Selected Plays by Rosalyn Drexler: Utopia Parkway and Room 17C

March 24, 2017

Enjoy dramatic readings of Utopia Parkway and Room 17C, two one-act plays by Rosalyn Drexler performed by students in the Performing Arts Department in Arts & Sciences, under the direction of Senior Lecturer Andrea Urice. The performers will be Taylor Jordan Brantley, Alex Felder, Samantha Gaitsch, Katie Greenberg, Zach Hyams, Michael Maley, Danny Marshall, Josh Parrack, and Zack Schultz, all students in this semester's Acting IV class—a senior seminar for drama majors/minors. Student Danny Washelseky is directing Utopia Parkway, and Andrea Urice is directing Room 17C.

With the premiere of her first play in 1964—the provocative farce Home Movies (with music by Al Carmines), at the famed Judson Poets Theater in New York City—Rosalyn Drexler established herself as a distinguished figure in American alternative theater. During the past six decades she has won three Obies and authored a diverse range of plays that deftly mingle the absurd and the vulgar, great wit and humanity, evincing connections to figures as Samuel Beckett, Eugene Ionesco, and the Marx Brothers.

This pair of plays first appeared in the production Transients Welcome, which earned Drexler an Obie Award in 1985. Set in the Queens home and studio of the famously reclusive assemblage artist Joseph Cornell, Utopia Parkway explores ideas about abstract art and beauty. The play imagines a humorous interplay between Cornell and one of his muses, ballerina Allegra Kent, whom he ultimately confines to a life-size box. Room 17C presents a surprisingly poignant romance between a cockroach, inspired by Kafka’s Metamorphosis, and a lonely everywoman named Linda Normal, based on the beleaguered wife of Death of a Salesman’s Willy Loman.

Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Rosalyn Drexler: Who Does She Think She Is?

Free and open to the public.

Image credit

Rosalyn Drexler (American, b. 1926), Love in the Green Room, 1963. Acrylic and paper collage on canvas, 30 x 24". Courtesy the artist and Garth Greenan Gallery, New York. © 2016 Rosalyn Drexler / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.