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Theatre Season to Include Two Tony Award-Winning Productions

Northwestern will kick off its 28th season theatre season with the musical "Sweeney Todd."

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October 9, 2008 | by Judy Moore
EVANSTON, Ill. --- Under the new leadership of Artistic Director Henry Godinez and Managing Director Barbara Butts, the Theatre and Interpretation Center (TIC) at Northwestern University will kick off its 28th season in October with the Tony Award-winning musical "Sweeney Todd" by Hugh Wheeler and Stephen Sondheim.

The Mainstage season also includes "The Sins of Sor Juana" by Karen Zacarías, "Peter Pan or the Boy Who Would Not Grow Up" adapted by Trevor Nunn and John Caird (based on the play by J.M. Barrie), "Danceworks 2009" and "The Illusion" by Tony Kushner. As part of TIC's continued community outreach, Arthur Kopit's Tony Award-winning comedy/drama "Indians" and Joshua Sobol's "Ghetto" will be presented as part of the season in partnership with Urban Gateways. The high-spirited children's musical "How Can You Run with a Shell on Your Back?" by Northwestern alumni Michael Mahler and Alan Schmuckler will be presented in partnership with the Chicago Humanities Festival.

The 2008-09 season also will include the Wallis Works-In-Progress program, a new works initiative that will feature three adaptations of stories by celebrated writers: "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" by Mark Twain, adapted by Shawn Douglass; "Twice Told" from the works of Nathaniel Hawthorne, adapted by Chloe Johnston; and "Amai Zenzele" by J. Nozipo Maraire, adapted by Olateju O. Adesida. These productions will be offered as a free benefit to 2008-09 subscribers.

The 2008-09 season marks a return to the TIC stages of two guest-artist favorites. In December, The Mime Company and Theater and Interpretation Center will present a limited, three-performance run of "An Evening of Mime." In March, the Emmy Award-winning Jump Rhythm Jazz Project will offer a one-day special audience-interactive lecture demonstration, "Jump Rhythm Technique and the Language of Rhythm." Tickets to both events currently are available only to 2008-09 season ticket holders and will be on sale to the public later this fall.

"In my new role as artistic director, I'm honored to help usher in a new phase for TIC," said Godinez. "Our 2008-09 season promises to be one of the most exciting in TIC history. From our programming selections to our collaborations and partnerships with the Chicago artistic and educational communities, this season marks our commitment to entertain and enrich our audiences even as we challenge and nurture the great theatre artists of tomorrow."

The Theatre and Interpretation Center performs in three spaces on the Northwestern Evanston campus -- its 450-seat venue in the Ethel M. Barber Theater at 30 Arts Circle Drive; its 375-seat venue in the Josephine Louis Theater at 20 Arts Circle Drive; and its 115-seat venue in the Hal and Martha Hyer Wallis Theater at 1949 Campus Drive.

Post-Show Discussions
The Theatre and Interpretation Center artistic staff and cast members will host post-show discussions for all eight Mainstage productions. Immediately following the Thursday evening performance, audience members will have the opportunity to ask questions about the process, the characters and the production. Post-show discussions are offered as a free benefit to all patrons.

TICKET INFORMATION
The Theater and Interpretation Center 2008-09 subscription package prices are $130 for adults; $120 for seniors 65 and older, Northwestern faculty and staff and area educators and administrators; and $50 for full-time students and children.

Subscriber benefits include savings of 10 percent off single-ticket prices; access to all Wallis Works-In-Progress productions; flexible ticket exchanges; secured seats to sold-out shows; access to the best seats in the house; advance opportunity to purchase tickets for "An Evening of Mime" and "Jump Rhythm Technique and the Language of Rhythm"; and invitations to special, behind-the-scenes events -- including six readings of new musical works-in-progress that are being developed by the American Music Theatre Project.

Subscriptions are available through the Box Office at (847) 491-7282 or www.tic.northwestern.edu.

Single ticket prices are listed below. Single tickets for the Mainstage and Wallis productions will go on sale Oct. 7.

THEATRE AND INTERPRETATION CENTER 2008-09 MAINSTAGE SEASON

"Sweeney Todd" by Hugh Wheeler and Stephen Sondheim and directed by George Cederquist, Oct. 31 to Nov. 9, at the Josephine Louis Theater.
An exhilarating ride of music, song and spectacle, this Tony Award-winning musical is based on the 19th century legend of Sweeney Todd. Returning home after 15 years in the Australian penal colonies on false charges, a middle-class barber joins forces with the owner of the worst meat pie shop in London to seek vengeance on those who have wronged him. The results of this dark plot are mass murder, a booming meat pie business and grave misfortune. Single tickets are $25 for the general public; $22 for seniors 65 and older, Northwestern staff and faculty and area teachers and administrators; and $10 for full-time students.

