Gainesville theaters bring new productions to the stage

What’s so funny about the Reign of Terror anyway? 

Is a family’s descent into madness, addiction and abuse really a laughing matter? 

And do disaffected young men normally burst into song whilst marching off to war, drugs and dead-end relationships? 

Fair questions all. But playwrights have long known that humor and music are sometimes needed to help audiences pick their way through difficult emotional minefields.  

Thus three upcoming Gainesville plays will invite viewers to step outside their own comfort zones and into dark comedies that attempt to put the human experience into different lights. 

The Revolutionists

First up is The Hippodrome’s production of “The Revolutionists,” which is running from April 29 to May 15. It is Lauren Gunderson’s satirical take on four women caught up in the bloody aftermath of the French Revolution. 

One woman murders the infamous Marat in his bathtub. One is a Haitian rebel with her own ideas of independence. The third is a feminist playwright trying to make it in a male-dominated field. And, finally, the doomed Marie Antionette. 

“It’s funny until it isn’t,” says Hippodrome artistic director Stephanie Lynge. “It’s about four women having the courage to stand up for what they believe in, right or wrong.” 

“The Revolutionists” is finally making its way to the Hippodrome stage after a long Covid delay. “We tried to do it last January but were interrupted by a false positive covid test,” Lynge said. “We love this play, and everybody was determined to get it onto the stage. 

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