Each year, Fordham’s theatre program chooses a theme around which to build the season’s repertoire. According to Matthew Maguire, director of the theatre program, this year’s theme of “madness” should prove to be a box-office draw.
The season kicks off on Oct. 15 with The Day Room, a rarely performed play by Don DeLillo (FCRH ’59). The black comedy mocks our fears of hospitals, death and insanity as it blurs the lines between patients and staff at an insane asylum. DeLillo, an award-winning novelist who wrote White Noise(1985) and Underworld (1997), has attended rehearsals, Maguire said, and will also attend one of the performances.
The season follows up with Emily Mann’s Mrs. Packard, which explores the injustice of a system that allows husbands to commit their wives to asylums without consent; Irene Fornes’ Sarita, about a teenage girl’s violent love and madness; and Shakespeare’s famous tragedy about a mad prince,Hamlet.
“There are multiple refractions of madness across our season,” Maguire said. “The task was to find the right plays to complete the mosaic.”
In the spring, the theatre program will join with the Fordham Center on Religion and Culture to further explore all of the plays’ themes in a forum, “Religion and Madness: Spirituality and Pathology.”