Theatre department performing "Akarui"

For their final mainstage production of the 2009-2010 academic year Cornell will be mounting Jen Silverman’s new play, Akarui. The show, which runs April 16, 17, 18, 23, and 24 at 7:30 p.m., is directed by Cornell professor Mark Hunter. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for non-Cornell students. Faculty, staff, and students of Cornell are admitted for free.

Britton Esposito as DJ Akarui.Silverman’s play, an exuberant and haunting take on the mechanics of transformation and love takes its characters to “the rich dark heart of the end of the world” – A Rave presided over by the DJ Akarui, a mesmerizing and mysterious figure who may or may not have the power to orchestrate change in an individual. The characters in the play include a young transvestite-in-process, a charming and handsome musician, a boy who wakens to find himself dead and his memories gone and Baba Yaga, a fearsome scientist caught up in her experimentation. These characters and others are drawn in by the call of the Akarui world, Baba Yaga’s scheming and their own search for redemption.

Cornell’s production comes out of a lengthy collaboration between the playwright and the director. It is conceptually innovative, an intimate and exciting theatrical experience. The costumes for the show are designed by Jenny Nutting Kelchen and Cornell student Laura Ambrose. The scenic design is by visiting artist Ryan Wentworth.

The cast of Akarui includes brothers Jordan and Julian Stacey, who are appearing together for the first time in a mainstage Cornell production. Also in the cast are Britton Esposito as DJ Akarui, sophomore Anna Sewell as Baba Yaga and junior Madeleine DelBusso as the Manta Ray.

Audience members will

assemble at the Plumb-Fleming Studio Theatre, Cornell’s black box space, where they will be lead to the performance space. This play contains adult language and mature themes and may not be suitable for young audiences.