11 April 2024 HWS Theatre Presents: "Icarus and Amelia Earhart Had Tea This Morning"

Final play of the academic year focuses on being lost and finding a way out. 

Click here to learn about HWS' Year of the Sun events.

Taking place just days after the total solar eclipse passes over campus and as part of HWS’ Year of Sun events, the HWS Theatre will conclude its 2023-24 season with Icarus and Amelia Earhart Had Tea This Morning by Lizz Mangan. The show will run Thursday and Friday, April 11 and 12 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, April 13 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. All performances will take place in the McDonald Theatre of the Gearan Center for the Performing Arts. 

Director H. May explains the show’s plot: Icarus flew too close to the sun. Amelia Earhart flew beyond our reach. Isaac and Amy just want their art to take off. All four characters find themselves lost in a wilderness of their own creation, searching for someone else to provide a map out. Fighting self-sabotage and the desire to run – or fly – away from problems, these characters discover a way home to themselves.

“The poetic dialogue and flawed characters of Lizz Mangan's script are a joy to spend time bringing to life and I am delighted with the creative team,” says May. “Furthermore, I am thrilled that we have two actors who are writing and will be performing audio description as an integrated part of the production. This addition will not only benefit blind and low-vision audiences, but it will add another dimension to the performance for all who attend.”

The cast stars Lillian Davis ’24 as Earhart, Andrew Pilet as ’26 as Icarus, Tom Fahey ’27 as Isaac, Hope Guzman ’24 as Amy and James Sarver ’24 as Theo. 

Kalila Caringal ’27 and Christina Roc ’24 serve as the audio description and Derrielle Faulkner ’25 and Jacob Franchi ’27 as assistant stage managers. Ed Hallborg is the scenic, lighting designer and technical director, Kelly Walker is the sound designer and Katherine Tarkulich serves as the costume designer. 

May says they are excited to stage the production as part of events surrounding the total solar eclipse on April 8. “I have long been fascinated by Icarus, especially as he is represented in literature,” says May. “He appeared as a character in the first play I directed at HWS, Heavier Than…, and I love getting to return to that character again. Furthermore, I grew up attending events at Purdue University, where Amelia Earhart advised women attending the college in STEM fields and the aeronautical engineering department. I believe this play's investigation of the debilitating impacts on both identity formation and creativity caused by searching for external validation are especially relevant in the current moment.”

Mangan is a playwright and dramaturg who focuses on queering theater in both subject and structure. Mangan describes their work as playing with "stream-of-consciousness dialogue, non-linear storylines, queer time theory and how life is kind of funny in its craziness. Until, you know...it's not." They love "focusing on niche individuals or groups of people and find a lot of their plays start off with very specific images (which is ironic given the fact that they have aphantasia)."

As a playwright, Mangan’s work has been seen across the country in Connecticut, Minnesota, New York, Maine, Vermont and Colorado.

Mangan graduated from the University of Connecticut where they received their B.A. in Theatre Studies with a concentration in Playwriting and Dramaturgy, as well as the National Theatre Institute's Spring 2018 Advanced Playwriting Semester. They are also a founding member of Eleven & One Theater Collective.

The show is intended for mature audiences and contains profanity, stage intimacy and deals with depression.

Tickets for all HWS Theatre productions are free (donations accepted) and should be reserved in advance through www.hws.edu/HWSTheatreBoxOffice. Online ticket reservations close two hours before each performance. Remaining tickets will be available at the Box Office, one hour before each performance.