UCI Drama Presents A Dystopic Visioning of Shakespeare’s Roman War Tale CORIOLANUS


A Dystopic Visioning of Shakespeare’s Roman War Tale

IRVINE, Calif. (January 11, 2017) – UC Irvine’s Claire Trevor School of the Arts Department of Drama presents its first offering of 2017, Shakespeare’s classic military tragedy based on the life of legendary Roman leader Caius Marcius Coriolanus. UCI Drama’s current season explores xenophobia in its various forms, and perhaps there is no greater manifestation of pitting “us” against “them” than the intercultural alienation that culminates in war. The play, one of Shakespeare’s final tragedies, follows the rise and eventual fall of a man lionized for his valor and heroism, qualities that are manipulated by those around him to advance their own agendas. The show opens Saturday, February 4th with matinee and evening performances through Sunday, February 12th, 2017.

Coriolanus is directed by Paul Cook, a third-year MFA in Directing candidate, who has chosen to set the play in a dystopian landscape rather than in classic period style. “By removing the specifics of time and place, my hope is that we’re able to create a world of our own and that audiences can observe, judge, interact with, and appreciate this other world.” The story’s themes are at once timeless and enormously relevant to our current political climate, and it is Paul’s hope that in choosing a setting that is not identifiable to a particular era, this universalization will render the story more accessible to a modern audience. “I began to mentally list things that were important to the story-telling,” he said. “These include a world in which violence is appreciated, condoned, almost encouraged; a world with strong class division between patricians and plebeians; a world where the fabric of government seems to be on the verge of ripping apart; and a world where appearance, and the way we present ourselves, is highly manufactured, highly performed.” It was also important for Paul that he create a world in which women have a strong voice, and to that end, several warrior roles written for men are played by women in this production. “I wish that we didn't have to keep having the discussion about women in power, but until true parity is reached in our world, I think that we as artists have an opportunity (obligation?) to continue to push this envelope,” Paul said. “Putting women in positions of power onstage helps to keep the conversation ongoing.”

UCI Drama presents seven diverse and stimulating productions for the 2016 – 2017 season thematically entitled THEM!: The Iliad, Parade, Our Class - and the four remaining productions - Coriolanus, Clown Aliens, I Dream of Chang and Eng, and Avenue Q. You are invited to accompany the creative teams, with an open heart and an inquisitive mind, on these thoughtful journeys through the voices and experiences of “the other.”

Performances and Ticket Information

Claire Trevor Theatre. Parking: 4000 Mesa Rd, Irvine, CA 92617
Evenings: February 4, 9, 10, 11 @ 8 p.m.
Evening: February 8 @ 7:30 p.m.
Matinees: February 5*, 11, 12 @ 2 p.m.
Please note: Seating will be on the stage for this production.
General Admission $15 / Seniors & Groups 10+ $14 / UCI Students & Children under 17 $11. Box Office (949) 824-2787 or www.arts.uci.edu/tickets.

The UCI Drama production team will host a post-performance TalkBack on February 5th after the 2 p.m. matinee with the creative team and cast.