The many pitfalls, scandals and complications of getting into a top college have dominated headlines across the country in recent years. And it’s a timely topic that will be tackled by the Hampton Theatre Company (HTC) in “Admissions,” its second production of the 2019-2020 season which opens at the Quogue Community House on January 16.
Playing the diversity card cuts both ways in this drama by Joshua Harmon. Sherri Rosen-Mason is head of the admissions department at Hillcrest, a New England prep school, and is fighting to diversify the student body. With support from her husband Bill, the school’s headmaster, she has largely succeeded in bringing a stodgy institution into the 21st century. But when their only son Charlie is deferred by an Ivy League university, he claims to be the victim of reverse discrimination because he is white. That’s when personal ambition collides with progressive values, bringing convulsive results.
Because the play deals with issues related to college admissions and diversity — and Ian Hubbard, a Hampton Bays High School senior, has a principal role in “Admissions” — the HTC is offering high school juniors and seniors and their parents or guardians an opportunity to see the dress rehearsal of “Admissions” at Quogue Community Hall for free at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, January 15. Parents are advised that the play contains some profanity in the mouth of a 17-year-old boy.
Presented at Lincoln Center in 2018, “Admissions” was the winner of Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Outstanding Play. In a review for the New York Times, Jesse Green said that the play was “good satire at work, causing us to think critically about people we don’t at first recognize as images of ourselves … An extraordinarily useful and excruciating satire — of the left, by the left, for the left — for today.”
New York City-based playwright Joshua Harmon is also the author of “Bad Jews,” “Significant Other” and “Skintight.” In addition to Hubbard, who plays the role of Charlie, the HTC production features three additional HTC veterans: Morgan Vaughan (“Good People,” “Other Desert Cities”) as Sherri; Tristan Vaughan (“Deathtrap,” “Venus in Fur”) as Bill; and HTC artistic director Diana Marbury as Roberta. Minerva Perez, a newcomer to the HTC stage, plays Sherri’s best friend, Ginnie.
Hampton Theatre Company president Andrew Botsford directs. Set design is by Sean Marbury; lighting design by Sebastian Paczynski; sound by Seamus Naughton; and costumes by Teresa Lebrun.
For information about the dress rehearsal of “Admissions” for students on Wednesday, January 15, at 7 p.m., call 631-653-8955 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Admissions” runs January 16 to February 2 at Quogue Community Hall with performances on Thursdays and Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. An additional matinée will be offered during the final weekend of the production, on Saturday, February 1. Talkbacks with the cast will be offered following the 7 p.m. performances on Thursday, January 23, and Friday, January 24.
The Hampton Theatre Company is offering special dinner theater packages in collaboration with the Westhampton, Southampton, Hampton Bays and Quogue libraries. A special lunch theater package is also available for the Saturday matinée on February 1, with the Quogue Club at the Hallock House. Discount tickets are available for veterans, Native Americans, under 35, students, and groups. For tickets and information visit hamptontheatre.org. Tickets can also be purchased at OvationTix at 1-866-811-4111.