Drama and Dance Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Performing Arts

A Broken (Purple?) Heart for “Don Juan”

Tom Meyers plays a shell-shocked Don Juan

Hofstra University’s Department of Drama and Dance Department presents Ödön von Horváth’s play Don Juan Comes Back From the War, April 4-13, 2014, at the Black Box Theater, New Academic Building, South Campus. This production features direction by Hofstra Professor of Drama Royston Coppenger.

Hungarian playwright Ödön von Horváth’s play recasts the legendary figure of Don Juan as a shell-shocked veteran returning home in the aftermath of World War I to find himself the last man standing in a decimated world populated only by women. After years of abstinence on the battlefield, will the legendary lover fall into old bad habits or win back the true love he deserted at the altar?

Showtimes for Don Juan Comes Back From the War are: Friday, April 4 and 11 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, April 5 and 12 at 8 p.m.; Sunday, April 6 and 13, at 2 p.m.; and Thursday, April 10, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10, $8 senior citizen (over 65) or matriculated non-Hofstra student with ID. Members of the Hofstra community may receive up to two free tickets upon presentation of a current HofstraCard. For tickets and more information, call the Hofstra Box Office at 516-463-6644, Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-3:45 p.m. Tickets are also available at Tickets.com. Available tickets will also be sold at the door (by cash or check only), starting 90 minutes prior showtime.

Ödön Von Horváth was born in 1901, the son of an Austro-Hungarian diplomat from Slavonia. Early in his adult life he moved to Berlin, where he launched a prolific career as a writer, publishing 21 plays and three well-received novels during his short life. Horváth’s early plays exhibit a keen interest in German folk culture and the life of small-town characters. With the impending rise of Nazism in the 1920s Horváth’s plays took on a sharper political edge, and he became one of the most outspokenly anti-fascist writers of his time. His most famous work, Tales from the Vienna Woods (1931) tells the tragic story of a foolish young woman’s pursuit of love in the shadow of the fascist movement in Austria. Horváth’s growing reputation as an antifascist artist attracted the attention of the very people he condemned. When Hitler took power in 1933 Horváth’s works were banned in Germany. Horváth fled to Austria, where he felt safe for a time. While in Austria Horváth wrote Don Juan Comes Back from the War (1936), Figaro Gets a Divorce (1937) and the novels A Child of our Time and Godless Youth (published in English as The Age of the Fish in 1939).

For more information on Hofstra’s Department of Drama and Dance, visit www.hofstra.edu/drama-dance.

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