"Indians" by Arthur Kopit, directed by Shade Murray and presented in partnership with Urban Gateways, Nov. 14 to 23, at the Ethel M. Barber Theater.
A captivating and analogous tale of ego, ambition and desire that depicts the life of master showman Buffalo Bill Cody as he makes his comeback in a ghost town -- all the while aware that his so-called heroism is having destructive effects. With a combination of Old West mythology, circus spectacle and Native American ritual, director Shade Murray recreates the dazzling entertainment that was Buffalo Bill and his Wild West show and the complicated, conflicted performer that was the man himself. Single tickets are $25 for the general public; $23 for seniors 65 and older, Northwestern staff and faculty and area teachers and administrators; and $10 for full-time students.

"The Sins of Sor Juana" by Karen Zacarías, directed by Henry Godinez, Jan. 30 to Feb. 8, at the Josephine Louis Theater. One of the first published poets of the Americas and a member of a Mexican convent, Sor Juana Inez de la Cruz frustrated the Church with plays and poetry that expressed a feminism centuries ahead of its time. Surrendering to the Church's demand for her silence, her final written words were penned in her own blood -- a vow never to write again. Under the direction of Artistic Director Henry Godinez, this historic fantasy of self-determination and self-expression explores the real life of the 17th century poet and her quest for artistic freedom and social equality. Single tickets are $20 for the general public; $18 for seniors 65 and older, Northwestern staff and faculty and area teachers and administrators; and $10 for full-time students.

"Peter Pan or the Boy Who Would Not Grow Up," adapted by Trevor Nunn and John Caird (based on the play by J.M. Barrie) and directed by Amanda Dehnert, Feb. 13 to 22, at the Ethel M. Barber Theater. This beloved story of Peter, Wendy, Michael, John, Captain Hook, Smee, the lost boys and Tinker Bell is a retelling of J.M. Barrie's classic tale. Using innovative movement, theatricality and circus arts to create a never-ending childhood adventure of pirates, fairies and mischievous fantasy, director Amanda Dehnert offers a darkly playful examination of the decision to grow up or remain forever in Never Land. Single tickets are $25 for the general public; $23 for seniors 65 and older and Northwestern staff and faculty and area teachers and administrators; and $10 for full-time students.

"Danceworks 2009," artistic direction by Susan A. Lee, Feb. 27 to March 8, at the Josephine Louis Theater.
A vibrant display of tap, jump rhythm jazz, ballet, modern and contemporary forms by Northwestern's nationally and internationally renowned faculty choreographers. Susan A. Lee, coordinator of the University's Dance Program, is artistic director of "Danceworks 2009." Single tickets are $20 for the general public; $18 for seniors 65 and older, Northwestern staff and faculty and area teachers and administrators; and $10 for full-time students.

"How Can You Run with a Shell on Your Back?" by Michael Mahler and Alan Schmuckler, directed by Rives Collins and presented in partnership with the Chicago Humanities Festival, April 10 to 12, at the Ethel M. Barber Theater. Based on some of Aesop's best-loved fables -- "Tortoise and the Hare," "The Boy Who Cried Wolf," "Androcles and the Lion" and "The Ant and the Grasshopper" -- six students and a substitute teacher combine forces to turn an after-school detention into the madcap world of make-believe. A charming children's tale of joy and goodwill written by Northwestern alumni Michael Mahler and Alan Schmuckler and directed by Rives Collins, this critically acclaimed and high-spirited musical reveals universal truths for all ages. Single tickets are $20 for the general public; $18 for seniors 65 and older, Northwestern staff and faculty and area teachers and administrators; and $10 for full-time students.

"The Illusion" by Tony Kushner, directed by Kathryn Walsh, April 24 to May 3, at the Josephine Louis Theater.
An unyielding father is filled with regret after giving his son no alternative but to flee the family home. Through the help of a magician, he is allowed to view three scenes from his son's life, only to learn his remorse may have come too late or maybe not. Freely adapted from Pierre Corneille's 17th century classic "L'Illusion Comique" by Tony Kushner and directed by Kathryn Walsh, this play within a play takes audiences from mayhem to magic and back again as it questions what it really means to love, and the obligations that may come with that emotion. Single tickets are $20 for the general public; $18 for seniors 65 and older, Northwestern staff and faculty and area teachers and administrators; and $10 for full-time students.

