Fordham University Theatre will collaborate with the off-Broadway company Primary Stages on its April production of The Wild Inside, by Emmy-nominated playwright Cusi Cram.
The co-production marks the second time that Program Director Matthew Maguire has collaborated with a professional company on a Fordham Mainstage play. Last season, the Public Theatre co-produced the spring production of Twenty-One Positions.
“This is a very good symbiotic relationship,” Maguire said. “Our theatre students have one foot in the academy and one foot in the professional world. When this play goes out and gets produced in the theatre world, our acting students will know they originated these roles.”
The Wild Inside is a comic meditation on time, yearning and impossible love set in the Galapagos Islands. It features a 200-year-old tortoise, a tour guide and a Latino television sitcom family, Maguire said. Cram developed the play in a writing workshop at Primary Stages and will be on hand at rehearsals to fine-tune the script. The play will be directed by Jackson Gay.
Primary Stages’ Artistic Director Andrew Leynse and Associate Artistic Director Michelle Bossy gave a master class to theatre students on Feb. 23 and participated in the production’s first rehearsal. Literary Manager Tessa LaNeve is on board as the play’s dramaturg.
Founded 25 years ago, Primary Stages has a reputation for producing daring new works by emerging and established American playwrights. Recently it brought its production of Horton Foote’s Divided Estate to Broadway.
Maguire sees the collaborative model as advantageous to both sides.
“New York City theatres can look to Fordham as a place where they can develop new scripts,” he said, “and when our graduates walk into those theatres to audition, they’ll be seen differently.”
The Wild Inside opens on April 16 at Pope Auditorium.