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Northwestern Theatre in May

Tickets available for ”The Exonerated,” “How To End Poverty,” Imagine U and more

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April 30, 2013 | by Judy Moore

EVANSTON, Ill. --- The final performances of a compelling play about the lives of six wrongfully convicted individuals who spent years on Death Row and the premiere of an unusual production that seeks solutions to poverty are among the events presented by the Theatre and Interpretation Center (TIC) at Northwestern University in May.

“The Exonerated,” a co-production of TIC and Next Theatre Company in partnership with Northwestern University’s Center on Wrongful Convictions, runs through May 5, at the Josephine Louis Theater. The play by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen is directed by Northwestern alumna Cat Miller.

“How to End Poverty in 90 Minutes (with 199 people you may or may not know”), May 15 through May 25, at the Ethel M. Barber Theater, is an unusual theatre piece directed by Northwestern faculty member and Sojourn Theatre founder Michael Rohd. The production is an experiment in the ability of art to help make the world a better place. Audience members will decide how to spend $1,000 in cash from ticket sales throughout the run of the show.

The 2013 Waa-Mu Show, “Flying Home, down the rabbit hole, over the rainbow, and straight on till morning,” May 3 to 12, at Cahn Auditorium, is a Northwestern University student-written musical that imagines a world in which Wonderland, Oz and Neverland collide. 

TIC also is hosting a one-night only National Theatre Live May 31 broadcast of “This House” at the Ethel M. Barber Theater. Jeremy Herrin directs the newly staged British drama by James Graham. Set in the political engine rooms of Westminster in the mid-1970s and based on real events, it is a fictionalized account of a turbulent period in British politics.

TIC’s Imagine U Family Series will present “Sideways Stories from Wayside School,” May 3 through 12. The play is adapted by John Olive from Louis Sachar’s “Wayside School Novels.” Directed by Dan Cantor and recommended for children ages 5 and above and their families, performances will take place in Northwestern’s Mussetter-Struble Theater. 

TIC’s final MFA Collaboration Series production, “Bunbury: A Serious Play for Trivial People,” written by Northwestern alumnus Tom Jacobsen and directed by second-year MFA directing student Scott Cummins will take place May 10 through May 18 in the Hal and Martha Hyer Wallis Theater.

“Let the Kids Dance,” May 16 through 18, is this year’s annual showcase of original choreography by Northwestern University senior dance majors. Presented by the School of Communication, the performances of works by nine soon-to-graduate students will take place in the Ballroom Studio of the Marjorie Ward Marshall Dance Center

Except where otherwise indicated, tickets for all productions may be purchased online or through the TIC Box Office at (847) 491-7282.

CONSTRUCTION ALERT

A three-year construction project underway on the southeast end of the Northwestern University campus has closed Arts Circle Drive to traffic. Free parking for evening and weekend events remains available, but the project impacts handicapped parking and patrons requiring special access to Evanston campus theaters, as the parking structure is not accessible to patrons unable to climb stairs. For the most current information on the construction project and drop-off locations for patrons requiring special access to our theaters, visit the Theatre and Interpretation Center's website

MAY 2013 MAINSTAGE PRODUCTIONS

“The Exonerated,” 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 2; 8 p.m. Friday, May 3; 8 p.m. Saturday, May 4; and 2 p.m. Sunday, May 5, Josephine Louis Theater, 20 Arts Circle Drive, Northwestern University’s Evanston campus. Based on real interviews conducted by playwrights Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, “The Exonerated” follows six former Death Row prisoners whose convictions were reversed. Directed by Northwestern University alumna Cat Miller and co-produced with Next Theatre Company, “The Exonerated” is staged at TIC in partnership with Northwestern University’s Center on Wrongful Convictions and features a cast of professional and student artists. Pre- or post-show discussions and talkbacks with the audience will follow each performance. This program is partially sponsored by a grant from the Evanston Community Foundation. The production is supported in part by a grant from The Alumnae of Northwestern University. Tickets are $25 for the general public; $22 for seniors over 62 and Northwestern faculty and staff and educators; $10 for full-time students at door; or $5 for Northwestern students with advance purchase only. To purchase tickets by phone or for information on discounts for groups of eight or more, contact the TIC box office at (847) 491-7282. Tickets are also available online

