Friday, November 4, 2011

Students to stage tragic tale in ‘Machinal’ Nov. 16-20

The Department of Theatre and Dance will present the tragic story of a woman driven to murder after being dominated by men, marriage, motherhood and machines in the 1928 expressionist play, “Machinal” Nov. 16-20.

The story revolves around the predestined main character, Helen, who lives a life that has been dictated to her. She follows the rituals that society expects of a woman, however resistant she may feel about them, and subsequently marries her boss, whom she finds repulsive. After having a baby with him, followed by an affair with a younger man who fuels her lust for life, she is driven to murder her husband. She is found guilty of the crime and meets her end, ironically, in a machine — the electric chair.

“Machinal” is inspired by the real-life case of convicted and executed murderess Ruth Snyder — the first woman ever to be executed in the electric chair in New York State after she, along with her lover, murdered her husband. The play’s author, Sophie Treadwell, covered Snyder’s murder trial as a reporter.

Under the direction of Judy Myers, “Machinal” will take to the stage at the Valéncia Arts Center, 10th and Vila streets, at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, Nov. 16-19, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 20.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors and are available online at at the Performance Center Box Office, Ext. 1715, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.