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Conversation with visiting director Christina Roussos

November 26, 2018
four women in work jumpsuits with a megaphone, an axe, a cleaver and a batFrom left, Dayna Mooneegan '22, Celia Konowe '21, Samantha Richardson '19, and Olivia Banc '21 star in "Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again" in Todd Theatre. The production opens on November 29.(University of Rochester photo / J. Adam Fenster)

“What excites me about the play is the obliterating aspect of the language,” says visiting director Christina Roussos. “That the language is used to such ends to twist and revert the way we think of certain words and phrases and who has permission to use them.”

A conversation with Christina Roussos, visiting director of International Theatre Program’s production of Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again.

The International Theatre Program presents Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. opening Thursday, November 29, and running through Saturday, December 8, at Todd Theater. Written by award-winning British playwright Alice Birch, Revolt. She Said… has been described as “a sharp and irreverent assault on language.”

Visiting director Christina Roussos teaches project building and character creation in the MFA Visual Narrative program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Her most recent productions include premieres of Radium Now by Kate Benson, Hippos of the Eastern Enclosure by Jen Silverman, and Nectar by Katie Baldwin Eng.

What should the audience expect?
There is comedy and violence.  It’s a thorough examination of our assumptions around language—who can use what language and in what way?

What’s it like to work with the Rochester students, who come to theater from many different disciplines?
It’s really exciting working with students who come from all sorts of different backgrounds and different majors. I’ve done a lot of work with students who are a part of acting programs, but this is really exciting.  It’s a really nice exercise for me as a director because I have to be specific in the type of language that I use; specific in how I communicate my vision. You’re not able to run on assumptions, which in a lot of ways is great.

What were some of the challenges of working with the students on this particular play?
I think building an ensemble is always about learning how to work with everyone individually and as a group. And a big part of that is how you speak to that group. In this play, I really wanted to be careful about how we as an ensemble spoke to each other outside of the scene work. It’s always tricky when you work with plays where the language is violent, so to do that kind of work, you also need to think about what kind of a rehearsal room you’re creating, what kind of an atmosphere you’re creating, so that people can do that kind of work safely.

one women pushes three other women in a cart while they wave a flag that reads "Revolt" and use a megaphone

The play has been described in many ways, including “wildly experimental,” “puckish,” and “angry.” Is it angry?
I definitely think there is a certain amount of anger there, but beyond the anger I think there is a lot of truth. What is the truth of how we treat each other? How are women both held up and held back by the language that we use?

Tickets

The production runs Thursday through Saturday (November 29-December 2) and Wednesday through Saturday (December 5-8) starting at 7 p.m. There is one matinee performance on Sunday, December 2 at 2 p.m.

All performances take place in Todd Theater on the University of Rochester’s River Campus. Tickets are $8 for University of Rochester students, $12 for alumni, faculty, staff, and for seniors (65+), and $15 for the general public.

Tickets may be purchased online at http://www.sas.rochester.edu/theatre/ or by calling the box office at (585) 275-4088. Tickets may also be purchased up to an hour before each performance at the box office.

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Category: The Arts