EVANSTON, Ill. --- During November, Northwestern University will present two productions -- “WAS,” a new musical that is the first presentation of Northwestern’s new American Music Theatre Project (AMTP) and “The Cripple of Inishmaan,” an Irish play about an unloved young man of the island who dreams of becoming a famous movie actor.
Since the thematic material of “WAS” relates to “The Wizard of Oz,” a Nov. 5 daylong symposium will feature four speakers who will address various aspects of L. Frank Baum’s great American classic. (To learn more about AMTP, visit www.amtp.northwestern.edu).
Northwestern University will continue to celebrate its 25th anniversary theatre season during 2005-06 by also staging an annual mime show, a dance concert, dramas based on the writings of Gustave Flaubert, George Bernard Shaw and William Saroyan, a musical inspired by a Voltaire novel, and a play for young audiences about a kindly dragon.
A subscription to an eight-play series (with the option of choosing either the play for young audiences or mime show) is $135 for the general public; $120 for senior citizens (65 and older) and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $70 for full-time students and children.
A subscription to all nine shows (including both the play for young audiences and mime show) is $145 for the general public; $130 for seniors 65 and older and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $85 for full-time students and children. Single ticket prices are listed below. Evening performances begin at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m., or as noted.
For more information or to order single or group tickets by phone, call the Theatre and Interpretation Center Box Office at (847) 491-7282.
Online ticket sales for Northwestern Mainstage productions also are available through TicketWeb.com by going to the Northwestern University Theatre and Interpretation Center Web site at http://www.tic.northwestern.edu/tickets.html and clicking the TicketWeb icon.
Premiere of “WAS,” A New Musical, 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28; 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29; 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 30; 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3; 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4; 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5; 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 6; 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9; 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10; 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11, 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13, Ethel M. Barber Theatre, 30 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston campus.“WAS” is the first stage presentation of Northwestern University’s American Music Theatre Project (AMTP). “WAS” is based on the novel by Geoff Ryman and features book and lyrics by Barry Kleinbort and music by Joseph Thalken, under the direction of Steppenwolf Theatre Ensemble member Tina Landau. “WAS” takes its audience on a complex and tuneful journey that is heartwarming, tragic and triumphant. “WAS” weaves together the adventures of two characters that lived a century apart. The first story concerns Dorothy Gael, an orphan sent to live in Kansas in the 1870s and the inspiration for the main character of L. Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” The second story follows Jonathan Wood, an actor whose lifelong obsession with “The Wizard of Oz” leads him to Kansas 100 years later hoping to find proof of Dorothy’s existence. “WAS” is not recommended for children under 12. Tickets are $25 for the general public; $22 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $10 for full-time students and children aged 12 to 18.
SYMPOSIUM, “From the Wonderful Wizard to ‘WAS’: The Legacy and Challenges of ‘The Wizard of Oz’,” 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, McCormick Tribune Center, 1870 Campus Drive, Evanston campus. This daylong symposium, curated by Tracy C. Davis, Northwestern University’s Barber Professor of Performing Arts, will be held in conjunction with the opening of “WAS,” the new musical and premier production of the University’s American Music Theatre Project (AMTP).
“WAS” is the first of several new AMTP musicals that will be presented on the Evanston campus. Because the new musical’s thematic material relates to “The Wizard of Oz,” four speakers have been invited to address various aspects of L. Frank Baum’s great American classic. The Nov. 5 symposium schedule follows: 9 a.m. “Oz Before the Rainbow,” a lecture by screenwriter Mark Evan Swartz, award-winning author of “Oz Before the Rainbow: L. Frank Baum’s ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’ on Stage and Screen to 1939;”10:15 a.m. Stacy Wolf, author of “A Problem Like Maria: Gender and Sexuality in the American Musical,” will discuss “Wicked Women and Musical Theatre in the 21st Century;” 11:30 a.m. Derek Goldman, founding artistic director of the StreetSigns Center for Literature and Performance in Pittsboro, N.C., and Tim Raphael, theatre director and performance historian, will discuss their project “Hymn to Elsewhere,” an exploration of media and migration; and 2 p.m. Goldman and Raphael will conduct a two-hour “Hymn to Elsewhere” workshop. Participants will engage in a series of exercises designed to explore notions of home and elsewhere through the iconography of Kansas and Oz. The symposium is free and open to the public. For pre-registration and an informational brochure, call (847) 491-5146.
“The Cripple of Inishmaan,” 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11; 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12; 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13; 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16; 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17; 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18; 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 20, Josephine Louis Theater, 20 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston campus. Martin McDonagh’s play, directed by Robin Witt, takes the audience into the households of the people of Inishmaan, a small island off the west coast of Ireland, as they prepare for a “star-studded” arrival. Upon learning that a Hollywood director will be filming a documentary in a neighboring island, Inishmaan outcast “cripple Billy” embarks on his quest to cross the sea and audition for the Yank. As news of his audacity ripples through his rumor-starved community, the play becomes a merciless portrayal of a world so comically confined that hope is an affront to its order. The play contains adult content. Tickets are $20 for the general public; $18 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $10 for full-time students.
New Movement Project Dance Concert, “Kickstart,” 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18, and 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, Ballroom Studio Theatre, Marjorie Ward Marshall Dance Center, 10 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston campus.“Kickstart,” the fall New Movement Project Dance Concert is choreographed, performed and produced by students. There are a wide variety of dance styles performed that make it an enjoyable show for all ages. The New Movement Project is a Northwestern University Dance Program-sponsored student group. Bleacher style seating is on a first-come, first-seated basis. General admission is $5. Tickets will be available at the door. For more information call (847) 491-3147.