A delightful midwinter’s night dream, a Steve Martin adaptation of a classic farce and a tender story of a youth coming of age are a few of the plays that comprise the schedule for the Northern Illinois University School of Theatre and Dance’s upcoming 2013-2014 Mainstage Series season.
The Mainstage Series will include “The Emigrants” by Polish dramatist, Slawomir Mrozek, “Almost, Maine” by John Cariani, Fall Dance Concert 2013, “The Underpants” by comedian, Steve Martin, “Woyzeck” by George Buchner,“Look Homeward, Angel” by Ketti Frings and the Spring Dance Concert 2014.
Due to renovation of the school’s home base, the Stevens Building and its three theaters, all Mainstage shows for the next two years will be performed at Huntley Middle School, 1515 S. Fourth St. on DeKalb’s south side.
The Studio Series will present “Lysistrata,” by Aristophanes, Storytellers Theatre and Freshman Showcase, “Intimate Apparel” by Lynn Nottage, “Wintertime,” by Charles Mee and “Loves Labors Lost,” one of William Shakespeare’s early comedies.
Studio Series shows will be performed in the Holmes Student Center Diversions Lounge, at the center of the NIU campus.
The Mainstage Series begins Thursday, Sept. 26, with “The Emigrants” (1974). A remount of the Organic Theater Company production in Chicago this past summer, the play will be performed by the professional company members, Josh Anderson and Joel Huff. “The Emigrants” explores themes of individual power and freedom from the perspective of characters who have fled their unnamed European country in search of both.
Beginning Thursday, Oct. 17, is “Almost, Maine.” Written by Tony Award-nominated actor John Cariani (“Law and Order”) as audition pieces for himself, “Almost, Maine” is 11 linked vignettes about romantic love and all its pathos, bruised knees and broken hearts, as well as its romance, heartfelt connections and hope.
The first dance production of the season opens Thursday, Nov. 21, with the Fall Dance Concert. SoTD dancers will perform various styles of dance, to include the ballet “Les Sylphides” and two modern compositions.
“The Underpants” begins the Spring 2014 semester Thursday, Jan. 30. Martin’s play is an adaptation of the Carl Sternheim’s farce, “Die Hose,” written in 1910. Set in Dusseldorf, Germany, Louise Maske inadvertently drops her ill-fitting drawers in the middle of the town square during a parade to honor the king. “The Underpants” is a cheeky satire and social commentary about scandal and celebrity.
Opening Thursday, Feb. 20, “Woyzeck,” written by George Buchner, was based on a real person, Johann Christian Woyzeck, a poor German wig maker, hairdresser and ex-soldier who was widely in the news in 1824 for killing his female companion in a jealous rage.
“Look Homeward, Angel” opens Thursday, March 27. An adaptation by Frings of Thomas Wolfe’s semi-autobiographical first novel of the same name, “Look Homeward, Angel” is an authentic American classic, and a powerful-yet-tender play about a youth coming of age.
The season’s final production, the Spring Dance Concert 2014, opens Thursday, April 24. This show will feature many facets of dance expression, including modern, ballet, experimental and jazz.
All shows are at 7:30 p.m. weekdays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Subscription packages to both the seven-show 2013-2014 Mainstage Series and Studio Series shows, a 2013-2014 season brochure and additional performance details are all available by contacting the School of Theatre and Dance box office at (815) 753-1600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.