Community Drama and Dance Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Performing Arts School of Humanities, Fine and Performing Arts

Hofstra Drama Tackles Political Satire with “Why Torture is Wrong and the People Who Love Them”

September 30-October 9, Schaeffer Black Box Theater

Hofstra University’s Department of Drama and Dance presents Christopher Durang’s political satire Why Torture is Wrong and the People Who Love Them, at the Schaeffer Black Box Theater, September 30 through October 9. The play is the first of the department’s 2016-2017 season, and it premieres fittingly just days after the first presidential debate on the Hofstra campus.

The play opens in New Jersey, 2008: Felicity wakes up next to Zamir, whom she doesn’t remember. Zamir tells her they’re married! He has bad credit and no job. Felicity runs to her parents for help. Her father (Leonard) suspects Zamir is a terrorist and her mother (Luella) makes French toast. Leonard shows Zamir his butterfly collection which is really a room filled with guns and ammo. A secret agent named Looney Tunes shows up and some gruesome stuff happens. Then things get weird.

4/6/11, Hofstra University, Hempstead. Great Writers Great Readings; Christopher Durang at Guthart Cultural Center Theater and Hofstra Hall Parlor Room. Photo: Phil Marino
Christopher Durang (right) at Hofstra Hall Parlor in 2011 with Prof. Emeritus Erik Brogger  for Great Writers, Great Readings.

Durang’s plays are favorites of universities and theater companies, nationwide. His other work includes Beyond Therapy, The Actor’s Nightmare, Laughing Wild, The Marriage of Bette and Boo, Baby with the Bathwater and Betty’s Summer Vacation. Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike won the Tony Award for Best Play in 2013.

Director and Hofstra Professor Ilona Pierce remarks, “We witness secret government plans, terrorism, torture, drugs, guns and racial profiling. Then all the rules get broken and everything gets turned upside down. It’s raucous, and at moments, a little grisly. What? No, I’m not talking about the presidential election!”

Written at the end of the Bush years (but arguably more relevant today), Durang pushes the boundaries of political satire with this piece he calls, “a comic catharsis.”  Why Torture is Wrong and the People Who Love Them is a perfect outing during this election season.

Show times are Friday, September 30 and October 7, at 8 p.m.; Saturday, October 1 and 8, at 8 p.m.; Sunday, October 2 and 9, at 2 p.m.; and Thursday, October 6, at 8 p.m. The Schaeffer Black Box Theater is located at Hofstra’s New Academic Building on the South Campus.

Tickets are $10; $8 senior citizen (over 65) or matriculated non-Hofstra student with ID. Members of the Hofstra community receive up to two free tickets upon presentation of a current HofstraCard. For tickets call the Hofstra Box Office at (516) 463-6644 or visit


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