Eastern Theatre Presents ‘Awakenings: Youth and Chitra’

Written by Michael Rouleau

WILLIMANTIC, CT (03/19/2018) The Theatre Program at Eastern Connecticut State University will present its first Main Stage production of the spring 2018 semester from April 5-8 with “Awakenings: ‘Youth’ by Thornton Wilder and ‘Chitra’ by Rabindranath Tagore.” These two one-act plays, written by Pulitzer Prize-winning authors of the West (Wilder) and East (Tagore), will be shown in the Del Monte Bernstein Studio Theatre in Eastern’s Fine Arts Instructional Center.

The sets, costumes, lighting, projections, music and dance will fill the theater with the tropical island ambiance of “Youth” and the lush Indian aura of “Chitra.” “Awakenings: Youth and Chitra” is being directed by Eastern students Matthew Bessette of Lebanon, CT, and Emily John of Woodstock, CT, respectively.

“Conceived in the 1960s, amid a youthful population that had discovered for the first time its social and political clout, ‘Youth’ might well have been Wilder’s satirical meditation on the excesses of America,” writes the publishing company Samuel French, Inc. “More than just a jab at a particular decade and the foibles of utopian idealism of young people everywhere, however, ‘Youth’ demonstrates Wilder’s ever-generous spirit, his life-long belief in community and the value of the contributions every individual can make.”

In “Chitra,” Tagore explores “the balancing of the physical and spiritual aspects of love and the power of a woman’s physical charm against her inner strength,” writes Zafar Anjum in the analysis “Tagore’s Chitra and Folklore’s Hidimba: Power of the Feminine.” “At some crucial point, these aspects converge when Chitrangada stands forth as man’s mental and spiritual equal, strengthening Tagore’s concept of womanhood. Tagore’s depiction of women is bold and experimental; the portrayals are ideologically oriented but the feminist inclinations are obvious.”

“Awakenings: Youth and Chitra” will be performed on Thursday, April 5, at 5:30 p.m.; Friday, April 6, at 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, April 7, at 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, April 8, at 4 p.m. Tickets at free for Eastern students; $5 for other students and groups of 10 or more; $10 for senior citizens; $12 for Eastern faculty, staff and alumni; and $20 for the general public. For tickets and more information, call the box office at (860) 465-5123 or email theatreboxoffice@easternct.edu. To purchase online, visit http://easternct.showare.com/awakenings/.