Sarah Davenport as Heidi Holland in CCM’s THE HEIDI CHRONICLES. photography by Mark Lyons.
CCM’s Department of Drama opens its spring Mainstage Series with its debut of Wendy Wasserstein’s The Heidi Chronicles, running Feb. 11 through Feb. 15, in the Patricia Corbett Theater.
An examination of feminism and its evolution from the 1960s through the late 1980s, The Heidi Chronicles follows Heidi Holland, a successful art historian, who tries to find her true self in a rapidly changing world as the roles of women were being redefined.
Students and audience members alike will get the chance to witness a piece of history on stage as director Richard E. Hess, A.B., Dolly, Ralph and Julia Cohen Chair of Dramatic Performance, attempts to make connections between a generation who lived through the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s and students who are now products of this age.
Hess asks a thought-provoking and timely question: “What would Wendy think of life in America in 2015, where we still must deeply question this country’s commitment to racial and gender equality?”
Wasserstein was the first woman playwright to receive a Tony Award for Best Play for The Heidi Chronicles. Her work also earned her prestigious awards including the 1989 Pulitzer Prize, a New York Drama Critics Circle Award and a Drama Desk Award, among others.
Hess says that Wasserstein liked to create characters “who struggled with the shifting demands and definitions of self, unique to a time and place.” This struggle rings true even today.
Second-year Theater Design and Production graduate student Jillian Coratti serves as costume designer for this production. She talked with Hess at the beginning of rehearsals about his vision for the look and feel of the production. “The hardest part about this production was making it look real,” she explains. “This show is dramatic and thoughtful, but very rarely flashy. The characters are real and contemporary, so I didn’t want to make anything come across as overly theatrical.”
Coratti did a great deal of research in magazines and blogs, even pulling out older family photo albums. Her uncles grew up as members of the “baby boomer” generation, so she was able to find looks from the 70s and 80s in their wedding albums. Since each scene in The Heidi Chronicles is set in a new time period, there are a lot of quick costume changes. Heidi alone has 13 changes!
But the easiest and most rewarding part has been the fittings. Coratti says, “The actors are so eager and willing to see their costumes because they can connect with these clothes. They’re very similar to what we wear everyday, yet some come from our parents closets.”
- Richard E. Hess, director
- Thomas C. Umfrid, scenic designer
- Jillian Coratti, costume designer
- Taylor Malott, wig & make-up designer
- Joe Beumer, lighting designer
- Corbin Wescott, sound designer
- k. Jenny Jones, fight choreographer
- Susan Stephenson, stage manager
The Heidi Chronicles Cast List:
- Sarah Davenport as Heidi Holland
- Clare Combest as Susan Johnston
- Colin Edgar as Peter Patron
- Connor Lawrence as Scoop Rosenbaum
- Ryan Garrett as Chris Boxer/Steve/Waiter
- Katie McDonald as Jill/Sandra Zucker-Hall
- AC Horton as Fran
- Julia Netzer as Becky
- Rachel Baumgarten as Debbie
- Owen Alderson as 1968 Hippie/Mark/Dr. Ray
- Michaela Tropeano as Molly McBride/Clara
- Alice Skok as Lisa
- Carli Rhoades as Betsy
- Sydney Ashe as Denise
- Katie Langham as April
About The Heidi Chronicles
After its initial opening in November 1988 Off-Broadway, The Heidi Chronicles was praised by the New York Daily News as “witty, hilarious…not just a funny play, but a wise one… I doubt we’ll see a better play this season.” Even Variety raved, “Not many plays manage Heidi’s feat of inducing almost continuous laughter while forcing the audience to examine its preconceptions.” In March of 1989, The Heidi Chronicles was transferred to Broadway and became a long-running success with an impressive 622 performances when it closed in September of 1990.
Comprised of a series of interrelated scenes, the play traces the coming of age of Heidi Holland, a successful art historian, as she tries to find her bearings in a rapidly changing world. Gradually distancing herself from her friends, she watches them move from the idealism and political radicalism of their college years through militant feminism and, eventually, back to the materialism that they had sought to reject in the first place. Eventually Heidi comes to accept the fact that liberation can be achieved only if one is true to oneself, with goals that come out of need rather than circumstance.
Read Rick Pender’s thoughts on the legacy of Wendy Wasserstein and the importance of The Heidi Chronicles, courtesy of CityBeat.
- 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 11 (preview)
- 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12
- 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 13
- 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 14
- 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 15
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati
Tickets to The Heidi Chronicles are $27-31 for adults, $17-20 for non-UC students and $15-18 for UC students with a valid ID. Saturday matinee student rush discount tickets are available beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 14 and are $12-15. Tickets to the Feb. 11 preview performance are just $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/heidi-chronicles-mainstage.
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 detailed maps and directions, please visit uc.edu/visitors. Additional parking is available off-campus at the new U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots.
For directions to CCM Village, visit ccm.uc.edu/about/directions.
CCM Season Presenting Sponsor and Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation
Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s
Community Partner: ArtsWave