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Northwestern University Theatre Celebrates 30 Years

Anniversary season includes leading Chicago guest artists, new family program and more

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September 23, 2010 | by Judy Moore

EVANSTON, Ill. --- To commemorate its 30th anniversary, the Theatre and Interpretation Center (TIC) at Northwestern University will welcome acclaimed guest artists to its 2010-11 Mainstage Season.

They include The Hypocrites theater company artistic director Sean Graney; Lookingglass Theatre Company ensemble member David Catlin; Chicago actress Ann Whitney; Congo Square Theatre Company founding artistic director Derrick Sanders; and playwright, director and stage, television and film actress Regina Taylor.

TIC also will offer a new Saturday morning family series called “Imagine U,” that starts this fall. Through three Saturday morning events (Nov. 6, Feb. 19 and May 7) grandparents, parents and children will have a hands-on opportunity to experience theatre behind-the- scenes, featuring interactions with Northwestern faculty and student cast members. 

In addition, the 2010-11 season will include a new -- or “NU” -- holiday tradition called “’Tis Our Season” (Dec. 3 to 5), an evening of holiday songs and stories. And, for the first time, TIC is offering two new discounts to mainstage productions: $10 single ticket prices to Thursday night season performances to U.S. Armed Forces personnel and their families (with a valid military ID), as well as $10 tickets for Northwestern alumni (with a valid WildCARD) who have graduated within the past two years. 

To launch the season, guest director Sean Graney will present an entertaining adaptation of the comedic masterpiece “Tartuffe” (Oct. 22 to Nov. 6). Theatre department chair Rives Collins will direct the Tony Award-winning musical adaptation of “The Secret Garden” (Nov. 12 to 21).

This winter, TIC guest artist Derrick Sanders will bring to the stage Rebecca Gilman’s thought-provoking play, “Spinning Into Butter” (Jan. 28 to Feb. 6). TIC Artistic Director Henry Godinez will direct “Peribanez” (Feb. 11 to 20), a daring and classic tale of romance by 17th-century Spanish playwright and poet Lope de Vega. To celebrate the approach of spring, award-winning dance faculty member Annie Beserra will direct the annual audience favorite “Danceworks” (Feb. 25 to March 6).

March will kick off with a special, one-weekend-only festival directed and curated by Regina Taylor, one of Hollywood’s most versatile performers. Taylor will be in residence this fall to work with Northwestern students to create “The State(s) of America: The Regina Taylor Project” (March 4 to 6), a series of original works featuring video, plays and interactive novellas.

TIC will then present Edward Mast’s award-winning tale, “Jungalbook” (April 8 to 17), under the direction of faculty member Betsy Quinn. Concluding the season is Neil Simon’s coming-of-age comedy, “Brighton Beach Memoir” (May 6 to 15), directed by award-winning faculty member Mary Poole.

“Since 1980, TIC has been committed to offering our audiences a view of the world from our stages that is enlightening and entertaining,” said Godinez. “Our 30th anniversary season is filled with tales of laughter and heartbreak, desire and revenge, innocence and adventure, conflict and healing, and family and identity.” 

TIC performances will take place in five locations on the Evanston campus -- the Ethel M. Barber Theater at 30 Arts Circle Drive; the Josephine Louis Theater at 20 Arts Circle Drive; the Hal and Martha Hyer Wallis Theater at 1949 Campus Drive; the Mussetter-Struble Theater at 1949 Campus Drive; and Cahn Auditorium at 600 Emerson Street.

POST-SHOW DISCUSSIONS

TIC artistic staff and cast members will host post-show discussions for all eight mainstage productions, which will follow the first Sunday matinee performance and Thursday evening performance. Post-show discussions are free to all patrons.

TICKET INFORMATION

The Theater and Interpretation Center 2010-11 subscription package is $127 for adults; $110 for seniors 65 and older, Northwestern faculty and staff and area educators; and $40, a new discounted rate for full-time students and children. Subscriptions represent more than a 25 percent discount over single ticket prices.

Subscription benefits include a flexible exchange policy; secured seats to sold-out shows; the best seats in the house; complimentary tickets to select studio productions; and invitations to special events and programming. Subscriptions are available through the TIC Box Office at (847) 491-7282 or www.tic.northwestern.edu. Single ticket prices are listed below and will go on sale Oct. 1 also through the Box Office at (847) 491-7282 or www.tic.northwestern.edu.

TIC also is offering two new $10 ticket discounts. U.S. Armed Forces personnel and their families may purchase $10 tickets to Thursday evening performances (with a valid military ID). In addition, Northwestern alumni who have graduated within the past two years also receive the $10 full-time student discount (with a valid WildCARD).

THEATRE AND INTERPRETATION CENTER 2010-11 MAINSTAGE SEASON

“Tartuffe” by Moliere, adapted and directed by Sean Graney, Oct. 22 to Nov. 6, at the Ethel M. Barber Theater. Renowned Chicago director Sean Graney kicks off TIC’s 30th anniversary season with his entertaining and irreverent adaption of Moliere’s “Tartuffe.” Featuring Northwestern alumnus and Lookingglass ensemble member David Catlin, celebrated Chicago actress and Northwestern alumna Ann Whitney and a cast of Northwestern’s student actors, this titillating tale of patriarchy, fraud and desire is one of the greatest comedic masterpieces of all time. Single tickets for “Tartuffe” are $25 for the general public; $20 for seniors 65 and older, Northwestern faculty and staff and area teachers; and $10 for full-time students.

