Theater department takes on the challenges of Suzan-Lori Parks' 365 Days/365 Plays

365theaterBy Wendi Wheeler ’06

Imagine writing one play every day for a year. Also imagine the challenges presented to 14 actors each playing several roles in 54 plays presented in one evening. That is the task of the cast of Suzan-Lori Parks’ 365 Days/365 Plays, directed by Augsburg theater professor Martha Johnson.

In the fall of 2002, Pulitzer-prize winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks decided to take on the challenge of writing one play a day for a full year. 365 Days/365 Plays is the successful result, featuring 365 short plays exploring such divergent topics as sex, war, fairy tales, Indian mythology, American historical figures, love, politics, race, contemporary celebrities—and numerous other issues from American life. Continue reading “Theater department takes on the challenges of Suzan-Lori Parks' 365 Days/365 Plays”

"Eurydice" explores bond between father and daughter

eurydiceEurydice is interesting,” says Martha Johnson, director of Augsburg’s first mainstage play of the year, but she doesn’t mean that in the way most Minnesotans use the word. “It’s quirky and funny…interesting in a good way.”

Written by Sarah Ruhl, Eurydice is a retelling of the Greek myth of Orpheus told from the point of view of Eurydice, his wife. “It’s almost like a dream,” Johnson said. “The play uses images you would only see in a dream but is also very human. There’s a little bit of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ in it.” Johnson believes patrons will appreciate the contemporary humor, Ruhl’s ability to play with language, and the unusual set designed by Joe Stanley. Continue reading “"Eurydice" explores bond between father and daughter”

Johnson's 'Dipped in Love' explores women's lives

theater2 Theater-loving Auggies can enjoy the talents of yet another Augsburg theatre professor at this year’s popular Fringe Festival. Martha Johnson’s production of “Dipped in Love,” a journey into the lives of women from three very different cultures, opens Aug. 1 at Mixed Blood Theatre.

Johnson, who recently completed her 20th year teaching and directing plays at Augsburg, says the play explores mature women’s lives and choices, particularly choices that go against the rules of family and society, traditional religion, and the conventional female roles of wife and mother. It features women from India, Japan, and the United States. Continue reading “Johnson's 'Dipped in Love' explores women's lives”