“How to End Poverty in 90 Minutes (with 199 people you may or may not know),” 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 15; 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 16; 8 p.m. Friday, May 17; 8 p.m. Saturday, May 18; 2 p.m. Sunday, May 19; 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 22; 5 p.m. Thursday, May 23; 8 p.m. Friday, May 24; and 8 p.m. Saturday, May 25, Theatre and Interpretation Center at Northwestern University’s Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston campus. Imagine a theatrical performance in which $1,000 dollars is onstage and the audience is asked to spend it. That’s the premise of “How to End Poverty,” an unusual piece of theatre directed by Northwestern faculty member and Sojourn Theatre founder Michael Rohd. Conceived by Rohd in collaboration with Northwestern student cast and team members, it is more than just a play. It is a lecture, public conversation, physical theatre piece and interactive workshop that will challenge a different audience during each and every show with the question: how do you attack the problem of poverty in America? The production is an experiment in dialogue, collective decision-making, shared responsibility and, most of all, in the ability of art to help make the world a better place. Tickets are $25 for the general public; $22 for seniors over 62 and Northwestern faculty and staff and educators; $10 for full-time students at the door; or $5 for Northwestern students with advance purchase only. To purchase tickets by phone or for information on discounts for groups of eight or more, contact the TIC box office at (847) 491-7282. Tickets are also available online.

WAA-MU SHOW

The 2013 Waa-Mu Show, “Flying Home, down the rabbit hole, over the rainbow, and straight on till morning,” at 8 p.m. Friday, May 3; 8 p.m. Saturday, May 4; 2 p.m. Sunday, May 5; 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 9; 8 p.m. Friday, May 10; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, May 11; and 2 p.m. Sunday, May 12, at Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson St., on Northwestern’s Evanston campus. The 2013 student-written musical imagines a world in which Wonderland, Oz and Neverland collide. The journeys of fictional characters Alice, Dorothy and Wendy intersect and classic stories are woven together with a brand new fantasy twist. The Waa-Mu Show -- a Northwestern tradition now in its 82nd year -- is directed and choreographed by internationally renowned director and choreographer David H. Bell. Bell, Northwestern’s Donald G. Robertson Director of Music Theatre, has been nominated for 43 Joseph Jefferson (“Jeff”) Awards and has won 11. Ryan T. Nelson, the School of Communication’s music director, is the production’s conductor and music supervisor. The original full-length musical features 43 Northwestern students on stage and more than 100 others on the creative and executive teams, led by undergraduate student co-chairs Ed Wasserman, Jack Mitchell and Jesse Rothschild. Cast members are from the School of Communication, Bienen School of Music, School of Education and Social Policy and Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. A special Waa-Mu alumni reception at the Celtic Knot restaurant in downtown Evanston will follow the Saturday, May 4, evening performance. Single tickets are $10 to $30; tickets for groups of eight or more are $8 to $27 each. Tickets are available through the TIC Box Office at (847) 491-7282 or online

“Wee-Mu 2013,” 10 a.m. Sunday, May 5, Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson St., Northwestern’s Evanston campus. This year’s Waa-Mu team is offering a special event for all ages with “Wee-Mu 2013.” This one-hour, behind-the-scenes look at “Flying Home” will feature lights, costumes, song and dance. The Waa-Mu cast and creative team will guide audiences through the steps that go into creating a brand new musical. The “Wee-Mu 2013” event is free for audience members who register by noon Friday, May 3, at http://conta.cc/14fS3Ma. General admission at the door is $5.

NATIONAL THEATRE LIVE BROADCAST 

National Theatre Live broadcast, “This House,” a new play by James Graham, directed by Jeremy Herrin, 7 p.m. Friday, May 31, Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive, Northwestern University’s Evanston campus. Set in 1974, the United Kingdom faces economic crisis and a hung parliament. In a culture hostile to cooperation, it’s a period when votes are won or lost by one, when there are fistfights in the bars and when sick British Members of Parliament (MPs) are carried through the lobby to register their vote. Set in the political engine rooms of Westminster, Graham’s biting new play strips politics down to practical realities to maneuver a diverse and conflicting chorus of MPs within the Mother of all Parliaments. Listen to playwright James Graham’s interview about “This House” in the Guardian’s politics podcast  Tickets are $20 for the general public and $10 for full-time students with IDs. To purchase tickets by phone or for information on discounts for groups of eight of more, contact the TIC Box Office at 847-491-7282. Tickets are also available online.

