Andrew Smith to Direct Stage Adaptation of Controversial Book and Film
Middlebury, VT—Middlebury College’s Department of Theatre and Dance will present a stage adaptation of “A Clockwork Orange” April 10–12 at Wright Memorial Theatre. The play is a pageant of dystopian ultra-violence first written as a controversial novella by Anthony Burgess in 1962, and famously produced for film by Stanley Kubrick in 1971. Middlebury’s adaptation for the stage—written by Anthony Burgess and directed by Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre Andrew W. Smith ’97.5—will beg the question: Is it better to be forced to be good, or to choose to be bad?
“A Clockwork Orange” is the story of teenager Alex and his fellow Droogs in a dystopian world as they wreak havoc in celebration of youth, power, and freedom of choice. Their invented language of Nadsat, a poetic teenage dialiect, fuels their interactions as they prowl the streets at night. An unapologetic celebration of the horrorshow, it remains as terrifyingly relevant today as when its earlier book and film versions came on the cultural scene.
The setting for “A Clockwork Orange” includes a dominant, ever-powerful government that watches over the apathetic masses, and a society where ambition and social questioning have been replaced by fear and isolationism. These fictional themes reflect many of today’s headlines.
Director Andrew Smith notes, “While our nation certainly is not near a dystopian reality, we don’t need to look far to understand how social and political underpinnings of “A Clockwork Orange” are present in our everyday lives. Is Edward Snowdon allowed to whistle blow against his own government? With the strict tightening of the ideology within our political parties, are we able to find a complex and nuanced middle ground? Or do we prefer the world uniform in its principles? Or, more specifically for the Middlebury community: Do we accept those who disagree, or behave differently from ourselves? What kind of community do we want to live in? Ultimately, this play is about choice.”
The production will feature an ensemble of over two dozen Middlebury College students: Arnav Adhikari ’16, Aashna Aggarwal ’16, Kevin Benscheidt ’17, Kevin Cammarn ’16, Andres Chamorro ’16, Maggie Cochrane ’16, Caitlin Duffy ’15.5, Shannon Fiedler ’14, Kathleen Gudas ’16.5, Kean Haunt ’17, Nicholas Hemerling ’14.5, Alex Herdman ’17, Akhila Khanna ’17, Chris Maguire ’17, Jabari Matthew ’17, Boone McCoy-Crisp ’16, Caitlin Meagher ’17, Steven Medina ’17, Joelle Mendoza-Etchart ’15, Adam Milano ’15, Jackson Prince ’17, Leah Sarbib ’15.5, Jake Schwartzwald ’14, Thomas Scott ’14.5, Jim Simmons ’16, Matti Suomenaro ’16.5, Oliver Wijiyapala ’17, and Sade Williams ’14.5. The set design is by Mark Evancho; light design is by Hallie Zieselman; and costume design is by Danielle Nieves ’10. Katie Preston ’17 is the stage manager, and Adam Rivera ’17 and Aashna Aggarwal ’16 are assistant stage managers. The play features over 15 high-action fights choreographed by Burlington resident Paul Ugalde.
Performances of “A Clockwork Orange” will take place on Thursday, April 10, 2014, at 8:30 P.M.; and Friday and Saturday, April 11 and 12, 2014 at 7:30 P.M., at Wright Memorial Theatre. A post-performance discussion with the company will take place after the Friday evening show. The theatre is located at 96 Chateau Road in Middlebury, just off Route 125/College Street. Free parking is available on College Street and in the parking lot behind the theatre, accessible from Shannon Street. Handicap accessible parking is available in front of the theatre on Chateau Road on performance evenings. 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. Adult content and language make this a show for mature audiences only. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call (802) 443-MIDD (6433) or go to http://www.middlebury.edu/arts.
Photo caption, top: Middlebury College students Kean Haunt '17, Leah Sarbib '15.5, Adam Milano '15, and Kevin Cammarn '16 in the upcoming production of "A Clockwork Orange," April 10-12 At Wright Theatre.