The Bald Soprano and The Lesson

  • Oct 15 – Oct 16, 2009 7:30 PM
  • Oct 22 – Oct 24, 2009 7:30 PM
  • McArdle Theatre

Two groundbreaking one-act plays by Eugene Ionesco, "The Bald Soprano" and "The Lesson," will be performed this week by the Tech Theatre Company in the McArdle Theatre. The performances will be at 7:30 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 22 through 24. The Tech Theatre Company is composed of faculty, staff and students of the visual and performing arts department, and for this performance will be directed by assistant professor Patricia Helsel.

Helsel says her students find the two Ionesco plays as utterly gripping and edgy, as she did in her own college days, and have enthusiastically enjoyed designing and preparing this production. The designers are advanced students in Tech's bachelor's degree programs in technical theatre and audio production, while the cast includes student actors trained in Tech's acting classes and prior productions.

"My students' enthusiasm proved to me the timelessness of Ionesco and was my inspiration to mount this production," Helsel says. "I've also been profoundly moved by the ability of the plays to evoke such a complex emotional response from the audience."

"The Bald Soprano," a hilarious look at communication in daily life, and "The Lesson," a tragicomic view of communication between a teacher and a student--or any authority figure and any innocent person--were pioneering plays in the "theatre of the absurd." The plays "tantalize with colorful and musical language in a circular plot full of contradictions, ironies and comical constructs," Helsel says, even as their meaning is easy to grasp.