Pop Out

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The Swarthmore College Department of Theater presents Pop Out, the Honors Playwriting Thesis of Jessie Bear ’09. This new play explores the deceptively simple task of living by your own rules in a world where everyone else knows better. Performances will be Friday and Saturday, November 14-15 at 8 pm, and Sunday, November 16 at 3 pm in the Frear Ensemble Theater, Lang Performing Arts Center. Lisa Jo Epstein Ph.D, Artistic Director of Gas & Electric Arts theater company, directs the production. The design team is James Murphy (lights), Simon Harding ’99 (set), Dan Perelstein ’09 (sound), and Laila Swanson (costumes). Joshua Lipman ’09 is stage-managing. Erin Mee is the faculty advisor for the production.

In varied ways, the characters of Pop Out approach the question, “How can you take ownership over a life that's not your own?” Jenny is a highly successful OBGYN who's got it all but is haunted - literally - by doubt. Dolly is a college student who has it all, too, until a medical diagnosis changes everything. Eleanor examines life up close, but doesn't really touch it. Elisa is happy but miserable. Jackie just wants confirmation that she's following the right instructions. These very different women will learn that it's impossible to get comfortable when everything - your family, your friends, your job, your body - is apt to betray or surprise you. In a world where everyone's got an opinion and the signals are mixed, it’s hard not to wonder: who's writing your script?

The clean lines and revolving walls of Simon Harding's set, complemented and sculpted by James Murphy's lighting and Laila Swanson's costumes, will capture and reveal the characters' internal struggles in a seemingly organized world. The cast features Sasha Shahidi '09, Judy Browngoehl '09, Isa St. Clair '11, Jane Abell '11, Sara Lipshutz '11 and Ben Hattem '12, each playing multiple roles.

Jessie Bear '09 is an Honors Theater Major with emphases in playwriting and acting and an Honors French Minor. She has studied playwriting extensively at Swarthmore with Adriano Shaplin of The Riot Group and Lizzie Olesker. Pop Out represents her debut as a produced playwright, although Jessie has acted in many Swarthmore productions, including Mamet's Oleanna, Wedekind's Spring Awakening, Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, excerpts from Son's Stop/Kiss and many student-written plays. This year she will also be acting in Churchill's Vinegar Tom and Shakespeare's The Tempest.

The performances are free and open to the public without reservations. For more information please contact Liza Clark at lclark1@swarthmore.edu or (610) 328-8260.