Posted September 15, 2015

Theater season opens with historic drama ‘for colored girls...’

Courtesy of Temple Theaters
Temple Theaters kicks off its 48th season this week with a 40th anniversary production of 'for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf.' Five additional mainstage productions will follow.

Temple Theaters kicks off its 48th season this week with a 40th anniversary production of for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf by poet and activist Ntozake Shange.

Following Shange’s landmark play will be five additional mainstage productions: Anything Goes, A Free Man of Color, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Odyssey and Godspell.

Artistic director Douglas C. Wager, associate dean of the Division of Theater, Film and Media Arts, hopes audiences will enjoy the diversity of Temple Theaters’ shows. “Witness firsthand the marvels of watching dedicated, talented young artists stretch their wings,” he said. “There is nothing academic about academic theater—it takes courage; it is alive and thrillingly immediate; it inspires as it entertains.”

The wild and wonderful Anything Goes runs Oct. 1–11 in the Tomlinson Theater. Cole Porter’s vaudevillian musical is brought to life with a cast of more than 30 actors, a full orchestra and a dog, with classic showstoppers like “Blow, Gabriel, Blow” and “It’s De-Lovely.” The musical, directed by Associate Professor Peter Reynolds, is supported by Temple’s George and Joy Abbott Center for Musical Theater.

The third show this fall is award-winning playwright John Guare’s A Free Man of Color in the Randall Theater, Nov. 11–21. This satire, about the effects of the Louisiana Purchase on the liberal society of New Orleans, is a mix of history lesson, Restoration comedy and hilarious sex farce.

In the spring, Temple Theaters welcomes director James J. Christy, recipient of a Barrymore Award for Lifetime Achievement, to lead a production of William Shakespeare’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona. This comedy of love, lust and friendships runs Feb. 3–14, 2016, in the Tomlinson Theater.

Temple Theaters’ sexy and inspired production of Homer’s The Odyssey runs March 16–26, 2016, in the Tomlinson. Directed by Brandon McShaffrey, TFM ’12, this contemporary adaptation breathes new life into the epic tale of Odysseus.

Closing out the season is composer Stephen Schwartz’s Broadway hit Godspell, a rock musical based on the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, running April 13–24 in the Randall Theater. The intimately staged production will be co-directed by Amina Robinson, TFM ’99, ’03, a cast member in the 2011 Broadway revival of Godspell.

Throughout the year, Temple Theaters also supports student-centered presentations, including Short Stuff, a festival of one-acts by undergraduate students, and MFA PlayFest, staged readings of original works by MFA playwriting candidates. Information on special events can be found at

Tickets to the mainstage productions can be purchased online at or at the Temple Theaters Box Office at 215-204-1122.

—Caehlin Bell