•  ()
  •  ()
  • Print this Story
  • Email this Story

Theatre Season Kicks Off With New Musical

text size AAA
November 1, 2005 | by Judy Moore

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University will celebrate its 25th anniversary theatre season during 2005-06 by staging a new musical, an Irish comedy, an annual mime show, a yearly 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.

Performances begin Oct. 28 and will be held on the Evanston campus at the Ethel M. Barber Theatre, 30 Arts Circle Drive, or the Josephine Louis Theatre, 20 Arts Circle Drive, as noted below.

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 seniors 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 tickets, call (847) 491-7282.

The 2005-06 Mainstage Theatre season starts with the new musical “Was,” the first stage presentation in association with Northwestern University’s American Music Theatre Project (AMTP). Based on the acclaimed novel by Geoff Ryman, “Was” will be performed from Oct. 28 through Nov. 13 at the Ethel M. Barber Theatre. With book and lyrics by Barry Kleinbort, music by Joseph Thalken, and under the direction of Steppenwolf Theatre Ensemble member Tina Landau, “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” takes its audience on a complex and tuneful journey that is heartwarming, tragic and triumphant. Tickets are $25 for the general public; $22 for seniors 65 and older and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $10 for full-time students and children. (To learn more about AMTP, visit www.amtp.northwestern.edu).

“The Cripple of Inishmaan” is an Irish comedy set in 1934 by Martin McDonagh. Performances are scheduled for Nov. 11 through Nov. 20 at the Josephine Louis Theatre. Directed by Robin Witt, it tells the story of the residents of a small island off Ireland who learn that a Hollywood director is coming to a neighboring island to film a documentary. No one is more excited than the unloved “Cripple Billy” who is determined to cross the sea and audition for the role of the Yank. “The Cripple of Inishmaan” is a merciless portrayal of a world so comically cramped that hope is an affront to its order. Tickets are $20 for the general public; $18 for seniors 65 and older and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $10 for full-time students and children.

Northwestern’s Mime Troupe members will make their annual stage appearances Dec. 1, 2, 3 and 4 at the Josephine Louis Theatre. “Our hope is to find the universal spirit and experience that unites us all as human beings -- both in our comedy -- and in our shared drama,” said Bud Beyer, Northwestern theatre professor and director of “The Mime Show.” Tickets are $20 for the general public; $18 for seniors 65 and older and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $10 for full-time students and children.

The classic “Madame Bovary” will come to life Jan. 27 through Feb. 5 on the stage of the Josephine Louis Theatre. It is adapted and directed by Northwestern faculty member Paul Edwards, director of undergraduate studies in the department of performance studies. Based on Gustave Flaubert’s novel, “Madame Bovary” chronicles the story of one of modern literature’s most compelling heroines. Unhappily married to a devoted provincial doctor, Emma Bovary rebels against her ordinary life by pursuing dreams of ecstasy and love. Tickets are $25 for the general public; $22 for seniors 65 and older and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $10 for full-time students and children.

Leonard Bernstein’s musical comedy “Candide” will be performed Feb. 10 through Feb. 19 at the Ethel M. Barber Theatre. Based on Voltaire’s novel, the operetta-flavored score features great songs and show-stopping arias. It follows the story of Candide and his friends who survive many disasters, always continuing their optimistic search for the “best of all possible worlds.” With a book by American playwright Lillian Hellman and lyrics by Richard Wilbur, it will be directed by Jon Berry. Tickets are $25 for the general public; $22 for seniors 65 and older and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $10 for full-time students and children.

Faculty member Joseph Mills, director of Northwestern University’s Dance Program, will direct “Danceworks 2006,” a showcase of the finest choreography of Northwestern University Dance Program faculty. Performances will be held from Feb. 24 to March 5 at the Josephine Louis Theatre. Tickets are $20 for the general public; $18 for seniors 65 and older and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $10 for full-time students and children.

“The Reluctant Dragon,” a play for young audiences that is set in medieval times, will be performed at 8 p.m. April 7, 2 and 8 p.m. April 8, and 2 p.m. April 9 at the Josephine Louis Theatre. Adapted for the stage by Mary Hall Surface and based on the book by Kenneth Grahame, “The Reluctant Dragon” is about a dragon that lives in a cave near the town of Guildermere. The villagers blame the dragon for all of their troubles, even though the creature is peace loving, poetry spouting and prefers a cup of tea to fighting. Only a young boy named Glaston realizes the truth and befriends the dragon. Glaston shows what can happen when understanding and friendship save the day. The production is recommended for children aged six and older as well as adults. Theatre faculty member Lynn Kelso will direct. The production will tour Evanston area schools during spring 2006. Tickets are $20 for the general public; $18 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $10 for full-time students and children.

George Bernard Shaw’s “St. Joan” will be performed from April 21 to 30 at the Ethel M. Barber Theatre. Joanie Schultz will direct. Unhappy with the way Joan of Arc was traditionally depicted, Shaw sought to remove “the whitewash disfiguring her beyond recognition.” He presents a realistic Joan -- proud, intolerant, naïve, foolhardy and always brave -- a rebel who challenged the conventions and values of her day. Tickets are $25 for the general public; $22 for seniors 65 and older and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $10 for full-time students and children.

William Saroyan’s Pulitzer Prize-winning epic “The Time of Your Life” will be performed from May 12 to 21 at the Josephine Louis Theatre. Directed by Northwestern theatre faculty member Bud Beyer, former chair of Northwestern’s theatre department, all the action takes place during a single day in 1939, just before the start of World War II. Saroyan’s play is set in a seedy San Francisco waterfront bar through which numerous colorful but distressed characters move in their search for something more in life. The action centers on Joe, a rich young man who spends most of his time drinking, doing small favors for people and interacting with the flamboyant patrons of the bar. Tickets are $25 for the general public; $22 for seniors 65 and older and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $10 for full-time students.

For more information or to purchase a season’s subscription or single tickets by phone, call the Theatre and Interpretation Center box office at (847) 491-7282 or visitwww.tic.northwestern.edu.

Topics: Campus Life