The University Players 2014/15 season will open and close with comedies, with Shakespeare, romance and drama in the middle.
“Join us this season for a unique theatrical experience,” says Tina Pugliese, director of the School of Dramatic Art. “It will have you laughing, gasping, and holding your breath—sometimes all at once!”
All six productions will boast Saturday matinée performances, and two of the shows will be staged in the Hatch Studio Theatre rather than Essex Hall. The intimate space gives audience members a chance to get closer to the action.
Starting off the season is Molière Impromptu, September 19 to 28 in the Essex Hall Theatre. Translated and adapted by Rinne Groff and directed by Jim Warren, this mash-up of three short works by the French comic master brings his company to 1665 Versailles for a command performance for the king. With time running out, a staging of improvised hilarity rises to a crescendo as the actors rush to pull together a stellar performance worthy of winning the hearts of the French court.
A Hallowe’en production of the haunting Blood Relations retells the story of accused axe murderer Lizzie Borden. The award-winning Canadian drama by Sharon Pollock and directed by Brian Taylor will hit the Hatch Studio Theatre stage from October 24 to November 9.
Arthur Miller’s classic political parable The Crucible explores the Salem witch hunt, unmasking deadly truths about the nature of humanity and the terrifying ends to which a society will go when caught up in suspicion and mass hysteria. The play runs November 21 to 30 in Essex Hall Theatre under the direction of Gordon McCall.
In Essex Hall Theatre from February 6 to 15, the breathlessly romantic To Moscow is based on true events from the lives of theatrical legends Anton Chekhov and Konstantin Stanislavski. Relationships blossom and partnerships are pushed to the limits, but in the end strength, dedication and love prevail in this passionate tale. Written by Karen Sunde, this production is directed by Liza Balkan.
McCall directs the Shakespearean comedy Twelfth Night, a celebration of romance, satire, and mistaken identity, March 6 to 22 in the Hatch Studio Theatre. This ensemble production will whisk audiences away on a crazy adventure with a thoroughly satisfying conclusion.
Closing out the season is The Nerd, by Larry Shue. When an aspiring architect receives a visit from a socially inept man who once saved his life, everything falls apart—threatening his relationships and career. Taylor directs this side-splitting, laugh-out-loud comedy April 10 to 19 in Essex Hall Theatre.