Past Mainstage Productions
HURTS SO GOOD: The Feel-Good Cabaret of Torture and Pain
This cabaret-style performance features musical hits, show-stopping dance numbers, scenes, and monologues from Broadway’s classic and contemporary blockbusters, mixed with contemporary rock and pop tunes. The result is an evening of entertainment sure to offer a delightfully fun romp through heart-wrenching ballads and pain-filled duets. View the HURTS SO GOOD images and the CCTD Facebook page.
Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them
By Christopher Durang
Christopher Durang turns political humor upside down with this raucous and provocative satire about America's growing homeland "insecurity." A young woman finds herself suddenly in crisis: Is her new husband, whom she married when drunk, a terrorist? Or just crazy? Or both? Is her father's hobby of butterfly collecting really a cover for his involvement in a shadow government? Honing in on our private terrors both at home and abroad, Durang oddly relieves our fears in this black comedy for an era of yellow, orange and red alerts. View the WHY TORTURE IS WRONG images and the CCTD Facebook page.
By Steven Berkoff
Steven Berkoff's exciting retelling of the ancient Greek tragedy, Oedipus Rex, follows the hero (Eddy) as he voyages beyond the East End of contemporary England and encounters love, wealth, and his true identity. Exploring the story from a while new angle, Berkhoff emphasizes the positive and redemptive power of love. This modern, twisted version of the myth combines Shakespearean grandeur with Cockney slang, to a riotous effect. What is created is an electric and often aggressive atmosphere. Don't miss this punk "love poem" to the spirit of "Oedipus Rex!" View the GREEK images and the CCTD Facebook page.
CCTD's Inaugural Dance Concert
Directed and choreographed by Dance Artist in Residence, Alvon Reed, our inaugural dance concert will feature works created by Mr. Reed, Cornell student choreographers and regional professionals. Student lighting and video designers will set movement to image, making this an evening filled with physical and visual electricity. View the TRIGGERED images and the CCTD Facebook page.
The Glass Menagerie
By Tennessee Williams
Winner of the New York Drama Critics Award in 1945, The Glass Menagerie was the first major success for one of America's most revered playwrights. Both dreamlike and shatteringly real, Tennessee William's iconic American classic examines a family on the edge of the abyss. View The Glass Menagerie images
A Man of No Importance
By Stephen Flaherty (music), Lynn Ahrens (lyrics), and Terrence McNally (book)
From the award-winning creators of Ragtime comes the story of Alfie Byrne, a Dublin bus driver in 1964, whose heart holds secrets he can't share with anyone but his imagined confidante, Oscar Wilde. A tender and beautifully woven tale of friendship, community, and the power of theatre. View A Man of No Importance images
Those That Fall - A Devised Piece
Written by the ensemble
As reported in the Des Moines Register in 1903, the town of Van Meter, Iowa was “visited” by a giant bat-like creature over the course of four consecutive nights. Inspired by these events, this devised production explores the social tensions that spark the gruesome, glorious and sometimes necessary tales that pull us together and tear us apart. View Those That Fall - A Devised Piece images
Pictures at an Exhibition - A Devised Piece
Written by the ensemble
Directed by Emily DeCola of NYC's Puppet Kitchen. Cornell faculty and students worked with the award-winning Puppet Kitchen throughout the spring of 2015 to create and perform this adaptation and expression of Modest Mussorgsky's composition Pictures at an Exhibition, which was inspired by the paintings of architect and artist Viktor Hartmann. View Pictures at an Exhibition - A Devised Piece images
by Sophie Treadwell
Directed by Janeve West. Premiering on Broadway in 1928 and inspired by the 1927 murder trial of Ruth Snyder, Machinal is considered one of the greatest and earliest examples of Expressionist Theatre on the American stage. View Machinal images
By John Cariani
Directed by Ron Clark. As the northern lights hover in the star-filled sky above, the residents of Almost, Maine find themselves falling in and out of love in unexpected and often hilarious ways. Debuting Off-Broadway in 2006, Almost, Maine was featured as one of the best plays of that year. View Almost, Maine images
Romeo and Juliet
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Ron Clark. Shakespeare's heartbreaking tale of love, jealousy and misguided parenting still promises to mesmerize audiences 400 years after it was written. View Romeo and Juliet images
Music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx; book by Jeff Whitty
Directed by Jim Van Valen. Winner of the 2004 Tony Award for Best Musical, this comedy brings together people and puppets, mischief-makers and monsters, all living and learning together in a New York apartment building on Avenue Q. View Avenue Q images
By Caryl Churchill
Directed by Janeve West. Written in 1979 and filled with time jumps, gender switching, biting humor, and double-casting, Cloud 9 offers an opportunity for British playwright Caryl Churchill to question preconceived notions of family status, gender constructs, and social norms. View Cloud 9 images
The Cripple of Inishmaan
By Martin McDonagh
In 1934, the people of Inishmaan, a small island off the coast of Ireland, discover a movie is about to be made on the neighboring island. Cripple Billy dreams of stardom in this merciless, cruelly funny and provocative play by contemporary Ireland's most successful playwright. View The Cripple of Inishmaan images
Book by George Furth; music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Directed by Jim Van Valen. A breakthrough Broadway musical-comedy first produced in 1970, COMPANY remains fresh, acerbic, and original today. With the clashing sounds and pulsing rhythms of New York City underscoring this landmark show, it is considered by many to have inaugurated the modern era of musical theatre. View COMPANY images
In the Next Room, or The Vibrator Play
By Sarah Ruhl
A 2010 Pulitzer Prize finalist and Tony nominee for best play, Sarah Ruhl's provocative and sometimes tender comedy is set in the 1880s—a time when doctors believed that "hysterical" women (and men) could be treated with vibrators, and electricity was a brand new technology. View In the Next Room, or The Vibrator Play images
By Jane Anderson
Directed by Jody Hovland. An exploration of our need to reach beyond ourselves and dare the universe, Defying Gravity interweaves the 1986 Challenger explosion with our ageless fascination with space and its conquest. View Defying Gravity images
By Sophocles; translated by Frank McGuinness
Electra is a riveting portrait of a woman consumed with the need to avenge her father's death by seeking the death of her mother. This production combines live action with original video to offer a highly contemporary consideration of this classic Greek drama. View Electra images
By William Shakespeare
Shakespeare's classic tale of cross-dressing and comedy comes to life in our studio theatre, complete with original music and live sound effects.
