Springsteen inspiration for winter theater production

Publication Date

“When the Promise Was Broken” is a collection of 13 plays inspired by the songs of Bruce Springsteen, each by a different American playwright.

The 90-minute production pieces together nine plays in a seamless evening that celebrates the all too human experience of longing, heartbreak and promises broken in working life, relationships, families and the American dream.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 7-9 and 2 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 10 in Yulman Theater. Tickets are $10 for general admissions and $7 with a Union ID, alumni and seniors.

“For more than 45 years, Bruce Springsteen’s music, lyrics and performances have been an ongoing conversation with his audiences worldwide,” said Joan Herrington, editor of the production.

Director Patricia Culbert, senior artist-in-residence for the College’s Theater Department, stated: “When I first read through the plays eventually chosen for our production, I made note of the central themes, looking for the linkages.”

“These pieces are remarkably light in touch, enormously funny in many places and recognizably human in the searching, the yearning, the need for community and hope and redemption and forgiveness and opportunity,” Culbert added.

Stage manager for the production is Matthew Dulchinos ‘20. The plays include: 

“Valhalla Correctional” by Peter Ullian, inspired by “We Take Care of Our Own”

Cast: Helen Smith ‘22 and Etienne-Marcel Giannelli ‘20

“Bloody River” by Elaine Romero, inspired by “American Skin”

Cast: Amber Birt ‘22, Haoyu (John) Jiang ’21 and Rochelle Nuqui ‘22

“Object Permanence” by Jennifer Blackmer, inspired by “Terry’s Song”

Cast: Dan Gottlieb ‘19 and Aly Silbey ‘20

“Drive All Night” by Steven Dietz, inspired by “Drive All Night”

Cast: Chloe Savitch ’22, Helen Smith ’22 and Zachary Christian ‘20

“A Semi-Autobiographical Response to Feelings of Sexual Inadequacy Prompted by Repeatedly Listening to Bruce Springsteen’s ‘I’m On Fire’ for Four Hours Straight” by Gregory S. Moss, inspired by “I’m On Fire”

Cast: Haoyu (John) Jiang ’21, Sarah White ’21, Sophie Hurwitz ’21 and Abdul Raafey Shoukat ‘22

“Gospel Hour” by Dan and Drew Caffrey, inspired by “State Trooper”

Cast: Etienne- Marcel Giannelli, ’20, Aly Silbey ’20 and Rochelle Nuqui ‘22

"Merry-Go-Round Man” by Edward Baker, inspired by “Cover Me”

Cast: Abdul Raafey Shoukat ’22, Zachary Christian ’20 and Sarah White ’21

“Pick Up Beds” by K. Frithjof Peterson, inspired by “When You’re Alone”

Cast: Chloe Savitch ’22 and Sophie Hurwitz ’21

“Glad for the Company” by Tucker Rafferty, inspired by “Nebraska”

Cast: Emma Youmans ‘20

Box office hours are 12:30-1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and reservations can be made by calling (518) 388-6545.