At Trinity Rep we program our plays in response to the world around us. The artists and administrators who bring each play to life spend a lot of time talking about what’s happening in our community and how it resonates with the themes in the production. We hope every piece we put on our stage is relevant to your everyday life and allows you to see your world in a new way.

Providence Public Library, our next-door neighbor,  serves as an open and supportive teaching and learning place where communities can connect, create, achieve, and share experiences and ideas. The Library expands its reach through critical statewide collaborations, including co-producing and co-presenting the dynamic dialogues of Context & Conversation with Trinity Rep.

Each Context & Conversation event brings together scholars, artists, and community practitioners to discuss the themes and ideas found in the play currently on stage at Trinity, and to consider where we find those themes and ideas at work in our own community. The conversations are moderated by Christina Bevilacqua, Providence Public Library’s Programs & Exhibitions Director and Trinity Rep’s Conversationalist-in-Residence, and each takes place in a community setting related to the themes of the play.  While the play is the inspiration for the Context & Conversation event, the conversation doesn’t depend on the play; you can attend and participate in Context & Conversation even if you haven’t seen it. All Context & Conversation events are free and open to the public.

Discussions for the 2018-19 Season:

Pride & Prejudice
Venue/Community Partner: Wage House, an improv comedy theater created in 2016 by Casey Calderiso and Kate Teichman
Address:  560 Mineral Spring Ave, Pawtucket RI 02860 in the Lorraine Mills
Date: Thursday, October 18, 2018, seating begins at 7:30 pm
Speakers: Kate Teichman, Casey Calderiso
Reservations: Wage House

Kate Hamill’s adaptation Pride & Prejudice revels in Jane Austen’s brilliant wit, and reveals her talents as an armchair anthropologist, one whose characters deftly and hilariously demonstrate that while sexual attraction and emotional compatibility may be credited with initiating the course of a romance, its success or failure will likely be determined by a combination of economics, family structure, marriage law, and social theories of gender-determined behavior (however dubious). And while we may think ourselves less encumbered by societal strictures than were Austen’s heroines, Hamill’s distillation gives us plenty of opportunity to recognize the absurdities of unspoken expectations and cultural contradictions that characterize our own 21st-century norms of courtship.
Join us as Providence Public Library Program & Exhibitions Director/Trinity Rep Conversationalist-in-Residence Christina Bevilacqua moderates a discussion with Wage House founders Kate Teichman and Casey Calderiso, artist Annu Palakunnathu Matthew, and others about women defying expectations, flouting conventions, entertaining possibilities, indulging desires, laughing wantonly, and daring to improvise.

black odyssey/An Iliad
Venue/Community Partner: Sophia Academy, an all-girls school dedicated to changing the lives of girls from low-income homes through an empowering middle school education
Address: 582 Elmwood Avenue, Providence, Rhode Island 02907
Date: Thursday, January 17 at 6pm, snacks at 5:30pm

The wounds of war ravage not just a soldier’s life and legacy, but a family’s, a community’s – radically reshaping bodies, minds, alliances, memories, hopes, and fates. In the aftermath, how do we reconcile ourselves to newly unreliable realities and relationships? Who can we trust to guide us?

Venue/Community Partner: The Mental Health Association of RI, promotes mental health, prevents mental illness, and improves the system of care for mental health through advocacy, education, service, and the dissemination of research
Address: Butler Hospital, Ray Conference Center, 345 Blackstone Blvd. Providence, RI 02906
Date: Monday, Feb 11 at 6:30pm

A man’s brave actions at war are praised, and he’s given a prediction of righteous power ahead. Mesmerized by the prediction’s promise, he rashly abandons the righteous path and seizes power violently, his actions repudiating everything he has lived to honor: family, duty, brotherhood, esteem. In destroying, he is destroyed. What mix of imagination, hubris, divine intervention, and delusion does it take to envision invincibility? When the rewards seem to be ours for the taking, what are the risks of ambition?

The Song of Summer
Venue/Community Partner: Zabinski Music Studio, a family-owned music studio in Pawtucket offering private lessons and an academy that believes music is for everyone
Address: 228 Main St. Fl 3, Pawtucket, RI 02860
Date: Sunday, March 24 at 2pm

To return to a childhood home after a long time away is to suddenly see both our younger and our present selves from the vantage points of each other. And when we encounter those who were part of that long-ago life, we see them as well through the enhanced perspective of this bifocal lens. In this heightened state of double vision, we have a rare, fleeting ability to understand what might have been and what might still be.

Little Shop of Horrors
Venue/Community Partner: The Herbarium, a collection at Brown consisting of dried and pressed plant specimens mounted on sheets of archival paper
Address: 34 Olive Street, Providence, RI 02912
Date: Tuesday, April 23, 2019, at 6:30 pm
Speakers: Tim Whitfeld

The natural world is all around us. Tamed, caged, potted, and fenced in by us, it rarely reveals its wildness, its alien aliveness, its buoyant appetites. But every now and then, given the smallest chance, it reasserts its power, heedlessly overrunning any boundaries and borders we might have placed in its way, and changing our landscapes and lives forever. Are we paying attention?

Venue/Community Partner: Mathewson St Church and 134 Collaborative, the joyful worship of God by all persons—regardless of age, race, national origin, sexual orientation, or ability
Address: 134 Mathewson Street, Providence, R.I.  02903
Date: Friday, May 31, 2019 at 12:30pm

Civilization is a set of orders that runs so automatically that we don’t notice it, until it breaks down.Then, we have to acquaint ourselves with the decisions behind the orders, with even the idea that decisions were ever made at all – and who made them? Did God make all this? Might there in fact have been different decisions? Thrown out of our ordered orbits, what happens when we realize that we are the ones who have to make new decisions? What can we fall back on? And how do we move forward?