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April 2010 Theater/Dance Calendar

“Air Guitar High,” “Danceworks” and “Waa-Mu” among works to be staged

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March 10, 2010 | by Judy Moore

EVANSTON, Ill. --- An air guitar-inspired family play and the annual Danceworks production are both part of the Theatre and Interpretation Center (TIC) at Northwestern University's 2009-10 April stagings.

"Air Guitar High" (April 9 to 18), written and directed by Northwestern faculty member Laura Schellhardt, tells the story of a high school rocked by air guitar competitions. It is presented through TIC's Children's Theatre Tour. The 30th anniversary "Danceworks 2010" concert (April 23 to May 2) will feature the choreography of Northwestern's Dance Program faculty.

"Waa-Mu 2010: Keeping Time" (April 30 to May 9) marks the final year that Jeff Award-winning director Dominic Missimi will direct "Waa-Mu." This year's show will take the audience on an irreverent journey through the annals of history.

April will include two events presented by the department of performance studies: "Billy: A Play in Two Acts" (April 16 and 17) and "Adventures of a Black Girl in Search of Academic Clarity and Inclusion: Monologue" (April 26).

All the programs are open to the public and will be held on Northwestern's Evanston campus. Ticket information follows each event listing.

APRIL 2010 THEATRE EVENTS

"Air Guitar High," 7 p.m. Friday, April 9; 7 p.m. Saturday, April 10; 2 p.m. Sunday, April 11; 7 p.m. Thursday, April 15; 7 p.m. Friday, April 16; 7 p.m. Saturday, April 17; and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 18, Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston.
Written and directed by Northwestern faculty member Laura Schellhardt, "Air Guitar High" is the high-octane story of a group of teenagers determined to take their futures into their own hands. Literally. Inspired by real air guitar competitions -- a form of dance and movement in which the performer pretends to play a rock or heavy metal-style electric guitar -- and the popularity of games like "Guitar Hero," "Air Guitar High" is in constant motion. Post-show discussions by the show's cast will follow the April 11 and 15 performances. The production is presented through the Theatre and Interpretation Center at Northwestern's Children's Theatre Tour. Following its run at the Barber Theater, the show will tour Evanston-area elementary and middle schools. Ticket prices are $15 for the general public; $12 for seniors 65 and older, Northwestern faculty and staff and area educators and administrators; and $10 for full-time students. Tickets can be purchased through the TIC Box Office at (847) 491-7282 or online at www.tic.northwestern.edu.

Performance Studies, "Billy: A Post-Apocalyptic Comedy," a new play in three acts by Derek L. Barton. Press Preview: 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 14. Ticketed performances: 7 p.m. Thursday, April 15; 7 p.m. Friday, April 16, 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, April 17; and 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday, April 18, Alvina Krause Studio in Annie May Swift Hall, 1920 Campus Drive, Evanston campus. A new play by Derek Barton, a Northwestern doctoral candidate, directed by Katy Walsh, graduate of Northwestern's MFA Directing Program, "Billy" is a surreal post-apocalyptic comedy. The play depicts a nightmare America in which young men are imprisoned inside office buildings, and the elderly sell their blood and organs to pay their rent. "Inspired by cowboy capitalism and the current economic and housing crisis, ‘Billy' is a darkly humorous examination of a queer man's struggle to find his place in a world in which everyday people have little control over their own lives," said Barton. His play was a semi-finalist in the 2009 Agnes Nixon Playwriting Festival. Tickets are $5. Seating is very limited. Advance tickets are on sale at brownpapertickets.com at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/106171. A 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 14 Press Preview and open dress rehearsal is free and open to the public.

Performance Studies, "Adventures of a Black Girl in Search of Academic Clarity and Inclusion: Monologue," 8 p.m. Monday, April 26, Alvina Krause Studio in Annie May Swift Hall, 1920 Campus Drive, Evanston campus. A one-woman show conceived and performed by guest artist Edris Cooper-Anifowoshe, "Adventures of a Black Girl" is part of the solo/black/woman performance series made possible by a grant from the Mellon Foundation. Admission is free.

Waa-Mu 2010, "Keeping Time," 8 p.m. Friday, April 30; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, May 1; 2 p.m. Sunday, May 2; 8 p.m. Thursday, May 6; 8 p.m. Friday, May 7; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, May 8; and 2 p.m. Sunday, May 9, Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson St., Evanston campus
. The 79th annual Waa-Mu production will take an irreverent journey through the annals of history. A time-traveling showcase of song and dance, "Keeping Time" will depict civilization's momentous events and history's most important cast of characters. This will be the final Waa-Mu production directed by Joseph Jefferson Award-winning theater faculty member Dominic Missimi. Single tickets for Waa-Mu are $28 (tier one) to $21 (tier two) for the general public; $17 for seniors and Northwestern University faculty and staff and area educators and administrators; and $11 for full-time students and children.

APRIL 2010 DANCE EVENT

"Danceworks 2010," 8 p.m. Friday, April 23; 8 p.m. Saturday, April 24; 2 p.m. Sunday, April 25; 8 p.m. Thursday, April 29; 8 p.m. Friday, April 30; 8 p.m. Saturday, May 1; and 2 p.m. Sunday, May 2, Josephine Louis Theater, 20 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston.
The 30th anniversary Danceworks concert will feature choreography by nationally renowned Northwestern faculty and guest artists, including Jeff Hancock, Archana Kumar, Susan A. Lee, Billy Siegenfeld, Molly Shanahan, Joel Valentin-Martinez and Meghann Wilkinson. The program is an eclectic celebration of Jump Rhythm Jazz, modern, classic jazz and contemporary dance. Northwestern faculty member Susan A. Lee, founding director of the Dance Program in the department of theatre, is the artistic director of the annual spring show.
A special 30th anniversary Danceworks 2010 program at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 2, also will feature performances by choreographers Jeff Hancock, Molly Shanahan, Billy Siegenfeld and Brandi Coleman. Ticket prices are $20 for the general public; $18 for seniors 65 and older, Northwestern faculty and staff and area educators and administrators; and $10 for full-time students. Danceworks 2010 tickets can also be purchased through the TIC Box Office at (847) 491-7282 or online at www.tic.northwestern.edu.

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