For much of his life, Tom Stoppard knew relatively little about his family’s origins and the events of his early childhood. The established details of his biography began when he was eight years old, in 1946, the year he moved from India to England with his Czechoslovakian mother, Martha, a Catholic. Martha recently had married a British Army officer, Major Kenneth Stoppard. She brought two sons from a previous marriage to this new union, eager for her children to start life in a new country.
Chip Bamberger and Martha Van Haitsma, Producers’ Circle members and long-time subscribers, are firm believers in the transformative power of arts in education. In addition to their three decades as loyal subscribers, Chip and Martha are also generous patrons to Court. Their most recent gift will fund an innovative collaboration between Court and the Ancona School in Hyde Park/Kenwood.
As director of Court’s current production, Blues for an Alabama Sky, Ron has spent the last few months immersed in the Harlem Renaissance, exploring the lives of African American artists in the 1930s, and examining the social and cultural atmosphere that surrounds the play.
Best-selling novels, plays, and poetry—Pearl Cleage has written it all. Her 1995 play Blues for an Alabama Sky thrusts audiences into the creative ferment of the Harlem Renaissance, just as the problems of the Great Depression begin to overshadow artistic triumphs and creep into characters lives. While set in the past, her work sends echoes to us in the present that are impossible to ignore. Court staff member Shelby Krick enjoyed a fascinating conversation with Cleage and Resident Artist and Director Ron OJ Parson.
Jacqueline's creations for Iphigenia in Aulis, Agamemnon and now Electra tell a powerful story of their own, tracing the narrative arc of tragedy through subtle changes in fabric, color, draping and visual concept.
This year in Electra, we see many returning faces from Agamemnon and Iphigenia in Aulis, but we are also introduced to a few new faces that leave a lasting impression. Kate Fry (Electra) joins Sandra Marquez (Clytemnestra) in the final tragic chapter in Court Theatre’s Greek Cycle.