Blueprint Theatre, the Texas A&M Department of Performance Studies’ summer repertory theatre company, breathes new life into Shakespeare’s The Tempest and the classic Greek myth Eurydice, rewritten by Sarah Ruhl, with their season theme of Comic Books and Superheroes.
Predominantly established through creative design aspects such as costuming, scenery, and lighting, the Comic Books and Superheroes theme makes an epic splash for TAMU’s summer theater company, which is now in its second season. These family-friendly productions will make their audience nostalgic for the feeling of reading comic books, be it classic 1950s comic books or more contemporary graphic novels.
The comic book is truly an American creation, with its U.S. debut in 1933. Playing on the notion of American theatre as a unique art form, Blueprint Theatre combines the unique all-American aspects of comics with a modern twist.
Blueprint Theatre is a student-produced company, with undergraduates and graduate students driving all aspects of the plays’ direction, design, and acting and using a process that reinforces through practice what the students are learning in their classes. The company serves as a proving ground for the Department of Performance Studies’ integration of performance as research, with faculty mentors guiding future entertainment industry professionals.
“The comic book theme is an excellent and fun opportunity for our production teams to apply visual concepts and ideals on top of established works,” says faculty co-creator of Blueprint Theatre and Technical Director, Justin Miller. “This type of critical interpretation helps our students develop the skills they need to be industry competitive in the field of live performance. It also makes for exciting theatre.”
With the introduction of playwright Sarah Ruhl, the winner of a MacArthur Foundation ‘Genius Grant’ Fellowship, to the Brazos Valley, and with a re-imagined version of The Tempest featuring a predominantly female cast, Blueprint’s second season promises to impress with technical and performative surprises that are both accessible and enjoyable to family audiences.
Blueprint Theatre opens its 2012 summer season on June 20 with The Tempest, followed by Eurydice on June 21. The plays run on alternating days, Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. through July 14. Performances are free and open to the public at the Fallout Theatre (Room 140 in the Blocker building on campus). Seating is limited.