The third production of the 2018-2019 season at The Stagecrafters, Rebecca Gilman’s Spinning Into Butter, will open on Friday, February 1, 2019. The story unfolds at Belmont, a tranquil liberal arts college in Vermont, where Sarah Daniels, Dean of Students, suddenly finds herself faced with a super-explosive situation after one of the handful of African-American students at the school has reported receiving hate mail. As threats and abrasive confrontations among faculty and students multiply, the narrative, with insight and wry humor, tracks Sarah’s attempts to navigate a maze of posturing, accusations, and soul-searching on political correctness. The author exhibits a bold willingness to expose pervasive and long-standing racial tensions in an unremarkable setting. Numerous critics have commented favorably: “… a brave, honest, intelligent, and important play …” [New York]; “… as many twists as a farce, and that’s what it is – a post-comic, post-tragic farce.” [The New York Times]; … a complex, unnerving look at the way real people navigate between … racism and the perils of political correctness. …” [Time].
Spinning Into Butter was commissioned by Chicago’s Goodman Theatre, premiering there in 1999, and quickly garnering several awards from various associations. The play premiered in New York at Lincoln Center in July of 2000, and through the following two years was produced to signal acclaim at a large number of regional theaters, as well as the Royal Court Theatre in London. A London critic had this to say: “… [this play] makes you want to argue – which is more than most plays do.” [The Observer].
Rebecca Gilman (b. 1965) earned the M.F.A. in playwriting at the University of Iowa. Among her highly regarded other plays are Boy Gets Girl (2000), which examines power and violence in gender relations, and Blue Surge (2001), which examines class distinctions much as Spinning Into Butter looks at race. She adapted Spinning Into Butter for a film version released in 2007, which featured Sarah Jessica Parker, Beau Bridges, and Miranda Richardson
Production performance dates are February 1 thru February 17: Thurs, Fri, Sat @ 8 pm, Sun @ 2 pm. Tickets are available at $21.00 Online (no service charge), $25.00 At-door. (Thu. & Fri. eve performances 2-for-$32 Online, 2-for-$35 At-door). Students with valid ID $15.00, Seniors $22 (At-door, any performance). Groups of 15 or more are offered a reduced rate of $15.00 a ticket, paid in advance. The box office opens 45 minutes before each performance. For information call 215-247-8881; for reservations-direct call 215-247-9913. The theater is located in the heart of Chestnut Hill at 8130 Germantown Ave. Visit website for details: www.thestagecrafters.org.
Special NOTE: “Meet the Cast and Director” Q & A sessions will be held following the performance on Friday, Feb. 8. All attendees at that performance are welcome to stay and join in the discussion.
Photo credit: Sara Stewart
Pictured: Jen Allegra, Jim Broyles