"Ghetto" by Joshua Sobol, directed by Daniel Cantor and presented in partnership with Urban Gateways, May 22 to 31, at the Ethel M. Barber Theater. From the meticulous diary of a librarian, playwright Joshua Sobol combines fact and fantasy to tell the tale of a theater group formed in Vilna, Lithuania, during World War II. "Ghetto" explores the relationship between art and atrocity and strength and cowering through each of the more than 20 characters, including a ventriloquist whose bravery only finds a voice in his puppet; an entrepreneur who profits from his work for the Nazis; and a leader who must choose who shall die so that others may live. Directed by Daniel Cantor, this story of spiritual resilience depicts how the struggle for a simple physical existence may be buoyed by the creative force. Single tickets are $25 for the general public; $23 for seniors 65 and older, Northwestern staff and faculty and area teachers and administrators; and $10 for full-time students.

WALLIS WORKS-IN-PROGRESS 2008-09 PRODUCTIONS

"A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" by Mark Twain, adapted and directed by Shawn Douglass, Nov. 7 to 15, at the Hal and Martha Hyer Wallis Theater. By turns funny and serious, this ensemble-based piece tells the story of an ambitious, time-traveler who attempts to impose the "American way" on King Arthur's Realm. General admission is $10.

"Twice Told" from the works of Nathaniel Hawthorne, adapted and directed by Chloe Johnston, Feb. 6 to 14, at the Hal and Martha Hyer Wallis Theater. This stage production is an adaptation of three stories by American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne. The stories include: a young man who loses his faith in humanity during a midnight stroll with a mysterious stranger; a woman who loses the love of her life when he decides to hide his face behind an ominous mask; and a scientist who performs an experiment that will destroy what he loves best. Set against the earliest years in this nation's history, Hawthorne's tales examine love, belief and the nature of good and evil. General admission is $10.

"Amai Zenzele" by J. Nozipo Maraire, adapted and directed by Olateju O. Adesida, from May 1 to 9, at the Hal and Martha Hyer Wallis Theater.
From the novel "Zenzele: A Letter for my Daughter," the personal and historical are combined in a series of letters from a mother to her daughter concerning cultural inheritance and tradition, the struggle for Zimbabwe's independence and the trials and tribulations of African womanhood and identity. This project will coincide with the celebration of the 60th anniversary of Northwestern University's African Studies Program. General admission is $10.

GUEST ARTIST PRODUCTIONS FOR 2008-09


The Mime Company and the Theatre and Interpretation Center Present "An Evening of Mime," directed by Eliot Monaco and Amanda Brown, Dec. 5 to 7, at the Josephine Louis Theater. The ensemble returns for another evening of spellbinding physical theater. Full of humor and emotion, The Mime Company's special brand of storytelling and spectacle never disappoints and always leaves audiences wanting more. Tickets are $20 for adults; $18 for seniors over 65, Northwestern faculty and staff and area educators and administrators; and $10 for full-time students with IDs and children. Tickets are currently available only to 2008-09 season subscribers and will be on sale to the public later this fall.

Jump Rhythm Jazz Project presents "Jump Rhythm Technique and the Language of Rhythm," 10 a.m. Saturday, March 7, at the Josephine Louis Theater.
The Emmy Award-winning Jump Rhythm Jazz Project will present its acclaimed audience-interactive lecture-demonstration, a show that is as entertaining as it is educational. The subject of this family program is rhythm -- the universal language of communication that tells our hearts how to beat, our feet how to run, our voices how to sing and our bodies how to dance. Ticket prices are $5. Tickets are currently available only to 2008-09 season subscribers and will be on sale to the public later this fall.

ADDITIONAL SUBSCRIBER BENEFITS

Dinner Packages

The Theatre and Interpretation Center has announced two new Evanston restaurant partnerships for the 2008-09 season -- GIO and Tapas Barcelona. Located at 1631 Chicago Ave., GIO offers tradition Italian fare. Or, just a few steps away, Tapas Barcelona at 1615 Chicago Ave., features Spanish tapas cuisine. Patrons may enjoy a dinner at either restaurant to be used before the performance of their choosing, or they may purchase multiple dinners and enjoy a season of pre-show dining.

The GIO dinner package is $30 per person and includes an appetizer, entrée, dessert and coffee or tea. The Tapas Barcelona dinner package is $25 per person and includes a selection of assorted tapas, dessert and coffee or tea. Prices are not inclusive of tax, gratuity or performance tickets. Packages may be used anytime during the 2008-09 season (Oct. 31 to May 31), subject to reservation availability. Reservations must be made directly through the restaurant. Dinner packages are available through the Box Office at (847) 491-7282 or www.tic.northwestern.edu.
Topics: Campus Life