Sixty Seasons and Beyond...
2008-2009 JSU Theatre Season
Offers Variety, Quality
Since the first Masque and Wig Guild production of You Can’t Take it With You in 1947, Jacksonville State University’s Drama Department seeks to produce varied, high-quality student productions.
This year, the tradition will continue with two Pulitzer Prize winners: Fences, a drama by August Wilson; and Neil Simon’s comic drama Lost in Yonkers, which will be an Alpha Psi Omega Student Scholarship Production. Also hitting the Stone Center stage this season: the dark musical Sweeney Todd, from the book by Hugh Wheeler with music and lyrics from Stephen Sondheim; Death by Darkness, a drama by Elisabeth Orndorff, winner of 2008’s Southern Playwright’s competition; Tartuffe, a French classic satire by Moliere translated by Richard Wilbur; and Sylvia, a comedy by A.R. Gurney.
The plays selected for this season were chosen by the faculty with the help and input from students and community in a selection process that lasted about three months. The plays were selected from a variety of theatre classics and modern plays to provide the audience with grand variety, as well as new challenges for the production and performers.
First on the season calendar will be Fences, which runs from October 9-12. The winner of virtually every major award including the New York Drama Critics, Tony and the Pulitzer Prize, Fences was described by the New York Post reviewer as “One of the richest experiences I have ever had in the theatre. I wasn’t just moved. I was transfixed.” This production is best enjoyed by ages 13 and up due to period racial language.
On November 20-23, the drama of Fences will be followed by comedy in the form of Moliere’s Tartuffe. This famous farce of hypocrisy and manipulation is told with biting wit and escalating absurdity, and is best enjoyed by ages 12 and up.
In early spring 2009, the Stone Center stage will flow red with revenge as the demon barber of Fleet Street makes his appearance in the highly popular dark musical Sweeney Todd. This sophisticated, macabre, intense drama is filled with hysterically funny moments of dark humor as well as frightening surprises. Best for ages 12 and up, Sweeney Todd runs February 19-22 and February 26-March 1, 2009.
April 2-5, the Alpha Psi Omega Student Scholarship Production of Neil Simon’s comic drama Lost in Yonkers will play the Stone Center stage. This Pulitzer Prize and Tony winning play about family is hailed as one of Simon’s best. From Newsweek: “Laugher and tears have come together in a new emotional truth. There are moments in this play when you experience a new kind of laughter that implodes straight into your heart.” This show is best enjoyed by ages 12 and older. (Please note that this production is not included in the mainstage season package. )
Can a stray Lab and Poodle mix come between a man and wife? Will Sylvia get to stay or is she destined for the pound? These are the questions to be answered in Sylvia, A.R. Gurney’s comedy, which will play Stone Center May 14-17, 2009. Described by the New York Daily News as “involving, funny, touching and profound,” Sylvia is best suited for ages 13 and up due to strong sexual language.
Rounding out the 2008-2009 season is Death by Darkness by Elizabeth Orndorff, winner of 2008’s Southern Playwright’s Competition. This show is set for June 25-28, 2009 and is best for ages 13-up. As the latest party of curiosity seekers is led into the Star Chamber of Mammoth Cave on an overnight expedition in 1842, slave guide Stephen Bishop warns that the cave will change them. No one realizes how much the change will cost, as secrets are uncovered and buried before the group is led out of darkness.
Season tickets are available and include all productions except Lost in Yonkers. (Season ticket holders will be offered the opportunity to purchase Lost in Yonkers tickets at a discount.)
Sr. Citizen/ JSU Personnel: $33
Main stage Plays--
Sr. Citizen/ JSU Personnel: $8
Student/ Military: $5
Main stage Musicals--
Sr. Citizen/ JSU Personnel: $12
Student/ Military: $10
For more information about any of the 2008-2009 productions, call the JSU Drama Department at ext. 5648.
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