Thursday, William and Mary Theatre Second Season will present “Judevine,” a contemporary play by David Budbill that premiered in 1984. WMT added the play based on student proposals.
“I discovered the play my freshman year and always appreciated how interested ‘Judevine’ was in each character, and how much time Budbill devotes to developing those characters,” Director Kerry Stinson ’08 said.
p. Unlike other performances of the Second Season presented in the Studio Theatre, “Judevine” will be staged in the Lab Theatre, a performance space used most often for theater classes and small ensemble productions. The Lab Theatre is a smaller more intimate space that is conducive to learning than the larger theater.
p. “Judevine” is a series of interlacing narratives that follow the various residents of Judevine, Vt. Budbill uses Judevine as the backdrop for several poems, plays and an opera. His website describes the title town as yet another character in the play: a kind of Third World country within the boundaries of the United States where, like so many Third World countries, there is incredible physical beauty, great suffering and hardship and a tenacious and indomitable will to survive.”
p. The play examines the social and economic situation of nearly two dozen townspeople through the relationships they create as observed by the detached poet-narrator David.
p. Budbill is an outspoken critic of the war in Iraq and has also written numerous tracts about domestic and international policy. He is an activist in nearly every sense of the word and has participated in dozens of peace rallies and environmental speaker series. He was also a commentator on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered.”
p. “Budbill incorporates politics as they affect the lives of his characters,” Stinson said about the political undertones in the play.
p. “She refers to the disconnected Vietnam veteran and the individuals living in poverty and receiving no welfare. These issues enhance the realism of the story, but don’t take the focus in our production,” she said. “‘Judevine,’ above all, is about people.”
Stinson stated that this production examines the relationship of the artist and subject and portrays the notions of life and love as indefinable except through experience.
p. “I like theater that makes you feel, reminds you of the range of human experience and brings your thoughts to places they didn’t know they could go,” Stinson said. “I want to awaken all that in the audience and underscore how it is fascinating and complex simply being human.”
p. ‘Judevine’ opens Thursday at 8 p.m. and runs through Sunday including a matinee at 2 p.m.; all performances are in the Lab Theatre at PBK.