School of Theatre and Dance to spotlight John Guare, open Studio Series with ‘BA Showcase’

Photo of ticketsNIU’s School of Theatre and Dance will open its small venue Studio Series at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7, with the BA Showcase.

The performance of two short plays written by John Guare will highlight the talents of undergraduate theater students. “Something I’ll Tell You Tuesday” and “The Loveliest Afternoon of the Year” will be performed through Sunday, Oct. 10, in the Stevens Building Corner Theatre.

Guare is a prominent American playwright known for his often absurdist dramas about the futility of questioning existence. He has been writing plays since the 1960s. His plays have received numerous drama awards, including several Tony Awards and nominations.

“Something I’ll Tell You Tuesday” follows a senior couple on their way to the hospital for a scheduled treatment. Their daughter and her husband arrive to drive them there, but the young couple is in the middle of a big fight. Along the way, the senior couple reminisces about their past together and the similarities to their daughter’s relationship.

“The Loveliest Afternoon of the Year” is set in a park where a woman gets to know a man that she meets regularly. As the man tells her about his life, the stories become increasingly absurd. The woman begins to weigh the conflict between her loneliness and his apparent madness.

The cast and crew are composed of undergraduate students earning their bachelor’s degrees in something other than acting at the School of Theatre and Dance. The performance affords them the opportunity to experience the stage and showcase their talents despite non-acting degrees.

Sophomore stage manager Kellianne Nottelmann describes the plays as being about two different stages of love. “The first (play) is about a matured love as they compare it to their daughter’s marriage,” says Nottelmann. “And the second is about a very intense and sudden love.”

These short tales of love will be performed in the intimate space of the Corner Theatre. Nottelmann sees the smaller venue as advantageous because “it brings the audience closer to the actors.”

Bryan Wakefield is guest directing the performance. Wakefield is a graduate of the NIU School of Theatre and Dance’s Master of Fine Arts program in 2007.

Weeknight and Saturday performances begin at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday performances at 2 p.m.Tickets are $5 and can only be purchased on the night of the show at the Stevens Building box office in the lobby of the Stevens Building on the DeKalb campus. Tickets go on sale one hour before the show begins.

The box office can be reached at (815) 753-1600.

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