UW School of Drama presents David Edgar's Pentecost, directed by MFA in Directing candidate Andrew McGinn, in his thesis production at the Jones Playhouse. Previews begin Wednesday, February 20, 2013. The production runs through Sunday, March 3, and features performers from the School of Drama's graduate and undergraduate programs.
In a Balkan country on The Edge of Europe, a mysterious church fresco has been discovered which may rewrite the history of art across the East-West divide. Gabriella Pecs, curator of the national museum, enlists Oliver Davenport, an English art historian, to help prove the fresco's authenticity. Catholic, Orthodox and nationalist interests compete to possess it. In the midst of controversy, a desperate multi-national group of refugees bursts into the church demanding
asylum at gunpoint. One last hostage, the fresco, stands alone.
David Edgar's Pentecost uses the fresco and its questionable origin to look at competing ethnic, national and religious interest-groups in post-Communist Eastern Europe and at conflicting attitudes towards art. Director Andrew McGinn says "Art and theater remind us that we actually do have compassion for each other on the most fundamental level, otherwise art and theater just wouldn't work. Our national politics really should reflect that, but, they don't. This play finds the celebration of our natural instinct for compassion and vitality in the middle of a real war-torn mess in a way that's totally un-naive. I think the play is thrilling."
David Edgar, playwright, is a prolific British writer whose works include The National Interest (1971), Excuses, Excuses (1972), Dick Deterred (1974), Saigon Rose (1976), Wreckers (1977), written for 7:84 Theatre Company, Mary Barnes (1978) and Entertaining Strangers (1986), commissioned by Ann Jellicoe and the Colway Theatre Trust. His plays written for the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) include Destiny (1976), winner of the John Whiting Award, The Jail Diary of Albie Sachs (1978), The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (1980), winner of the Society of West End Theatres Best Play award and a Tony Award (USA), Maydays (1983), winner of the Plays and Players Award for Best Play, The Shape of the Table (1990), written for the Royal National Theatre in London, and Pentecost (1994), winner of the Evening Standard Award for Best Play of the Year. More recent plays include Albert Speer (2000), based on Gitta Sereny's biography of Hitler's architect, first staged at the Royal National Theatre, The Prisoner's Dilemma (2001), an exploration of the nature of modern conflict, for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Playing With Fire (2005) and Testing The Echo (2008). In 2007, he wrote the romantic comedy, A Time To Keep, with his wife, the dramatist Stephanie Dale. David Edgar is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He lives in Birmingham.
Andrew McGinn, director, has been a producer/director for The Infinite Theatre in NYC where he presented A Doll's House, Seascape with Sharks and Dancer, and The Hotel Plays at the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theatre Festival, where he also served as supervising director. As an actor, he has performed in two Broadway premieres (Coast of Utopia and Invention of Love by Tom Stoppard) produced by Lincoln Center, in five productions at The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival, in Blue Man Group, and at various notable companies in New York and across the country. At UW, he has directed Spring Dance, Till The Day I Die, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Woyczek, Antony and Cleopatra, The Motherfucker with the Hat, and The Illusion. He holds a degree in acting from The Juilliard School and is an MFA candidate in Directing at the University of Washington School of Drama.