WARWICK — In Joshua Harmon's play "Admissions," which opens at the Gamm next week, audiences are introduced to Sherri Rosen-Mason, head of the admissions department at a New England prep school, and her family. Sherri is intent on diversifying the student body at the school, and along with her husband, the school’s headmaster, she’s been largely successful. But when their only son sets his sights on an Ivy League school, progressive values and self-interest collide with shocking results.
"Admissions," which opens the new year at The Gamm, was the winner of both the "Drama Desk Award" and "Outer Critics Circle Award" for best play in 2018. Harmon, whose other works include "Significant Other" and "Bad Jews," lives in New York City, where many of his plays have been produced at Roundabout Theatre Company. He also wrote "New York Spring Spectacular" for the Rockettes.
"Admissions," his newest comedy-drama, explores white privilege in education, a timely topic considering the country's headline-making college admissions scandal. Bryn Boice, associate artistic director of Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, makes her Gamm directorial debut with "Admissions," which features Deb Martin, who played Maxine Faulk in The Gamm's "The Night of the Iguana," and Jim O'Brien (Mr. Mundy in The Night Watch) as husband-and-wife prep-school administrators pushing for racial diversity in the student body. Gamm newcomer Jacob Osborne plays their son, whose Ivy League ambitions expose deep cracks in his parents' progressive values.
"Admissions is a powder keg of a play," said Gamm Artistic Director Tony Estrella. "It's a fiercely personal and complex debate about identity and privilege that asks tough questions about our commitment to a more equitable society. Do we really want fairness and justice? Or do we want it only when it doesn't affect our relative comforts? Are we interested in fundamental, organic change, or merely the appearance of progress? Harmon has written a whiplash comic drama that, like all great theatrical writing, will have you second guessing yourself from lights up until the final curtain."
— Nancy Burns-Fusaro