SJU Theatre Company to Present “The Heidi Chronicles”
Thursday, April 13, 2017
by Kayla Lane '17
PHILADELPHIA (April 13, 2017) — The SJU Theatre Company will close its 2016-17 season with the comedy/drama “The Heidi Chronicles” by Wendy Wasserstein, opening on April 19 at 8 p.m. in the Bluett Theatre.
The Pulitzer Prize winning play follows art historian Heidi Holland and her friends from their late teens in the 1960s to their early forties in 1989 as they navigate significant historical and cultural changes happening in their world. The play is a very much a personal story, but along the way it engages with second-wave feminism, the shift from hippies to yuppies, the AIDS crisis, and more through the lens of coming of age, friendship, romance, and the quest for a meaningful life and a sense of purpose.
Laura Pattillo, Ph.D., assistant professor of English and director, explains that she chose “The Heidi Chronicles” because, “I wanted to do a lighter play, but one that still had significant content that would be useful as a complement to academic classes,” says Pattillo. “The Heidi Chronicles is a witty comedy; its style could be described as comparable to another famous tale from 1989, When Harry Met Sally. It is also a love story of sorts, not just between couples, but between lifelong friends, and, in a way, ultimately between Heidi and herself as she struggles to find her home in the world.”
The production features Natalie Roche ’17 as Heidi Holland, Mike Rizzo ’17 as Scoop Rosenbaum, Joseph Arzeno ’19 as Peter Patrone, and Abigail Gorman ’17 as Susan Johnston. All of the other characters are performed by an ensemble of versatile student actors who play multiple roles.
Pattillo believes the audience will enjoy the amusing and sometimes touching dialogue and the charming characters as well as the brief tour through the last third of the twentieth century.
“There is so much there that is still true about our lives today and that my students can relate to,” says Pattillo. “I hope they see bits and pieces of their own experience reflected in the lives of the characters and that they leave having both thought about the ideas in the play and laughed and cried along with these people.”
The “Heidi Chronicles” will also be shown April 20-22 at 8 p.m. and April 23 at 2 p.m. in Bluett Theatre.
This play is not appropriate for young children.
Tickets can be reserved online or purchased from the box office, located in the lobby of the Bluett Theater in Post Hall. The box office will open one hour prior to showtime.