ASU MainStage opens Season of Science & Mystery

The fictional news crew of KANY-4 in Will Eno's Tragedy: a tragedy, which opens Oct. 2 at the Lyceum Theatre on the ASU Tempe campus.

Photo by Tim Trumble.

The ASU Herberger Institute School of Theatre and Film

The School of Theatre and Film’s Tragedy: a tragedy explores the power of the media to rivet our attention and takes on tragicomic proportions. The uproarious satire kicks off the MainStage Season of Science and Mystery, which unfolds in upcoming months through six separate productions as well as a student film festival.

Tragedy: a tragedy was written by Will Eno in 2001 and is a commentary on the news media’s compulsion to examine the minutest details of a story – in this case, a seeming tragedy befalling a town covered by fictitious TV station KANY Channel 4. The story takes an absurdist twist as those who present and package the news become caught up in the story and ultimately document their own unraveling.

“Each time a story breaks we see talking heads on every channel, not only attempting to report the news but also trying to sum-up the ineffable experience of actually being there when history happens,” says Joya Scott, a School of Theatre and Film MFA candidate and director of the production. “Sometimes, it seems the reporters are only talking for the sake of filling the endless time in a news cycle. Silence, it seems, is not an option.”

In his notes prefacing the script, however, author Will Eno states that his play is not meant primarily as a comment on the news media.

“Rather, it is about all of us, TV personalities and the viewing public alike,” Scott says. “We all try to explain in words the unexplainable, real or imagined, and most of us often fail miserably. It’s just that some of us have to do it on TV.”

Lyceum Theatre, 901. S. Forest Mall, ASU Tempe campus

Oct. 2–3, 8–10, 15–17, 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 11 and 18, 2 p.m.

$7–$22. Receive half-price tickets on the First Friday of any MainStage season production. ASU faculty and staff receive special rates.

Public Contact
Tickets: Herberger Institute Box Office, 480.965.6447
Info: School of Theatre and Film, 480.965.5337

The School of Theatre and Film in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University provides a comprehensive range of courses in performance and directing; design and production; new work development; theatre and performance studies; film; and theatre for youth. Its Theatre for Youth program is nationally ranked in the top three and the dramatic writing/playwriting program is ranked 15th among public institutions by U.S.News & World Report. To learn more about the School of Theatre and Film, visit

Media Contact:
Laurie A. Trotta Valenti
ASU Herberger Institute 
School of Theatre and Film