Home Campus Directory | A-Z Index

“The Heidi Chronicles” opens April 23 at Penn State York

4/2/2008 —

Penn State York Theatre Department will present Wendy Wasserstein’s Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy “The Heidi Chronicles on April 23 and 24 in the campus’ Pullo Family Performing Arts Center.  The 7 p.m. performance is $10 for the general public and free to Penn State York students, faculty, and staff. Tickets are available at the door.

Students involved in the performance include those are taking theatre 282 and theatre 150 as well as some drama club members.  In addition to performing, students are also designing sets.  The campus added a theatre minor last fall and students taking those classes now have the opportunity to get hands-on experience and be a part of productions.  The drama club was formed after the Pullo Family Performing Arts Center opened in August 2005 and has been performing a variety of one-act plays and shorter pieces.  This production will be a marker in their development.   The performance is under the direction of Stuart Stelly, adviser for the drama club and instructor in English at Penn State York.

“This is the most ambitious and complex play we’ve done so far,” said Stelly.

“I chose “The Heidi Chronicles” because it is a play that deals with relevant issues.  It’s about a young person trying to create a life for herself during a difficult time period.  It’s a situation that so many people face these days,” he said. “At one point in time people just did what their parents did but now people go out and create their own identities.  That’s what Heidi did in the play.  It’s also a really funny play,” Stelly said. 

The Heidi Chronicles is the story of Heidi Holland and follows her from high school in the 1960s to her career as a successful art historian more than 20 years later. The play's main themes deal with the changing role of women during this time period, describing both Holland’s ardent feminism during the 1970s and her eventual sense of betrayal during the 1980s. Though most of the characters are women, there are two important male characters; Peter Patrone, a homosexual pediatrician who is arguably Holland’s best friend, and Scoop Rosenbaum, a magazine editor who marries and has many affairs, with whom Holland has a tense friendship.

The Heidi Chronicles was first produced Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons, December 11, 1988, running for three sold-out months, before moving to the Plymouth Theater on Broadway on March 9, 1989. The play averaged 90 percent full houses during its run and, in 1989, garnered numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for drama as well as the Antoinette Perry (Tony) and New York Drama Critics’ Circle awards for best play. Other honors include the Outer Critics Circle Award, the Dramatists Guild’s Hull-Warriner Award, and the Susan Smith Blackburn Award for women playwrights.

Email this story to a friend Facebook Twitter