Yale Bulletin and Calendar

November 15, 2002|Volume 31, Number 11














This photo is from the Yale Rep's poster for "Fighting Words," which focuses on the three women Welch boxer Johnny "Matchstick" Owen left behind when he came to the United States for the bantamweight boxing championship.

Fact feeds fiction in Yale
alumnus' play 'Fighting Words'

A real-life world championship boxing match is at the heart of "Fighting Words," the next offering in the Yale Repertory Theatre's 2002-2003 season.

The play, to be presented Nov. 15-Dec. 21, was written by Sunil Thomas Kuruvilla, a 1999 graduate of the Yale School of Drama. It is directed by Liz Diamond, resident director at the Yale Rep.

In 1980, Welsh boxer Johnny "Matchstick" Owen left his hometown of Merthyr to travel to Los Angeles to battle Lupe Pintor of Mexico for the bantamweight world championship. "Fighting Words" is a fictional tale about three women he left behind: Nia, who wants to be a BBC broadcaster; her sister, Peg, who dreams of a career in boxing; and their landlady, Mrs. Davies.

"Fighting Words" had its world premiere at Toronto's Factory Theatre, and Kuruvilla is working on a screen adaptation of the play for Showtime. His play "Rice Boy" had its world premiere at Yale Repertory Theatre two years ago. The alumnus has developed his plays at such venues as the New York Theatre Workshop, Williamstown Theatre Festival and Portland Center Stage; he has received commissions from The Joseph Papp Public Theater, The Wilma Theater and South Coast Repertory. He is currently writing a screenplay about wrestler Bret Hart for CTV.

Diamond, who is also assistant professor (adjunct) and acting chair of the directing program at the School of Drama, had directed numerous productions at the Yale Rep. These include "Rice Boy," "The Cure at Troy," "Mrs. Warren's Profession," "St. Joan of the Stockyards" and "The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World." She has also produced works at theaters nationwide and has won Obie Awards and Connecticut Critics Circle Awards, two for Outstanding Direction.

Emma Bowers, who portrays Peg, has appeared in New York in "A Dream Play," "Things You Shouldn't Say Past Midnight (A Comedy in Four Beds)" and "Never the Sinner." She also had roles in "Henry VIII" and "The Winter's Tale" at the Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park. Her numerous regional credits include the title role in "Sister Carrie" at the Indiana Regional Theatre and "Belgrade" at The Market Theatre.

Meg Brogan, who appears in the role of Nia, is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama, where she won the Oliver Thorndike acting award. She has performed in many regional theatre productions, most recently in "The Moliere Comedies" at the Mark Taper Forum. She also appeared in New Haven in the Yale Rep's "Midsummer Night's Dream" and Long Wharf Theatre's "The Importance of Being Earnest." She is a founding member of Roadworks Production in Chicago.

Jayne Houdyshell, who has the role of Mrs. Davies, most recently appeared as Medea's Nurse in the Yale Rep production of "Medea/Macbeth/Cinderella." She also performed Off-Broadway at the SoHo Rep in "True Love" and "Attempts on Her Life." In addition to numerous regional theater productions, she has appeared on television in "Law & Order," "Trinity" and "Third Watch," and in the films "Changing Lanes" and the soon-to-be released "Chambermaid."

"Fighting Words" will be performed in the New Theatre, 1156 Chapel St. It will be presented at 8 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, with Saturday matinees at 2 p.m. There will be special Monday evening performances at 8 p.m. on Nov. 18 and Dec. 9, and Wednesday matinees at 2 p.m. on Dec. 4 and 18.

A number of special events have been scheduled in conjunction with "Fighting Words" at no additional cost. "Yale Night" on Friday, Nov. 15, will feature free pizza and soft drinks for students from area colleges and universities; "Opening Night," on Thursday, Nov. 21, will include a celebration at Hot Tomato's following the performance; and "Re:Play," following the matinee at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 23, will feature a question-and-answer session with the cast and crew. The Yale Rep will also offering a Sign-Interpreted Performance at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 23, and an Audio-Described Performance at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 30.

Individual tickets to all Yale Rep productions range from $25 to $40; group rates are available for seniors, students and groups. Subscription packages, including the holiday three-play gift series, are currently on sale. To purchast tickets or for more information, visit the Yale Rep box office in person at 1120 Chapel St.; call (203) 432-1234; or visit the website at www.yalerep.org.


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