In accordance with State of Washington guidance for institutes of higher education, Whitman College is a fully vaccinated campus community. As such, all visiting audience members for our 2021-2022 season must show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 upon entrance to any event at Harper Joy Theater. Additionally, we are requiring all individuals, including those who are fully vaccinated, to wear face masks when they are indoors in group settings or public spaces. These protocols are subject to change at the discretion of the college in response to the evolving pandemic circumstances.
by Lauren Gunderson
Directed by Christopher Petit
September 30–October 3, 2021
Four beautiful, badass women lose their heads in this irreverent, girl-powered comedy set during the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror. Playwright Olympe de Gouges, assassin Charlotte Corday, former queen (and fan of ribbons) Marie Antoinette, and Haitian rebel Marianne Angelle hang out, murder Marat, and try to beat back the extremist insanity in 1793 Paris. This grand and dream-tweaked comedy is about violence and legacy, art and activism, feminism and terrorism, compatriots and chosen sisters, and how we actually go about changing the world. It’s a true story. Or total fiction. Or a play about a play. Or a raucous resurrection…that ends in a song and a scaffold.
Concert Director - Renée Archibald
October 28–31, 2021
Featuring three new dance performances by choreographers Renée Archibald, Peter de Grasse, and Kathleen Kelley + Christian Von Howard.
by Margaret Atwood
Directed by Laura Hope
December 9–12, 2021
In Homer's "Odyssey", Penelope - wife of Odysseus and cousin of the beautiful Helen of Troy - is portrayed as the quintessential faithful wife, her story a salutary lesson through the ages. Left alone for twenty years when Odysseus goes off to fight in the Trojan War after the abduction of Helen, Penelope manages, in the face of scandalous rumors, to maintain the kingdom of Ithaca, to bring up her wayward son, and keep over a hundred suitors at bay. When Odysseus finally comes home after enduring hardships, overcoming monsters and sleeping with goddesses, he kills her suitors and - curiously - twelve of her maids. In a splendid contemporary twist to the ancient story, Margaret Atwood has chosen to give the telling of it to Penelope and to her twelve hanged maids, asking: 'What led to the hanging of the maids, and what was Penelope really up to?'
In Atwood's dazzling, playful retelling, the story becomes as wise and compassionate as it is haunting, and as wildly entertaining as it is disturbing. With wit and verve, drawing on the storytelling and poetic talent for which she herself is renowned, she gives Penelope new life and reality - and sets out to provide an answer to an ancient mystery.
One Act Play Festival
February 17–20, 2022
The annual One Act Festival, created and endowed by Physics Professor Emeritus Craig Gunsul, invites students from across the campus to submit original scripts for consideration. Three plays are selected by a jury consisting of students, faculty, and members of the Whitman community. The three chosen plays are produced by a collaborative team of students in competition for first place as determined by the audience. Join us in determining this year's winner!
Spring Studio Series
Week of March 7, 2022
The Spring Studio Series presents local and nationally recognized experimental performance artists whose works don't neatly fall under theater or dance. Presented in the intimate Freimann Studio Theater, each evening of the series features a different artist's work and each evening concludes with a moderated discussion/Q&A with the artist.
Blood at the Root
by Dominique Morisseau
Directed by Gamal Abdel Chasten
May 5–8 and 19–21, 2022
A striking new ensemble drama based on the Jena Six; six Black students who were initially charged with attempted murder for a school fight after being provoked with nooses hanging from a tree on campus. This bold new play by Dominique Morisseau (Sunset Baby, Detroit '67, Skeleton Crew) examines the miscarriage of justice, racial double standards, and the crises in relations between men and women of all classes and, as a result, the shattering state of Black family life.