The Pirates of Penzance
Libretto by W.S. Gilbert; music by Arthur Sullivan
Join Mabel and the Pirate King for a high seas musical adventure, directed by guest artist Steven Smeltzer and produced in collaboration with the Department of Music.
Waiting for Godot
By Samuel Beckett
Waiting for Godot is one of the most discussed, analyzed, and performed plays in Western Theatre. Embracing influences from vaudeville, Laurel and Hardy, Buster Keaton, and Charlie Chaplin, this play in two acts tells the story of two clowns as they wait for the enigmatic Godot.
The Diary of Anne Frank
By Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett; adapted by Wendy Kesselman
The Pulitzer Prize-winning account of a sensitive Jewish girl struggling with adolescence while hiding with her family and their associates from the Nazis. Kesselman’s acclaimed adaptation of the play makes thoughtful use of recently recovered segments of Anne’s diary to deepen our understanding of the cultural context and to present a much more complex Anne than we have known. View The Diary of Anne Frank images
You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown
Based on the "Peanuts" cartoon strip by Charles M. Schultz
This Tony Award-winning musical depicts an average day in the life of Charles M. Schulz’s beloved Peanuts gang. The 1999 revision of the show adds several songs to the original score.
The Arabian Nights
Adapted by Mary Zimmerman
This adaptation of the Middle Eastern classic One Thousand and One Nights tells the story of Scheherazade and the tales she spins to keep herself alive while at the mercy of her new husband, the mad Caliph Shahryar. Her shimmering tales of love, lust, morality, and power (with plenty of humor as well) fascinate and entertain. View The Arabian Nights images
By Jennifer Silverman
An assortment of characters convene at a warehouse at the end of the world, where DJ Akarui is laying down beats and conducting a rave in which all transformations are possible. Silverman’s extraordinary play is a unique theatrical event of explosive imagination, riveting energy, and penetrating insights.
Les Liaisons Dangereuses
By Christopher Hampton
An adaptation of the classic French novel involving sexual intrigue, manipulation, and philandering in the salons and boudoirs of 18th century France, this award-winning play has been described as the blackest of all fairy tales, the most depraved of all soap operas, and a brilliant and witty tragedy of manners. View Les Liaisons Dangereuses images
The Baby With the Bathwater
By Christoher Durang
A viciously funny play about parenting and family, Durang’s comedy combines satire, farce, and absurdity and somehow offers a theatrical experience that transforms righteous anger into laugh-filled redemption.
Music by John Kander; lyrics by Fred Ebb; book by Joe Masteroff
This modern classic musical, set in the tumultuous city of Berlin just before Hitler's rise to power, is based on Christopher Isherwood's Berlin Stories and John Van Druten's I Am a Camera. The main action of the play revolves around a cabaret performer, Sally Bowles, and the brief affair she has with an American writer. View Cabaret images
By Sarah Ruhl
Sarah Ruhl has adapted this mournful legend of Orpheus with a fresh eye, concentrating not on the passionate pilgrimage of Orpheus to retrieve his bride but on Eurydice's descent into the jaws of death. What she finds there, and what she learns about love, loss and memory, is the subject of this unique and tender-hearted comedy. View Eurydice images
The Long Christmas Ride Home
By Paula Vogel
Inspired by Thornton Wilder, traditional Japanese theatre, and an abiding conviction that there is a kind of wisdom in beauty, even in terrible circumstances, this extraordinary play uses puppetry, language, music and drama to investigate the journey of an American family through time.
By Douglas Carter Beane
A comedy about the pitfalls of the unquenchable hunger for fame. The play earned Beane the prestigious Outer Critics Circle John Gassner playwriting award (1998) and a nomination for the Drama Desk Best Play.
Little Shop of Horrors
By Alan Menken and Howard Ashman
This well-loved 1982 Off-Broadway musical comedy about a nerdy florist shop worker who raises a plant that feeds on human blood has achieved enduring status as a campy classic. The musical was based on the low-budget 1960 black comedy film The Little Shop of Horrors, directed by Roger Corman. View Little Shop of Horrors images
A Lie of the Mind
By Sam Shepard
In Sam Shepard's exhilarating play, two families are divided against themselves and armed against each other. However, this mythic western story is not really a tale of rivalry, but of interior domestic violence, the damage that one does to filial, fraternal and marital bonds - and the love that lingers in the air after the havoc has run its natural course.