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January 2010 Theatre Calendar

“Palmer Park,” “The American Pilot” and adaptation of “Nervous Conditions” to be staged

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December 10, 2009 | by Judy Moore
EVANSTON, Ill. --- The Theatre and Interpretation Center (TIC) at Northwestern University will continue its 2009-10 season this January with a story of the fight for civil rights and an exploration of war, survival and human connection.

Presented as part of the Big Ten university theatre initiative, Northwestern theatre department chair Rives Collins will direct a staged reading of Joanna McClelland Glass' "Palmer Park" (Jan. 17 and 18), the story of one Detroit neighborhood that struggled to uphold the ideal of racial integration.

Inaugurating TIC's Masters-in-the-Making Series, third-year Master of Fine Arts student Brant Russell will direct David Greig's "American Pilot" (Jan. 29 to Feb. 7), a tale about an American bomber pilot stranded in a war-torn country.

The department of performance studies will present "Nervous Conditions" (Jan. 29 and 30), an adaptation by Northwestern doctoral student Lisa Biggs of a novel by Zimbabwean author Tsitsi Dangarembga examining the position of women in revolution and in a new society.

All three events are open to the public and will take place on Northwestern's Evanston campus. Ticket information for each event follows each performance listing, as noted.

Tickets for 2009-10 season productions are on sale now through the TIC Box Office at (847) 491-7282 or online at www.tic.northwestern.edu.

JANUARY 2010 THEATRE EVENTS

"Palmer Park" by Joanna McClellan Glass, 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 17, Mussetter-Struble Theater, 1949 Campus Drive, Evanston campus, and 2 p.m. Monday, Jan. 18, Josephine Louis Theater, 20 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston campus. In 1967, the worst of the race riots in the United States occurred in Detroit, resulting in the flight of more than 100,000 white city residents. But not every white resident left. In "Palmer Park," Tony Award-nominated playwright Joanna McClelland Glass tells the story of one Detroit neighborhood that struggled to uphold the ideal of integration. Directed by Rives Collins, Northwestern's theatre department chair, this staged reading is part of the Big Ten university theatre initiative. Both performances will be followed by a post-show discussion with the creative team. General admission is free and open to the public; seating is limited and reservations are required. To make ticket reservations, contact the TIC Box Office at (847) 491-7282.

"The American Pilot" by David Greig, 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 29; 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30; 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 31; 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4; 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5; 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 7, Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston campus. After crashing in the foreign hills of a war-torn country, an injured American bomber pilot finds shelter in a farmer's barn. Unable to speak the local language, he is left with only the music on his iPod to communicate, and his fate -- ransom, death or freedom -- will be determined by the conflicting agendas of the farmer, his family and the local militia. Directed by Brant Russell, a third-year directing program Master of Fine Arts (MFA) student, Greig's entertaining and emotive fable illuminates how a simple connection between two people could be the key to survival, and how often these connections are lost by an inability to rise above circumstance. The production is presented through TIC's Masters-in-the-Making Series, which showcases the talents of third-year MFA students. Ticket prices are $25 for the general public; $22 for seniors 65 and older, Northwestern faculty and staff and area educators and administrators; and $10 for full-time students. Single tickets may be purchased through the TIC Box Office at (847) 491-7282 or online at www.tic.northwestern.edu.

JANUARY 2010 PERFORMANCE STUDIES EVENT

"Nervous Conditions," 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 29, and 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30, Alvina Krause Studio in Annie May Swift Hall, 1920 Campus Drive, Evanston campus. Adapted from author Tsitsi Dangarembga's novel of the same name, "Nervous Conditions" is set in Zimbabwe during the Second Chimurenga (Struggle for Independence). The play follows Tambudzai, a teenage girl whose family reluctantly sends her to a Christian missionary school. Following the death of her older brother, responsibility falls upon Tambudzai's shoulders to improve her family's financial situation. However, interactions with her Westernized cousins and with a vitriolic uncle set off an avalanche of unexpected consequences. Tambudzai's story lends insight into the struggle for liberation waged by Zimbabweans against colonial rule, and questions the position of women within the struggle of the new and emerging Zimbabwean society. The production is adapted and directed by Lisa Biggs, a department of performance studies doctoral student. Admission is free.

(Nathalie Rayter, a junior in the School of Education and Social Policy, contributed to this story.)