The theatre arts department at Virginia Tech will feature a main stage production of “Boston Marriage” by David Mamet, a witty tale of passion, intrigue, and the trials of domesticity. Performances will take place in Squires Studio Theatre Thursday through Saturday, Sept. 21-23, at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, Sept. 24 at 2:00 p.m.; and Tuesday through Friday, Sept. 26-29 at 7:30 p.m.

“Boston Marriage” tells the story of Anna and Claire, two worldly “women of fashion” who have long lived together on the fringes of upper class, Victorian society. Their domestic arrangement is in peril and Anna wants to get Claire back. Throughout the fast-paced comedy that ensues, their Scottish parlor maid suffers their abuse and makes her own mischief in their complex set of games. The play combines the sitting room comedy style of Oscar Wilde with the contemporary staccato and highly stylized rhythm that has made Mamet famous.

The play takes its title from the 19th century term for a long-term loving relationship between women. Gregory Justice, theatre arts department faculty member and director of the play, sees “Boston Marriage” as a study of the negotiations and strategies involved in saving a marriage. “Anna has found her soul mate in Claire and she’ll do what it takes to keep her,” says Justice. “Their relationship is in trouble because things have grown a bit routine. They are figuring out what they want from each other in their relationship.”

This play is full of unexpected twists and turns. “Mamet writes a lot about puzzles, games, he keeps people guessing,” adds Justice. “Each time you think you have a hold on this play, it sends you reeling.”

“Boston Marriage” premiered at the American Repertory Theatre in Boston in 1999 to great audience and critical acclaim and ran at The Public Theatre in New York City and the Donmar Warehouse in London. David Mamet is known for his sharp, quick, and rough style of dialogue in plays and films mostly exploring men in contemporary America. His plays include “American Buffalo,” “Sexual Perversity in Chicago,” “Oleanna,” “Speed-the-Plow,” and “The Old Neighborhood”. His films include “The Spanish Prisoner,” “House of Games,” and “The Winslow Boy.”

This play contains adult situations and language and may not be suitable for younger audiences.

Tickets for “Boston Marriage” go on sale August 31st and may be purchased through the Squires Ticket Office Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.,by calling (540) 231-5615. Tickets are $7 for students and seniors and $9 for general admission.

For more information about theatre arts at Virginia Tech or other events in this season’s New Play Festival, please call (540) 231-5200 or click here.

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