Controversial play to appear on the Backdoor Playhouse stage

The TTU Center Stage series in cooperation with the Department of English and Communications present the 19th Annual Dorothy Printz Pennebaker Memorial Spring Production “Hands Around (Reigen)” by Arthur Schnitzler and directed by Mark Harry Creter.

Show dates and times are as follows: April 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 16, 17 at 8 p.m. A late show is April 15 at 10 p.m. A matinee will be presented April 17 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $10 general admission, $8 senior citizens and $5 for non-TTU students. Tech students are FREE with their ID.

“Hand Around (Reigen)” is a 1900 play by Arthur Schnitzler that scrutinizes the sexual morals and class ideology of its day through a series of encounters between pairs of characters (shown before or after a sexual encounter). By choosing characters across all levels of society, the play offers social commentary on how sexual contact transgresses boundaries of class.

At first Schnitzler circulated the play privately among friends — it was not publicly performed until 1920, some two decades later, when it elicited violent critical and popular reactions against its subject matter.

Schnitzler was attacked as a Jewish pornographer and the outcry came to be known as the "Reigen scandal." The titles of the play — in German Reigen and in French La Ronde — refer to a round dance, as portrayed in the English nursery rhyme “Ring around the Rosie.” The imagery suggests the transmission and diffusion of venereal disease (specifically syphilis) throughout all social classes.

Due to the “modern” feel of the translation of this play, director Creter has chosen to update the production to contemporary times and remove any specific references to Austria.

This production of “Hands Around (Reigen)” deals with sexual themes and situations and features partial nudity. It contains explicit material and is suggested for mature audiences.

For further information contact the Backdoor Playhouse box office at 372-6595 or go online to http://www.tntech.edu/bdph.

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