The Hornets' Nest series has theatre-goers itching for that conversation. The Hornets' Nest series of script-in-hand readings with professional actors and directors returns with three plays investigating the most difficult and controversial questions of today. Following each reading, audience members will have the opportunity to engage in open discussion with key figures from the Rochester community. Since its inception in 2007, the Hornets' Nest series of readings has become nationally recognized and lauded as one of the most innovative theatrical initiatives in the country.
The 2011-2012 series opens on October 24 with Freud's Last Session by Mark St. Germain. On the day England enters World War II, the legendary psychoanalyst Dr. Sigmund Freud clashes with the young C.S. Lewis about love, sex and the existence of God and the meaning of life - just weeks before Freud takes his own life. Is there common ground between faith and reason? What happens when science and religion are used as justification for action? Kenneth Tigar, recently seen as Norman in Geva's production of On Golden Pond plays Sigmund Freud, and Professor of Theatre at Nazareth College and local actor Matt Ames plays C.S. Lewis.
Playwright Mark St. Germain has written the plays Camping with Henry and Tom (Outer Critics Circle Award and Lucille Lortel Award), Out of Gas on Lover's Leap and Forgiving Typhoid Mary (Time Magazine's "Year's Ten Best"), Ears on a Beatle and The God Committee, all published by Samuel French and Dramatist Play Service. With Randy Courts, he has written the musicals The Gifts of the Magi, Johnny Pye and the Foolkiller, winner of an AT&T "New Plays for the Nineties Award" and Jack's Holiday at Playwrights Horizons. Mark's musical, Stand by Your Man: The Tammy Wynette Story was created for Nashville's Ryman Theater. Television credits include Writer and Creative Consultant for "The Cosby Show." He co-wrote the screenplay for Carroll Ballard's Warner Brothers film, Duma. Mark directed and co-produced the upcoming documentary, My Dog: an Unconditional Love Story, featuring, Richard Gere, Glenn Close and Edward Albee among many others. Mark has written the children's book, Three Cups. He is an alumnus of New Dramatists, where he was given the Joe A. Callaway Award, a member of the Dramatists Guild, the Writer's Guild East and a Board Member of the Barrington Stage Company. He was awarded the "New Voices In American Theatre" award at the William Inge Theatre Festival.
Following the reading of Freud's Last Session, audience members will have the opportunity to discuss the questions that the play poses with a panel of members of the community brought together specifically for this event. This panel will include Eric Caine, MD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center.
The Hornets' Nest series continues with Coyote on a Fence by Bruce Graham on February 27. Coyote on a Fence explores the state of our justice system. Can a person be innocent though proven guilty? Is our justice system fair and just enough to include capital punishment? Is the Death Penalty a viable punishment?
The series concludes on May 14 with a play that is yet to be announced.
Play readings are at 7:00pm in the Fielding Nextstage. Tickets are free and, due to the popularity of this series, are limited to two per person. Reservations are recommended. Due to anticipated demand, all unclaimed tickets will be released at 6:45pm on the day of performance. Patron discretion is advised: plays deal with adult subject matter. To reserve tickets phone the Box Office: (585) 232-Geva (4382) or reserve online at www.gevatheatre.org.