The Caucasian Chalk Circle, hosted by the University’s Rome School of Music, Drama, and Art runs November 14-17. Audiences can expect an updated version of the parable King Solomon. Bertolt Brecht’s WWII reimagining of the tale presents the story of a peasant girl saving an abandoned baby of noble birth.
Director Cara Gabriel, former American University professor of drama, notes that the child in the chalk circle was Brecht’s metaphor for the split between capitalism and communism in West and East Germany.
“What we’re doing as a cast is looking at what this child might represent today,” Gabriel said. “The question we want to analyze is ‘How are adults failing young people today?’ From that, we have together written our own prologue relevant to our time and place.”
Topics explored in the prologue include migrant children, gun control measures, and the environment — recognizing that children are taking the lead in some of these social issues where adults have “failed them,” Gabriel says. The 14-member cast includes CatholicU students from musical theater, drama, and the M.F.A. acting program.
The show is a “good look into theater history,” but Gabriel believes, more importantly, that it will show how theater is a commentary on the time period and can open up deeper discussions.
Performances will take place at the Hartke Studio (3801 Harewood Rd. N.E., Washington, D.C.) November 14-16 at 7:30 p.m., and Nov. 16-17 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 with available military, student, and faculty/staff discounts.
For tickets, contact the Hartke Theater Box Office at 202-319-4000 or visit the box office online.