In late 19th century the genre of naturalism emerged in Europe out of an atmosphere of political, cultural and social turmoil. With graphic plots, settings and explicit themes, playwrights sought to depict contemporary circumstances on the stage. Through reading, viewing and discussion, we will examine texts by Henrik Ibsen, George Bernard Shaw, August Strindberg and Emile Zola to see if we still recognize our 2023 “selves” in these seminal works.
STEPHEN KITSAKOS is an opera librettist, stage director and teacher. With the American composer, Sheila Silver, he wrote librettos for A Thousand Splendid Suns, adapted from the bestselling novel by Khaled Hosseini (Seattle Opera, World Premiere February 25, 2023), The Wooden Sword (Sackler Prize, World Premiere October 2009) and The White Rooster: A Tale of Compassion (Smithsonian Institution, World Premiere, June, 2010). With composer Martin Hennessy he wrote The Pleasing Recollection, a Cabaret Opera (NYC premiere, April, 2022 Feinstein’s 54 Below) the opera-theatre one-act operas, An Incident in Sutton Square & The Woman in Penthouse A (The Studios of Key West, premiere 2020) and Swimming in the Dark, adapted from the novel by Tomas Jedrowski, for the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, Bloomington, IN.