May 16, 2022

Brown/Trinity Rep MFA Program Presents “The Late Wedding”

Christopher Chen’s play on stage November 11 - 21

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PROVIDENCE, RI: The Brown University/Trinity Repertory Company MFA Programs in Acting and Directing present The Late Wedding by Christopher Chen, directed by Aileen Wen McGroddy. Performances run November 11 through November 21 at the Pell Chafee Performance Center, 87 Empire St., in Providence. General admission is $15 with a discounted price of $10 for seniors and $7 for students. Tickets are on sale now at Trinity Rep’s ticket office, by phone at (401) 351-4242, or online at www.trinityrep.com/wedding .    

ABOUT THE PLAY
Based on the works of fabulist writer Italo Calvino, The Late Wedding takes a dive into the challenges of intimacy, longing, and trust in romantic relationships through a series of genre-bending vignettes. From documentary-style tours of marriages across fictional cultures to an intergalactic voyage across the stars, playwright Christopher Chen masterfully weaves Calvino’s second-person narrative style with his signature wit. The play explores timeless themes of the malleability of personal relationships, the desire to be in a partnership, why we search for this mythical person called “the one”, and the exquisite compromise of commitment.

“This play has a bit of a broken heart,” director Aileen Wen McGroddy said. “It’s a fun theatrical journey, but it is also asking serious questions about ‘What is this thing that we do as people where we decide that ‘I'm going to invest my life in this other person? What does it mean to partner up with somebody in life, and what happens when it falls apart?”

The Late Wedding will be Brown/Trinity Rep’s first live in-person ticketed production since March 2020, something that Aileen considered heavily when staging this play. She said that the production will be a uniquely theatrical experience.

"Part of this project was going to be about coming back to the theater after COVID,” Aileen said. “I was asking a lot of questions, like ‘What do we want to experience now? How do we give people an experience that is uniquely theatrical, not something that you can experience on Netflix or Zoom?”

CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM
Aileen Wen McGroddy is a Chinese-Irish-American theatre director, educator, and producer of live events. Her work is imaginative, inclusive, and playfully experimental, coming from a robust background in physical theatre and a deep commitment to hospitality. Raised in New York, Aileen studied and worked in Chicago before coming to Providence and Brown/Trinity Rep for her MFA. Credits include: On The Y-Axis by Lucas Baisch, Summer and Smoke by Tennessee Williams, Akira Kurosawa Explains his Movies and Yogurt by Julia Izumi, and The Tempest by William Shakespeare adapted by Aileen McGroddy (Brown-Trinity); Or, by Liz Duffy-Adams and Dani Girl by Christopher Diamond and Michael Koonan (Winnipesaukee Playhouse); Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical and The Snowy Day (Emerald City Theatre); Montauciel Takes Flight (Lifeline Theatre); Ulysses (The Plagiarists); A Hero’s Journey, The Hunting of the Snark, Robin Hood, and The Pied Piper (The Forks & Hope Ensemble); The Whiskey Radio Hour, Wake: A Folk Opera, Kodachrome Telephone and Sign of Rain (The Whiskey Rebellion); Gentle, The Edge of Our Bodies, Music Hall, The Anyway Cabaret (TUTA); The Nose and Reika and the Wolves (Mudlark Theatre); and In This Final Century (Theatre-Hikes). She has assisted at The Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, Trinity Rep, Court Theatre, The Actors’ Gymnasium, The Hypocrites, and The House. Before moving to Providence, she was the artistic director of The Forks & Hope Ensemble and the Whiskey Rebellion; she was a company member of TUTA, sat on the steering committee of DirectorsLabChicago, and on the producing team of Physical Festival Chicago.

Aileen will work alongside Tatiana Kahvegian (scenic design), Camilla Dely (costume design), Jennifer Fok (lighting design), and Caroline Eng (sound design).

The cast of this production features five final-year students from the Brown/Trinity Rep MFA program in acting, all playing multiple roles throughout the production: Alfredo Antillon as Han and others; Andrew Gombas as Sailor and others; Jihan Haddad as Eleanor and others; Gunnar Manchester as Stranger and others; and Han Van Sciver as General and others. Local Rhode Island actor Catia will also appear in the show as Narrator and others.

The Brown/Trinity Rep MFA Programs provide a three-year professional training program under the auspices of an Ivy League university and Rhode Island’s Tony Award-winning theater company. Brown University’s Department of Theater and Performance Studies is internationally recognized for the quality of its faculty and instruction. Trinity Rep, with its deep tradition of resident artists, provides powerful artistic assets and creates a firm foundation for a new generation of theater artists.

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