CCM proudly presents a sprawling, elegant production of American playwright William Saroyan’s award-winning five-act play The Time of Your Life, running Feb. 6 (preview) – 10 in UC’s Patricia Corbett Theater.
Set in a run-down waterfront dive bar on the docks of San Francisco (“Nick’s Pacific Street Saloon, Restaurant and Entertainment Palace”) in October of 1939, The Time of Your Life is filled with colorful characters, love and the follies of humanity. CCM Associate Professor of Drama Diane Kvapil directs.
With the second World War looming on the horizon, Saroyan faced the suffering of mankind and presented that suffering with a choice. “I want to restore man to himself,” Saroyan once explained. “I want to restore man to his natural dignity and gentleness.” Out of this playwright’s need to express his idea of the human condition came what the New York Post calls a “tender and hilarious, probing and elusive” portrait of life.
“People everywhere needed respite from fear,” Kvapil explains. “Hope was hard to find. … the whole world was at war or in fear of invasion.” In this climate, the run-down waterfront saloon of Saroyan’s play serves as a refuge, a place of peace and camaraderie.
Scenic Designer Mark Halpin elaborates, “Because Saroyan’s original audience would have seen this play during the Great Depression, we felt we needed to give our contemporary audience some visual sense of the world outside of Nick’s Saloon. Thus, we get a look at an abstract and impersonal, harsh exterior world, as well as the quirky, warm and cozy interior. The saloon is definitely a safe haven for the characters in the play, and we wanted to emphasize that by giving a glimpse of the world it’s a haven from.”
A Colorful Cast of Characters
Kvapil’s goal with this production was simply “to serve the playwright.” She coached the students into their colorful characters, encouraging the eccentricities of Nick’s Pacific Street Saloon’s patrons to blossom. This approach led to a magnificent array of unexpected delights throughout the show, including some casting surprises.
A senior from Pickerington, Ohio, Daniel Martens plays the role of starving artist Wesley. Not necessarily a familiar face in the Drama department, Martens is actually a piano student, studying under CCM Professor of Jazz Piano Phil DeGreg. According to Martens, he was actively recruited for The Time of Your Life. “I’m a Resident Advisor, and some of my residents from a few years back contacted me to play background music for one of their shows. I was involved in some of the student-led productions last spring,” Martens explains. “Thus, I was readily thought of when a character was needed who could play the piano [on stage].” A majority of Martens’ music for the show is improvised, so the audience can expect different and unique “musical scores” at each performance.
According to Martens, audience members can look forward to “a great mix of humor and serious issues, which makes for a good time.” It could even be the time of your life.
- 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6 (preview)
- 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7
- 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8
- 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9
- 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati
Tickets to The Time of Your Life are $30 for adults, $19 for non-UC students, $17 for UC students, with $12 student rush tickets available for the Saturday matinee beginning at 1 p.m. on Feb. 9. Tickets for the Feb. 6 preview are $12.
Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online at ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice.
Parking and Directions
Parking is available in the CCM Garage (located at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus. Please visit uc.edu/parking for more information on parking rates.
For directions to CCM Village, visit ccm.uc.edu/about/directions.
CCM Season Presenting Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation
ArtsWave: Community Partner
Macy’s: Mainstage Season Production Sponsor