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Plays and Events

PARENTAL GUIDELINES

 


The beliefs that parents wish to instill in their children can vary greatly; therefore, we have listed moments in the play which may assist parents in making their decisions for attendance.  

All plays evolve throughout the rehearsal and performance process. The content listed below has been created before the show opens, so we are unable to list every objectionable moment that may occur during the performance.

Parental guidelines for our 2014-15 Season subject to change.

For a list of curriculum guides, click here.


2013-14 SIGNATURE SERIES
Show & Synopsis Content

LES MISERABLES

SYNOPSIS: Les Misérables tells the epic story of Jean Valjean, an escaped prisoner being pursued by the implacable Inspector Javert in France in the thirty years leading up to the Student Revolution of 1832. Valjean becomes the protector of Cosette, the orphaned daughter of Fantine. As the student rebellions swirl around them, Cosette falls in love with a student , Marius, Javert pursues Valjean, and Valjean finds himself drawn to the barricades as violence erupts all around them.

LANGUAGE: There is a small amount of profane and bawdy language, principally in the two musical numbers “Lovely Ladies” and “Master of the House.”

SMOKING AND DRINKING: One song is titled “Drink With Me,” so there will certainly be drinking.

SEX: Fantine is forced into prostitution to get money to care for her child Cosette, whom she has left in the care of the Thénardiers. “Lovely Ladies” is sung by prostitutes to their customers; the lyrics and staging are sexually suggestive. “Master of the House” contains bawdy sexual innuendo as well, but is a comic number.

VIOLENCE: During the student rebellion on the barricades, most of those fighting are killed. Javert, spared by Valjean, commits suicide by throwing himself in the river.

FOR WHICH AUDIENCES?: Les Misérables is a towering musical based on a major novel of world literature. The dark elements of the musical—the sexual content and violence—are redeemed by the story’s overarching vision of grace and redemption. Les Misérables is suitable for adult audiences, and children aged 13 or below in the company of a parent. Conservative audience members may be put off by the sexual innuendo and suggestive physical movements of “Lovely Ladies” and “Master of the House.” Children under 13 should only attend at a parent’s discretion.

RATING: If it were a movie, Les Misérables would be rated “PG-13.”

THE BEST OF ENEMIES

SYNOPSIS: Based on a true story about the relationship between a hate-filled leader of the KKK and an African-American civil rights activist, the unlikely pair must work together during the 1971 desegregation of Durham, NC schools. A stirring new play that exposes the poison of prejudice and the beauty of friendship.

LANGUAGE: There is a proliferation of racist language, including “the n word” and several other racial epithets. Religious terms and swear words are also frequently used.

SMOKING AND DRINKING: There are references to drinking alcohol in the play. The characters smoke on stage.

SEX: There are no sexual acts represented on stage.

VIOLENCE: Characters describe violent acts of lynching, riots, school burning, cross burning and domestic abuse. One character simulates cutting himself with a can opener on stage. Stage blood will be used.

FOR WHICH AUDIENCES?: The Best of Enemies is set during a racially-tense period in the desegregation of Durham, North Carolina schools. The play includes very racist and mature language, mild violence, and adult themes. The play is best suited for ages 13 and up.

RATING: If it were a movie, The Best of Enemies would be rated “PG-13.”

A CHRISTMAS CAROL

SYNOPSIS: The miserly and miserable Ebenezer Scrooge greets each Christmas with a “bah humbug”, until he is visited by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. Over one sleepless night, the spirits show him warm childhood memories, cruel realities, and his grim future should he continue his cantankerous ways.

LANGUAGE: The word “ass” appears in reference to a donkey.

SMOKING AND DRINKING: Party guests drink punch during one scene.

SEX: None

VIOLENCE: A Christmas Carol contains atmospheric lighting, fog, and ghostly apparitions that may frighten younger children. Fear of death is a recurring theme.

FOR WHICH AUDIENCES: Although the play is intended for family audiences, it is best suited for ages 8 and up. Children who are still easily afraid of the dark or ghosts may be scared, particularly by ‘The Sprit of Christmas Yet to Come’ which is a very tall ominous hooded figure, and Want and Ignorance, which will be puppets of skeletal underfed children. Scrooge is also confronted with a very large version of his own tombstone. Parents will need to make their own individual decisions as to the appropriateness for their children.

RATING: If it were a movie, A Christmas Carol would be rated “PG.”

THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR

SYNOPSIS: Somewhere in small-town America, the old bachelor Falstaff schemes to pursue two wealthy housewives — simultaneously. Shakespeare's delightful comedy meets 1950s sitcom in this high-spirited romp, full of mistaken identities, cross-dressing, and lots of canned laughter!

LANGUAGE: There is an abundance of bawdy tavern humor and Shakespearean insults. The main character is referred to as “fat” and many jokes are made at his expense throughout the play.

SMOKING AND DRINKING: Much of the play takes place in a tavern, and one of the characters is often categorized as a “Drunkard”. There are references to drinking throughout the play.

SEX: The play contains sexual innuendo that will be physicalized on stage. The central plot revolves around a plan to capitalize on the seeming unfaithfulness of the wives.

VIOLENCE: The play includes mild comedic violence and talk of a duel that never takes place.

FOR WHICH AUDIENCES: The play may be best suited for teens and adults who are able to handle the suggestiveness inherent in Shakespeare’s text.

RATING: If it were a movie, The Merry Wives of Windsor would be rated “PG-13.”

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

SYNOPSIS: The play follows the story of Scout and Jem Finch, whose father has been appointed to defend Tom Robinson, a black man framed for a crime he didn’t commit. As the trial sends shock waves through their small Alabama town, the children discover that their father is more than just the man who tucks them in at night.

LANGUAGE: The play includes racist language including multiple instances of the “n” word, and derogatory terms for the mentally ill. There are discussions of rape. The words " hell," "Jesus," “whore” and "sexual intercourse " are used. A character uses the word the word "ruttin" to refer to sexual intercourse.

SMOKING AND DRINKING: A man is depicted as a drunkard, and is seen occasionally with a bottle in his hand. Townspeople are mentioned drinking gin. One character chews tobacco. An offstage character is mentioned as having a morphine addiction.

SEX: A white woman accuses a black man of rape. She has bruises and talks of being beaten and choked.

VIOLENCE: The play includes mild violence, and discussions of rape. Gossip about a mentally ill neighbor includes tales of eating cats and raw squirrels, stabbing a family member with scissors. Another character alleges that his father chains him to a bed. Death threats and concerns for mob violence accompany plans for a black man’s trial. There are several suspenseful moments when children fear for their lives—sometimes these fears are imaginary, sometimes not. Young girl wrestles with other schoolmates after they verbally taunt her. Man shoots and kills a rabid dog. Characters describe the murder of other characters: one by gunshot, the other by stabbing. A character spits on another. A woman's is described having been choked and beaten by a man. A man is described having caught his hand in a cotten gin, leaving him "crippled."

FOR WHICH AUDIENCES: The play is best suited for ages 12 and up.

RATING: If it were a movie, To Kill A Mockingbird would be rated “PG-13.”



HENRY V

SYNOPSIS: Young and brash King Henry V of England sets out to conquer France after a bloody civil war and discovers the challenges of leadership are greater than he ever imagined. From Henry's rousing battle speeches to courting the Princess of France, Shakespeare explores what makes a man a king – and a king a man.

LANGUAGE: There are a handful of invocations of God's name, some of which might be considered profane.

SMOKING AND DRINKING: A raunchy tavern scene, some wine drunk.

SEX: Bawdy gestures may be a part of some of the lower class characters behavior.

VIOLENCE: Henry V is a gritty drama about the English King's bloody conquest of France. Violent battle scenes are depicted on stage with fake blood, including realistic sword fights, stabbing, and death.

FOR WHICH AUDIENCES: The play is best suited for ages 13 and up.

RATING: If it were a movie, Henry V would be rated “PG-13.”

BAD DOG

SYNOPSIS: After ten years of sobriety, Molly Drexler tumbles off “the wagon” by driving her Prius into the living room. Her family tries to cope with her wreckage, but ends up running headfirst into their own demons. Old wounds are re-opened and new ones are made in this comedic family drama that bites.

LANGUAGE: There is extremely strong language present throughout the play.

SMOKING AND DRINKING: The plot centers around a relapsed alcoholic. There is talk of drinking and drug use. Marijuana is smoked on stage (electronic water vapor cigarettes) and there is a scene depicting a character in a highly inebriated state.

SEX: The central character is involved in a long-term, committed same-sex relationship.

VIOLENCE: There is talk of chasing and running down a dog with a car. Onstage, there is a fight between two characters resulting in a choke hold.

FOR WHICH AUDIENCES: Bad Dog is an adult story of family dysfunction that contains strong language, same sex relationships, alcohol abuse, and substance abuse. The play is for adult audiences only.

RATING: If it were a movie, Bad Dog would be rated “R.”



 

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