Inside Iowa State
September 11, 1998
"Rolling repertory" opens ISU Theatre season this month
Comedy and tragedy kick off the ISU Theatre season with the fall repertory of Shakespeare's Macbeth and the original comedy A Poke in the Eye. This is the sixth year the theater group has presented a "rolling" repertory - - mounting two productions that alternate performances over three-weeks.
"This year's rep productions bring you the same actors and production teams, alternating a great classic with an original piece of clowning," said Gregg Henry, director of ISU Theatre.
Professional actor Malcolm Tulip wrote and directs the production of A Poke In the Eye. The story is set at Iowa State. An international theater troupe, none of whom speak English, arrive at ISU on a grand tour of America. The set and costumes are stuck in customs and on top of that, the university insists the troupe is to present a Shakespeare classic instead of the "postmodern-avant-garde-neo-Brechtian social drama" it had planned.
The play, only an outline before rehearsals started, has been developed by Tulip in collaboration with the acting group, Henry said. The production style is based on the physical comedy technique that Tulip learned as a student at L'Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris.
Since 1990, Tulip has written, directed and acted in seven original works for his own Prospero Theatre Company in Ann Arbor, Mich. He has taught in college and theater programs in England and the United States. For the past two summers, he has been a leading actor with the Michigan Shakespeare Festival, twice appearing in productions directed by Henry.
Guest artist-in-residence Cathy Norgren, head of design at SUNY-Buffalo, designed the costumes for the production.
On the somber side of the repertory offering is Macbeth, directed by Henry. In their search for power, the Macbeths commit regicide, then descend into madness, the supernatural and mass murder.
Macbeth will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Sept. 25-26, and Oct. 2-3, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 27. Alternating performances of A Poke in the Eye will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1, and Friday and Saturday, Oct. 9-10; and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 4, and Saturday, Oct. 10.
Following are other plays included in the coming season. Tickets are $9, unless noted, and available at the Stephens box office. Plays are in Fisher Theater unless noted.
- A Little Night Music. The musical, presented in November, will be co-produced with the music department. Tickets are $12.
- Etta Spencer's Soul, by Jason Taylor. This new comedy by the founding member of ISU's improvisational comedy troupe, Grandma Mojo's Moonshine Revival, will be presented in early December.
- Fires in the Mirror, by Anna Deavere Smith. The play is based on the 1991 riots that wracked Crown Heights, a section of Brooklyn, following the death of a 6-year-old black child hit by a car driven by a Hasidic man. It will be presented in February.
- The Misanthrope, by Moliere. Neil Bartlett's new adaptation of the play will be presented in March.
- Anything Goes, the Stars Over Veishea production, to be presented in April. Presented at Stephens Auditorium, the musical features the songs of Cole Porter. Tickets are $15.
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