A Fine “Complex Mess” In 1970, George F. Walker—a Toronto taxicab driver and high school dropout—spotted a lamppost flyer from the city’s new Factory Theatre Lab soliciting plays exclusively by Canadian writers. Walker decided to submit a script. Thirty-odd plays later, he is reputed one of the country’s leading playwrights.
In the mid 1980s and early 90s, Walker wrote his East End Plays Trilogy, centering on interconnected characters living and struggling in “the working-class, east end of a big city,” Walker’s own stomping grounds. Like its two sister plays, Criminals in Love (1984) and Better Living (1986), Escape from Happiness (1991) explores how we negotiate the boundaries of family—through blood, loyalty, co-dependence, or obligation—and how we understand ourselves in spite of, and because of, those boundaries. These negotiations are mirrored in the landscape of
ESCAPEFROM HAPPINESS BY
GEORGE F. WALKER DIRECTED BY
the play, the decaying East End, representative of other neighborhoods that for decades carried their city’s industry but have since been left behind.
Escape forces us to confront the human urgency to belong, and to feel valued and understood, in our own kitchens and in the scope of our lives. As Walker notes in a 1993 Yale Rep interview: “You can heal yourself in isolation and never go out, but you miss the complex mess of life that parades by. The mess is so much harder, but so much more worthwhile.”
Thursday, March 9 at 4PM Friday, March 10 at 3:30PM and 8PM
—SOPHIE SIEGEL-WARREN, PRODUCTION DRAMATURG
Saturday, March 11 at 4PM The Studio, 217 Park Street
The Studio Series productions are designed to be learning experiences that complement classroom work, providing a medium for students at Yale School of Drama to combine their individual talents and energies toward the staging of collaboratively created works.
MARCH 9–11, 2017 YALE SCHOOL OF DRAMA James Bundy, Dean Victoria Nolan, Deputy Dean Joan Channick, Associate Dean Chantal Rodriguez, Assistant Dean
GEORGE F. WALKER DIRECTED BY PAUL MULLINS BY
Associate Production Manager KELLY PURSLEY
Associate Managing Director FLO LOW
Crew ROXY JIA CHRISTINA FONTANA SARAH THOMPSON
Assistant Managing Director SYLVIA XIAOMENG ZHANG
in alphabetical order
Production Dramaturg SOPHIE SIEGEL-WARREN Stage Manager OLIVIA PLATH
Tom STEPHEN CEFALU, JR. Elizabeth DANIELLE CHAVES Rolly Moore JOHN R. COLLEY Stevie Moore JOSÉ ESPINOSA
Management Assistants LISA D. RICHARDSON JAIME TOTTI LEANDRO A. ZANETI House Manager EMILY REEDER
Nora PATRICIA FA’ASUA Mary Ann LOUISA JACOBSON Dian Black RACHEL KENNEY Mike Dixon HUDSON OZNOWICZ Gail SOHINA SIDHU Junior CURTIS WILLIAMS
Yale School of Drama productions are supported by the work of more than 200 faculty and staff members throughout the year.
ESCAPE FROM HAPPINESS IS PERFORMED WITHOUT AN INTERMISSION.
ESCAPE FROM HAPPINESS by George F. Walker. Yale School of Drama 2017.