Theater Arts Center, in the Bonn Studio Theater, from February 21-23, 2013.
Jack and Jill offers a humorous examination of love and marriage in a post-feminist era when women are to be liberated and men are expected to be in touch with their feelings. While most romantic comedies focus on falling in love with that special someone, Martin dissects the trials and tribulations that come after the fall--when Mr. and Mrs. Right question whether there really exists such a person and ponder: how can I be in love without losing myself? Such questions of identity give Jack and Jill a psychological realism that few contemporary plays can match.
"Jack and Jill is a comedy about a serious dilemma. Two adults. Two personalities. One love," says Hyseni. "From the dreamy first kiss, to the awkward do-I-wave-or-look-away encounter, to the loud and ugly fights, Jack and Jill have been there and done that. Feminist theories and male egos hover over these two lovers struggling to find a common ground. You want to love them and hate them because they're so much like us."
Jane Martin is the pseudonym for the author of a number of successful and popular plays--Talking With, Keely and Du, Anton in Show Business, among others--all of which premiered at The Actors Theatre of Louisville and were directed there by Jon Jory, its artistic director at the time, who is widely believed to be the true identity of Jane Martin. But when asked if the identity mystery would be settled in the future, he said: "That's a press conference no one will come to. By the time I die, no one will care anyway."
Jory is the child of Hollywood actor Victor Jory, who played Jonas Wilkerson in Gone with the Wind. He rose through the ranks of the regional theatre movement of the 1960s to become the head of Actors Theatre of Louisville, where he developed the annual Humana Festival of New American Plays. Launched in 1976, the festival is known as the premiere national showcase for new plays and emerging playwrights. In March, the 2013 Humana Festival will include the world premiere of Cry Old Kingdom, a play by 2008 Boston College alumnus and Theatre major Jeff Augustin. Jory left the Louisville theater in 2000, and Jane Martin has not been heard from since. He is currently the president's chair in performing arts at Sante Fe University of Art and Design.
In addition to Hyseni, Jack and Jill features an all-BC student production team: seniors Katie Donnelly (set designer), Nicole Trauffer (costume designer), Christine Movius (lighting designer), Maggie Maguire (sound designer) and Stephanie Flores (production stage manager). The roles of Jack and Jill are played by juniors Tom Mezger and Ceara O'Sullivan, respectively. They are supported by a quartet of dressers -- Jake Alexander '14, Loucie St. Germain '13, Ryan Cooper '16, and Sarah Devizio '14 -- who assist in the progression of the show.
The production opens on Thursday, February 21 at 7:30 p.m. and runs through Saturday, February 23, in the Bonn Studio Theater of Robsham Theater Arts Center. General admission tickets are $15, $10 for students, seniors, and BC faculty and staff. Tickets are available online at www.bc.edu/theatre, through the RTAC Box Office, or by calling 617-552-4002.
In 1865, two years after Boston College opened, theatre began at BC. It continued for many years as a student activity under the aegis of the Dramatics Society. In the early 1970s the College of Arts and Sciences established a theater major as part of the Department of Speech, Communications and Theatre. The Robsham Theater Arts Center opened in 1981 as the center of theater production on campus. In 1993 the Theatre Department was established as an independent department. Since then, both the academic and production programs have grown steadily in terms of faculty staff, theater majors, course offerings, and the quality and quantity of productions. For more information, go to www.bc.edu/theatre.