Theatre UCF Replaces Play by Writer Accused of Sexual Misconduct
Theatre UCF is replacing the previously scheduled play The Day Before Yesterday with Rebecca Gilman’s Boy Gets Girl to run Feb. 22 through March 4.
The decision to change the play was made after the writer of The Day Before Yesterday, Israel Horovitz, was accused by nine women of sexual misconduct. Horovitz had been scheduled to attend UCF’s performance.
“As an educational institution, it is our job to instruct students how to produce and participate in theatre. However, it is also our duty to teach them to do so with integrity and respect. Upon evaluation of the situation, we have decided to replace the performance with Boy Gets Girl,” said Julia Listengarten, artistic director for Theatre UCF.
Listengarten and director of production Bert Scott, with input from School of Performing Arts director Michael Wainstein, director Cynthia White, and other members of the theatre faculty, evaluated the impact a last-minute cancellation or substitution would have on students who are designing, stage managing, acting in and otherwise working on the play. Students receive academic credit for their participation in the production and it was critical that their education not be compromised.
When the team found Gilman’s play, they knew they had found the solution. There were parallel roles for each of the cast members, some of the contemporary costumes could still be used, and the set design would be a relatively simple change. Equally important, it had the ability to open up a much-needed dialogue, they said.
“Boy Gets Girl is about a successful woman who has a blind date that turns horribly wrong,” said Listengarten. “It addresses the impact of sexual harassment, not just the events that happen at the moment, but how the implications are lasting.”
“We are sending a clear message that we stand by people who may be in this situation. We have a zero-tolerance policy for sexual misconduct and felt it was more important to give voice to the victims rather than directly supporting this playwright at this time,” said Wainstein.
There will be a forum to discuss this programming change and the #metoo movement as it pertains to the entertainment industry. The date and location of this discussion will be announced in January.
Tickets previously purchased for The Day Before Yesterday will be automatically reissued for the same performance and seat at Boy Gets Girl. Patrons wishing to cancel their tickets should contact the UCF box office at 407-823-1500.
Event at a glance:
Boy Gets Girl
By Rebecca Gilman Feb. 22, 23, 24, 28, March 1, 2, 3 at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 25, March 4 at 2 p.m. Directed by Cynthia White Theresa Bedell is a successful reporter in New York who loves her work and the life she has made for herself. A relationship with a man would complete the picture and so she agrees to go on a blind date with a friend of a friend. Tony is attractive and funny, but Theresa isn’t sure, and after a second date she’s convinced they have nothing in common and sees no point in continuing the relationship. Tony, though, thinks otherwise. What at first seems like persistence on his part grows into obsession, and Theresa’s annoyance with Tony turns to terror as he begins to threaten her and those around her. Ultimately, Theresa must fight to save herself from being erased by Tony’s actions—actions which call into question the assumptions at the very heart of romantic pursuit.
“A disturbing chiller … the play works powerfully at its most basic level as a suspenseful tale about the unraveling of a strong woman’s sense of security in the urban jungle.” –Variety
Please join us for a post-show reception with the cast and crew following the opening night performance on Thursday, Feb. 22. $20 standard, $10 UCF ID Black Box, 4000 Central Florida Blvd., Orlando 407-823-1500 http://theatre.ucf.edu firstname.lastname@example.org