Caryl Churchill’s Play Explores the Excesses of the Financial World
Middlebury, VT—The Middlebury College Department of Theatre and Dance presents Serious Money, a play by Caryl Churchill, on May 3-5, 2012. Set in the trading pits and board rooms of London’s financial district, known simply as “the City,” the play explores themes of greed, power, and politics.
Serious Money also holds many surprises for audiences: the script is written primarily in rhyming couplets, andeach act concludes with a rousing song and dance. The tone of the play moves from bawdy, to scathing, to very smart. The play also harbors a murder mystery, with an unanswered question at play’s end: who killed Jake Todd?
English playwright Caryl Churchill is recognized as a major voice in modern theatre, known for her postmodern and feminist stance, and her fierce and witty explorations of abuses of power, sexual politics, gender, and sexuality. Middlebury’s production is directed by Cheryl Faraone, Professor of Theatre and Women’s and Gender Studies. “In Serious Money, Churchill finds the precise pitch of the arena of arbitrage, inside trading, greenmail, corporate raiding, and leveraged buyouts,” says Faraone. “If sexy greed is the late 80s, then this play is an acidly funny arrow to the present.” The play was originally produced in the late 1980s, and garnered widespread attention following the stock market crash of 1987. The work continues to resonate with the current global financial crisis.
The cast of Serious Money includes actors Aubrey Dube ’12 (in the roles of Merrison, TK, and Nigel Ajibala) and Lucy Van Atta ’12 (in the role of Marylou Baines, risk arbitrageur extraordinaire). Their performances comprise their senior work at Middlebury College. The costume design is the independent work of Jordan Jones ’12, assisting Artist-in-Residence and Costume Designer Jule Emerson. Other students in the cast and crew include Christina Fox ’13.5, Matthew Ball ’14, Noah Berman ’13, Alicia Evancho ’12, Jake Connolly ’13, Mari-Vial Golden ’14, Nick Hemerling ’14, Tom Scott ’14, Blake Lee Clay-McBee ’12, Kyla Jarrett ’15, Rachel Goodgal ’13, Tosca Giustini ’15, Alia Khalil ’14, Stephen Mrowiec ’13, Jake Brown ’14, Stephen Paolillo ’15, Clifford Alexander ’15, and Evann Normandin ’14. The stage manager is Melissa MacDonald ’15, and Jake Brown ’14 works as assistant to the director. Music Department Affiliate Artist Carol Christensen is the musical director, with Alicia Evancho as choreographer, and Visiting Lecturer in Theatre Tara Giordano as dialect coach. The set is by Resident Scenic and Lighting Designer Hallie Zieselman, and lights are designed by Theatre Professor Mark Evancho.
A Behind-the-Scenes Lunch and Discussion about Serious Money will take place on Tuesday, May 1, at 12:30 P.M., at the Seeler Studio Theatre at the Mahaney Center for the Arts. Faraone will introduce the play and speak about the inspirations for the Middlebury production; members of the cast and crew will perform scenes and share insights on their work. Lunch is provided free of charge for Middlebury College ID card holders; pay-as-you-can community donations are accepted.
Serious Money contains strong language and is for mature audiences only.
Performances of Serious Money will take place on Thursday-Saturday, May 3–5, 2012, at 8:00 p.m. each evening, plus a 2:00 p.m. matinee on Saturday only, at the Seeler Studio Theatre at the Mahaney Center for the Arts. The Mahaney Center for the Arts is located at 72 Porter Field Road in Middlebury, just off Route 30 south. Tickets are $12 for the general public; $10 for Middlebury College faculty, staff, alumni, emeriti, and other ID card holders; and $6 for Middlebury College students. For tickets or information, call (802) 443-MIDD (6433) or go to http://go.middlebury.edu/arts.