MORAGA, CA (Nov. 3, 2004) - The Performing Arts Department of Saint Mary's College presents The Firebugs, a comic parable about a town obsessed with the threat of fire. Written in the 1950s by Swiss novelist and architect Max Frisch, and now considered a classic of the modern theatre, The Firebugs offers a darkly ironic view of life in unsettling times. Performances are November 4-7 in LeFevre Theatre. Professor Rebecca Engle will direct this production.

At the center of Frisch's comic masterpiece is Gottlieb Biedermann, news-obsessed and full of anxiety. Yet when a pair of wily "firebugs" moves into his attic, this modern Everyman fails to take action. Despite the vigilance of a Chorus of Firemen, Mr. Biedermann lets human mischief flourish under his own roof; and in an absurd final twist, the Biedermanns are blown to hell where their moral complacency remains unshaken. "Frisch's broad irony aptly comments on more than one era in our troubled modern history," suggests director Rebecca Engle. To highlight parallels with Hitler's pre-war Germany, the Saint Mary's production will use a 1930s setting and a Brechtian style.

Frisch himself called his drama a morality play, and amidst playful references from Shakespeare to Sophocles, he poses fundamental questions about innocence and evil. "These larger questions - about fear and complacency, responsibility and violence - are very much in all our minds now," Engle comments, adding that the Saint Mary's production opens two nights after the national election. Comic veterans Brother Mark Folger and Angela Santillo, as the nervous suburbanites Mr. and Mrs. Biedermann, head the student cast of fifteen. Beau Ballinger and Alex Kirschner, both Saint Mary's juniors, bring gleeful menace to the roles of the arsonists.

Performances are November 4, 5 and 6 at 8 p.m. and November 7 at 2 p.m. Admission is $15 for general admission; $10 for non-Saint Mary's students, and $8 for Saint Mary's College faculty, staff and students. Tickets may be purchased by calling the Performing Arts Department at (925) 631-4670.

WHAT:
THE FIREBUGS, Max Frisch

WHO:
The Performing Arts Department, Saint Mary's College, Moraga, CA

WHERE:
LeFevre Theatre, Saint Mary's College, 1928 St. Mary's Road, Moraga, CA

WHEN:
November 4, 5 and 6 at 8 PM
November 7 at 2 PM

TICKETS:
General - $15
Non-Saint Mary's students - $10
Saint Mary's faculty, staff and students - $8

INFO:
(925) 631-4670

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Saint Mary's College of California is one of the most distinguished colleges in the West. The College's reputation for excellence, innovation and responsiveness comes from its heritage as a Catholic, Lasallian Christian Brothers, Liberal Arts institution. This heritage creates a unique, personalized, student-centered learning community. An outstanding, committed faculty that values teaching and student interaction brings these traditions to life. Saint Mary's offers undergraduate and graduate programs integrating liberal arts and professional education. The College is located in the Moraga foothills, just 20 miles east of San Francisco.

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