Written by Michael Rouleau
WILLIMANTIC, CT (04/20/2017) “Cantilever,” the final Main Stage production of the academic year at Eastern Connecticut State University, will be performed from April 25-30. Presented by Eastern’s Theatre Program and Drama Society, “Cantilever” tells the story of the apprentices of Frank Lloyd Wright, a prolific 20th-century architect who ran a fellowship program on his extraordinary Arizona estate, Taliesin West.
“In the turbulent 1930s and 1940s, young draftsmen and designers flocked from around the world to study at the feet of the master,” explained Theatre Professor J.J. Cobb, playwright and director. “They found themselves serving food and pouring concrete into textile-block molds in the Arizona sun. Some quickly deemed the arrangement a manipulation, but many stayed for decades. ‘Cantilever’ looks behind the curtain of idolatry, at artists striving to reconcile their own desires with Wright’s philosophy.”
The play will be shown in the Proscenium Theatre of Eastern’s Fine Arts Instructional Center on Tuesday, April 25 at 7:30 p.m.; Wednesday, April 26 at 7:30 p.m.; Thursday, April 27 at 5:30 p.m.; Friday, April 28 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, April 29 at 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, April 30 at 4 p.m.
During her research into Wright’s fellowship, Cobb kept wondering why the apprentices would stay. The play focuses entirely on the apprentices and their many challenges, with Wright and his family remaining a powerful yet invisible presence. The production design of “Cantilever” attempts to rebuild the world of Taliesin West in sensory ways, allowing the audience to be transported even though they aren’t in the desert.
Tickets are free for Eastern students; $5 for other students and groups of 10 or more; $10 for Eastern faculty, staff, alumni and senior citizens; and $15 for the general public. For ticket information and reservations, please call the FAIC box office at (860) 465-5123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To purchase tickets online, visit easternct.showare.com/cantilever/.