Even though it is not able currently to present before in-person public audiences due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hollins Theatre Institute (HTI) will be offering fans of the stage the opportunity to attend a number of special virtual productions during the 2020-21 season.
This season’s schedule comes as HTI celebrates its recent ranking by The Princeton Review as the eighth-best college theatre program in the country.
“We are proud to be in the company of some of the best theatre schools in higher education and recognize what an honor it is for a program our size to be in the top ten,” said Ernie Zulia, HTI director. “We may be a small campus, but our vision is mighty and our sights are high.”
The 2020-21 public season begins with The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, which will be reformatted as a Zoom presentation and performed on October 16 and 17 at 7:30 p.m., and on October 18 at 2 p.m. Originally scheduled for production last spring, the drama is the winner of seven Olivier Awards and five Tony Awards, including Best Play, and is based on the bestselling novel by Mark Hadden.
The Curious Incident is the story of Christopher, a tenacious and intelligent teenager on the autistic spectrum who is better at solving equations than navigating a world that’s stubbornly out of sync with how his mind works. After being wrongly accused of murdering his neighbor’s dog, he resolves to find the real culprit. But, when his investigation uncovers painful truths about his family, he dares to strike out on his own, embarking on an adventure that upturns his whole world.
“The Curious Incident is a thrilling, heartwarming, and uplifting story,” said Zulia. It’s recommend for ages 12 and up due to strong language throughout the production.
Produced through the partnership between HTI and Mill Mountain Theatre, the 2021 Hollins-Mill Mountain Virtual Winter Festival of New Works will feature never-before-seen plays penned by playwrights from the Playwright’s Lab at Hollins University.
Written and directed by Max Bidasha, Missing Red Girls is based on true stories about missing and murdered indigenous women and follows two families on their journeys to find loved ones who were stolen from them. The families endure many obstacles, including racism and a lack of resources. A livestream of the play will be presented via Zoom, January 21-23 at 7:30 p.m., and January 24 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $5 general admission and will go on sale through BrownPaperTickets.com on December 1, 2020.
The Care Taker, written by Stephanie Goldman and directed by Clinton Johnston, looks at the complicated relationship between a mother and daughter and how a wound that is hidden can never be healed. The livestream via Zoom will take place January 23 at 2 p.m., and admission is free and open to the public. Tickets will be available through BrownPaperTickets.com on December 1, 2020.
In Kate Leslie’s Shadow of the Sun, directed by Daimien Matherson, Artemis is the goddess of the moon, and her brother, Apollo, is the god of the sun. Expected to live up to the ideals of the immortals, Artemis longs for freedom and the opportunity to chart her own path. But when she builds her own world, has she simply traded one set of impossible expectations for another? A Zoom livestream will be held January 28-30 at 7:30 p.m., and January 31 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $5 general admission and will go on sale through BrownPaperTickets.com on December 1, 2020.
Zulia said that the extent of COVID-19 restrictions on campus next semester will determine if and how HTI presents a Main Stage production in Spring 2021. Nevertheless, he stressed that “plans are under way for a dynamic production next April that will excite audiences online or in person. Stay tuned for more details as spring approaches.”