Sept. 9, 2010

ISU Theatre season features comedy, drama and suspense

by Erin Rosacker

Season tickets are on sale now for ISU Theatre's 2010-11 lineup. Six productions, including two musicals, are featured in the season package, which kicks off in October. Season tickets, available at the Stephens Auditorium box office, are $77 for adults, $70 for seniors and $49 for students.

"This season is very diverse in almost every way," said ISU Theatre director Jane Cox. "There are productions for the entire family and for adults only; great playwrights of the American theater and a current playwright who is using an ancient set of stories as the basis for her new play; one small musical and one large musical. This variety not only helps our students learn the art and craft of theater, it also promises a richness of experience for our patrons."

All of the productions will be staged in Fisher Theater. Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays; 2 p.m. on Sundays. Exceptions are on two Sundays, Oct. 3 and Dec. 5 (1 p.m.), and Thursday, March 24 (7:30 p.m.).

2010-11 ISU Theatre productions

Orpheus Descending
Oct. 1-3 and Oct. 8-10
When Val Xavier breezes into a small Southern town with his guitar and unfettered personality, he is a lightning rod of hope for Lady Torrence. But the forbidden romance sparks the town's underlying violence for a dramatic ending. This Tennessee Williams play is not for the faint of heart, with strong language featured in this real-world story based on a Greek myth.

The Arabian Nights
Nov. 5-7 and Nov. 12-14
The king's young bride weaves fantastic tales night after night to enchant her husband and escape the death sentence he leveled against her predecessors, beginning with his unfaithful first wife. Tony Award-winner Mary Zimmerman penned this adaptation of The Book of Thousand Nights and One Night, which features enchanting characters -- such as thieves, kings, queens and genies -- to capture the audience within the magic of storytelling.

You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown
Dec. 3-5 and Dec. 10-12
Charlie Brown, the beloved cartoon character created by Charles Schulz, searches for happiness in Clark Guesner's musical comedy for all ages. Other members of the Peanuts gang join Chuck as they grapple with everyday challenges, each finding that joy lies within the simple things -- such as a full supper dish for Snoopy.

The Miracle Worker
Feb. 25-27 and March 4-6
This Tony Award-winning production by William Gibson portrays the powerful story of Helen Keller and her teacher, Anne Sullivan. Keller, who lost her sight and hearing as an infant, is uncontrollable and uncommunicative by age six. Her parents enlist the help of Sullivan, who battles the wild, angry girl to reach the breakthrough moment that turns everyone's lives around.

Six Characters
March 24-27
What happens when characters -- quite literally -- take over a production? In this new adaptation of the Luigi Pirandello play, six characters who are unhappy with their author's lack of story development interrupt the rehearsal of another play. Trouble ensues when the director shifts his attention from the real actors in his own play to the lost characters looking for an end to their own story.

Kiss Me, Kate
April 8-10 and April 15-17
Like Six Characters, this story takes place behind the scenes of another production. Fred and his ex-wife Lilli are reunited to headline a Broadway version of The Taming of the Shrew. Their constant arguing and outside distractions -- such as gambling debts and new lovers -- play havoc with the production, but reveal their true feelings for each other. The Tony Award-winning play features music and lyrics by Cole Porter and will be a joint project with the music department as this year's Stars over Veishea production.