Recently announcing its two series schedules of thirteen theatrical productions, the Northern Illinois University School of Theatre and Dance made it clear that they are going to have some fun this upcoming season. Beginning this fall, comedies and classics are the featured genres of the 2010-2011 Mainstage Season.
The comedic productions will include David Ives’ All in the Timing, Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, and Vaclav Havel’s satire, Memorandum. The classics will be represented by Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker ballet, Moby Dick Rehearsed, by Orson Welles, and Mary Zimmerman’s Arabian Nights.
Opening in the Stevens Building O’Connell Theatre, SoTD will kick off their season on September 23 with All in the Timing. After summer performances in Chicago by the Organic Theatre Company, All in the Timing will be remounted on the NIU stage with several of the same actors. The Ives production is a series of six short exercises in absurd wordplay, from the tangled meanings, double entendres, and unfathomable nature of the spoken word when man-meets-woman, to three chimpanzees with typewriters attempting to write Hamlet for the benefit of a scientific study.
Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night opens on October 21. Often referred to as Shakespeare’s most popular and beloved play, Twelfth Night is the archetypal comedy where nothing and no one are what they seem, but where cross-dressing, contrived love notes, and swordplay between jealous suitors still ends in a wedding or two.
A holiday season favorite, the School will perform The Nutcracker ballet at the Egyptian Theatre in downtown DeKalb, November 11-14. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s score provides some of the world’s most recognizable music as the background for young Clara’s fantastic journey from her family holiday party, into battle with the Mouse King, and finally transported with her Nutcracker prince to the La nd of Sweets, presided over by the Sugar Plum Fairy.
Memorandum is a political satire, written in 1965 by Czech playwright, Vaclav Havel, in response to the absurdities of life under Communism in the former Czechoslovakia. In order to boost efficiency and profit, a corporation implements its own language, “Ptydepe,” to be used in internal memos. However, employees can use this language only after they have been trained, and no one can translate for anyone not so trained without permission. The play opens February 3 in Players Theatre.
Opening February 24, Moby Dick Rehearsed is a modern play written by controversial filmmaker, Orson Welles. A troupe of actors begins an impromptu rehearsal of a play, written by one its members, based on the American novel, Moby-Dick. What begins as a staged reading on an empty stage becomes a full theatrical production of American literature’s most famous whale and its obsessed hunter.
Mary Zimmerman’s Arabian Nights is based on the legendary collection of Middle Eastern and South Asian folktales known as One Thousand and One Nights. Every evening, Scheherazade tells unfinished stories of reverie, tragedy, adventure, justice and love so that she may live another day to tell the ending and begin another tale. Arabian Nights opens on April 31, and will be presented in Players Theatre.
The Spring Dance Concert will open on April 28, with a series of separately choreographed pieces. Choreographed entirely by the SoTD dance faculty, the performance pieces will display a wide variety of the dance forms taught at the School of Theatre and Dance.
The Studio Series six show line-up includes several new works, Spring’s Awakening, by Frank Wedekind, and a showcase of the works of Edgar Allen Poe in verse and story. All performed in the Stevens Building Corner Theatre, the Studio Series features new and more experimental plays.
The seven-show 2010-2011 Mainstage Season series and flexible ticket subscription packages are on sale now for $75 and are available by calling the School of Theatre and Dance at (815) 753-1335. An “early bird” price of $65 applies if purchased before July 31. New this for this season is the Mainstage Triple Play package, which includes three tickets to any three mainstage shows, for only $30. For show dates, descriptions and complete details, or a copy of the 2010-2011 season brochure, call the school or visit them on the web at http://www.niu.edu/theatre.
Media Contact: David W. Booth