IMAGINE U FAMILY SERIES

Imagine U programs are recommended for children ages 5 and above and their families. Each performance provides an opportunity for children to talk with cast members after the production. Audience members are encouraged to bring books to be signed by the performers after the show. Children in the audience will receive take-home programs filled with activities, art projects, fun facts and games.

“Sideways Stories from Wayside School,” 7 p.m. Friday, May 3; 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, May 4; 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday, May 5; 7 p.m. Friday, May 10; 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, May 11; and 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday, May 12. Welcome to Wayside School, where nothing is normal.  Not only did the builder accidentally put each classroom on top of the other, but the students of the 30th floor have a problem -- their teacher, Mrs. Gorf, can turn children into apples!  Take a zany journey through the stairways of Wayside School as students on the 30th floor try their best to navigate the temptation of pigtails, the non-existent 19th floor, a wayward cow and zillions of other challenges, including accepting one another for who they are. Tickets are $10 for adults; $8 for children and full-time students with IDs; and $5 for Northwestern students with advance purchase only or $10 at the door. To purchase tickets by phone or for information on discounts for groups of eight of more, contact the TIC Box Office at (847) 491-7282. Tickets are also available online.

MFA COLLABORATION SERIES

The Theatre and Interpretation Center MFA Collaboration Series celebrates the shared vision of our second-year MFA design and directing students and provides TIC audiences an opportunity to see the work of these up-and-coming artists. Approximately three MFA Collaboration Series productions are staged each academic year, with single tickets available to the general public and complimentary tickets available to TIC mainstage subscribers.

“Bunbury: A Serious Play for Trivial People,” 8 p.m. Friday, May 10; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.  Saturday, May 11; 2 p.m. Sunday, May 12; 8 p.m. Thursday, May 16; 8 p.m. Friday, May 17; and 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, May 18, Hal and Martha Hyer Wallis Theater, 1949 Campus Drive, Evanston campus. When he discovers he is only a fictitious character in “The Importance of Being Earnest,” Bunbury joins forces with Rosaline, Romeo's never seen obsession from “Romeo & Juliet.” Together they attempt to win back their loves and change the world by changing classic literature. The winner of the Ticketholder Award and Garland Award for Best New Play, don’t miss this “wildly inventive adventure through the catalogue of 19th and 20th century theater and literature” (EdgeBoston.com) written by Northwestern alumna Tom Jacobsen and directed by second-year MFA directing student Scott Cummins. General admission is free for 2012-13 mainstage subscribers with advance reservations; $10 for adults; and $5 for Northwestern students with advance purchase only or $10 at the door. To purchase tickets by phone or for information on discounts for groups of eight or more, contact the TIC Box Office at (847) 491-7282. Tickets are also available online.

DANCE

Senior Dance Concert, “Let the Kids Dance,” 8 p.m. Thursday, May 16; 8 p.m. Friday, May 17; and 8 p.m. Saturday, May 18, Northwestern University’s Ballroom Studio of the  Marjorie Ward Marshall Dance Center, 10 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston campus. This year’s annual event showcases the original choreography of nine Northwestern University senior dance majors performed by an ensemble of student dancers. Varying in experiences and interests, the students have proven their dedication to diversity and advancement in the field of dance. Presented by the School of Communication, this year’s student choregraphers are Alaya Turnbough, Danielle Siegel, Josh Rubietta, Margaret Tudor, Parker Murphy, Rachel Molinaro, Ross Flores, Sophia Rafiqi and Suzanne Hutt, and guest artist Randy Duncan. Bleacher-style seating is available on a first-come, first-seated basis. General admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children and full-time students with valid IDs. Tickets are available through the Theatre and Interpretation Center Box Office at (847) 491-7282 or online. Tickets also will be sold at the door prior to each performance.