“The Secret Garden,” with music by Lucy Simon, book by Marsha Norman, directed by Rives Collins, Nov. 12 to 21, at Cahn Auditorium. A musical adaptation of the classic novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, “The Secret Garden” tells the story of Mary Lennox, an orphan sent to live in a haunted English manor. Through the discovery of a hidden key, a neglected cousin and a dormant garden, Mary awakens not only her own spirit but also spirits that had long been afraid to live or love. Directed by Northwestern theatre department chair Rives Collins, this Tony Award-winning tale will charm audiences of all ages. Single tickets are $25 for the general public; $20 for seniors 65 and older, Northwestern faculty and staff and area teachers; and $10 for full-time students.

“Spinning Into Butter,” by Rebecca Gilman, directed by Derrick Sanders, Jan. 28 to Feb 6, Josephine Louis Theater. “Spinning Into Butter” follows a saga of racially motivated vandalism at a quiet Vermont College. It falls to Sarah Daniels, dean of students, to resolve this unprecedented situation or, perhaps, just to quiet the hype. Directed by Congo Square Theatre Company’s Derrick Sanders, this thought-provoking play by award-winning Northwestern faculty member Rebecca Gilman asks whether values are absolute or subject to circumstance. Single tickets are $20 for the general public; $18 for seniors 65 and older, Northwestern faculty and staff and area teachers; and $10 for full-time students.

“Peribanez” by Lope de Vega, translated by Tanya Roder, directed by Henry Godinez, Feb. 11 to 20, Ethel. M. Barber Theater. Spanish Golden Age playwright and poet Lope de Vega creates a romantic tale of desire, honor, obsession and revenge with “Peribanez.” Newlyweds Pedro and Casilda have found perfect bliss until fate intervenes, bringing into their lives a jealous commander determined to take the bride for himself. Directed by award-winning TIC Artistic Director Henry Godinez, “Peribanez” explores what a man will do for the love of a woman. Single tickets are $25 for the general public; $20 for seniors 65 and older, Northwestern faculty and staff and area teachers; and $10 for full-time students.

“Danceworks 2011,” with artistic direction by Annie Beserra, Feb. 25 to March 6, Josephine Louis Theater. This annual audience favorite features original works by Northwestern faculty choreographers and performances by up-and-coming student dancers. “Danceworks 2011” is a dramatic and evocative celebration of Jump Rhythm Jazz, modern and contemporary forms directed by Northwestern faculty member Annie Beserra. Single tickets are $20 for the general public; $18 for seniors 65 and older, Northwestern faculty and staff and area teachers; and $10 for full-time students.

“The State(s) of America: The Regina Taylor Project,” directed and curated by Regina Taylor, March 4 to 6, Ethel M. Barber Theater. Playwright, director and stage, television and film actress Regina Taylor is one of Hollywood’s most versatile artists. Best known as Lilly Harper in the television series “I’ll Fly Away,” Taylor will be in residence at Northwestern this fall to create a fearless, one-weekend-only festival of original works examining issues facing our nation. Students working with Taylor will be encouraged to create plays, video shorts, interactive novellas, photographs and songs that challenge them to examine who they are as individuals and determine how they can make a difference in today’s world. Single tickets are $20 for the general public; $18 for seniors 65 and older, Northwestern faculty and staff and area teachers; and $10 for full-time students.

“Jungalbook” by Edward Mast, directed by Betsy Quinn, April 8 to 17, Ethel M. Barber Theater. An evocative tale of loyalty, belonging and courage based on the Mowgli stories of Rudyard Kipling, Edward Mast’s “Jungalbook” brings to life contemporary and timeless characters. Held together by the Law of the Jungal, the animals become adventurous teens who navigate animal gangs and confront their greatest enemy. Directed by Northwestern faculty member Betsy Quinn, ”Jungalbook” was awarded the Distinguished Play Award by the American Alliance for Theatre and Education. Single tickets are $25 for the general public; $20 for seniors 65 and older, Northwestern faculty and staff and area teachers; and $10 for full-time students.

“Brighton Beach Memoirs” by Neil Simon, directed by Mary Poole, May 6 to 15, Josephine Louis Theater. In the midst of the Great Depression and on the edge of World War II, New Yorkers Jack and Kate Jerome must think about every dollar they spend, while their 14-year-old son Eugene bemoans another serving of liver and dreams of glory as a baseball player. This coming-of-age comedy by Tony Award-winning playwright Neil Simon, directed by Northwestern faculty member Mary Poole, offers wisdom about the power of family. Single tickets are $25 for the general public; $20 for seniors 65 and older, Northwestern faculty and staff and area teachers; and $10 for full-time students.

SPECIAL EVENT PRODUCTIONS FOR 2010-11

“Imagine U” coordinated by Lynn Kelso, Nov. 6, Feb. 19 and May 7 and directed by David H. Bell. Three cheers for Imagine U! TIC is presenting a new 10 a.m. Saturday event for families, featuring a behind-the-scenes exploration of theatre. Through three different hourlong sessions focusing on story (“Stories from the Garden,” Nov. 6, Hal and Martha Hyer Wallis Theater), movement (“Everybody Dances!,” Feb. 19, Hal and Martha Hyer Wallis Theater) and song (“Wee-Mu,” May 7, Ethel M. Barber Theater), each family will get a hands-on, insider’s look at the process of creating a show, led by Northwestern faculty members and featuring interactions with student cast members. Recommended for children aged 5 to 10, single tickets are $5 per person, per event.

“’Tis Our Season” directed by Henry Godinez, Dec. 3 to 5, at the Ethel M. Barber Theater. Celebrate the 2010 holiday season with this warm and whimsical performance featuring TIC’s award-winning faculty members performing their favorite holiday songs and stories. A perfect evening to share with family and friends of all ages, “‘Tis Our Season” represents the start of a new -- or “NU” -- holiday tradition. Single tickets are $25 for the general public; $22 for seniors 65 and older, Northwestern faculty and staff and area teachers; and $10 for full-time students with IDs.

Topics: Campus Life