2016-17 IU Theatre Season Announced

June 7, 2016

Bloomington, IND – Fans of contemporary theatre will have a lot to look forward to in the upcoming 2016-17 IU Theatre Season, but Shakespeare aficionados also have reason to rejoice, as beloved actor and director Henry Woronicz takes the reins for a new production of The Tempest in late February. Bridging the expanse between the 17th Century and today will be MFA director Katie Horwitz’s Duchess of Malfi. Horwitz directed this past season’s brilliant reimagining of Antigone.

At a glance:
Dancing at Lughnasa (1990) Sep 23-Oct 1
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (2012) Oct 21-29
Jesus Christ Superstar (1970) Nov 4-12
The Exonerated (2002) Dec 2-10
The 2017 Winter Dance Concert: Roots to Wings, Jan 13-15
The Duchess of Malfi (1613) Feb 3-11
The Tempest (1611) Feb 24-Mar 4
At First Sight: a new play by Bruce Walsh (2017), Mar 24-Apr 1
The Drowsy Chaperone (1998) Apr 14-22
New Moves: Student Choreographers’ Showcase Apr 27-28

The 2016-17 IU Theatre Season will open with Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa, a beautiful and bittersweet memory play that takes place in one summer in 1930’s Ireland.  Five sisters, all with few prospects and little hope of marrying, share a small cottage in County Donegal. Their brother returns home from time abroad as a missionary in Africa. A story of family, love, hope, and ultimately, the reality of inescapable circumstances.
MFA Thesis projects: Emmie Phelps (Costume Design), Jeff Baldwin (Technical Direction), Lani Tortoriello (Cutter/Draper)
MFA Thesis roles: Ashley Dillard (Kate), Christopher J. Handley (Michael)

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike by Christopher Durang is a comedy about a very different kind of family. Vanya and Sonia have lived their uneventful lives in the family home since the passing of their parents, while sister Masha pursued fame and fortune. Masha now owns the house and returns with a preening young lover and an intent to sell the house, throwing the family into disarray. With connections to Anton Chekov, Vanya mixes the serious and comic in a way that is decidedly Durang.

George Pinney directs Jesus Christ Superstar as the final production of his 30-year directing career at Indiana University. He has big plans for this well-known rock spectacle. In a recent production meeting, he emphasized “light breaking through darkness,” and seems poised to keep our designers and tech team on their toes.
MFA Thesis project: Matt Wofford (Lighting Design)

Second year directing MFA Liam Castellan brings us The Exonerated, a play which lays bare the manipulation, coercion, and very real injustice inherent in our judicial system through the voices of six average Americans, all wrongly accused of murder and eventually exonerated after being put on death row. The cast for this production will include Ansley Valentine (Delbert), who will be joining the Department’s Acting and Directing faculty in Fall 2016. Valentine is currently Director of Theatre at Northern Michigan University.

The 2017 Winter Dance Concert: Roots to Wings will feature new choreography by IU dance faculty, including Elizabeth Shea, Selene Carter, Nyama McCarthy-Brown, Iris Rosa and George Pinney, as well as works by José Limón and Andrea Miller, artistic director of Gallim Dance.

MFA director Katie Horwitz will once again show how theatre of the past remains relevant today. The Duchess of Malfi by Jacobean dramatist John Webster is considered one of the greatest tragedies of English renaissance drama. With some of the most creative (and abundant) murder in the canon, we look forward to this new production of a classic tale of defiance and revenge.
MFA Thesis projects: Katie Horwitz (Directing), Jeff Baldwin (Technical Direction), Lani Tortoriello (Cutter/Draper)
MFA Thesis Role: Jason Craig West (Daniel de Bosola)

A favorite for its wonderful mix of drama and comedy, William Shakespeare’s The Tempest is sure to be a crowd pleaser, accessible even for those less familiar with the language of Shakespeare. It’s tale full of magic, romance, delightful drunken confusion, and a happy ending for all. Directed by critically acclaimed actor, director and producer Henry Woronicz, whose extensive experience with the Bard includes 11 seasons at Oregon Shakespeare Festival where he served as Artistic Director.
MFA Thesis project:  Kevin Nelson (Scenic Design)
MFA These role: Matthew Murry (Prospero)

At First Sight, IU’s M.F.A. playwriting program, once again gives audiences a first-hand look at the development process with staged readings of early drafts leading up to performances in the Wells-Metz Theatre. This year, IU Theatre presents a new work by third-year playwright Bruce Walsh.
MFA Thesis project: Aaron Wardwell (Costume Design)

Gangsters-turned-pastry-chefs, seductive Spaniards, and a well-oiled chaperone will have you roaring like the 20s in The Drowsy Chaperone! IU Theatre icon George Pinney takes the stage to share his talent one last time, as the melancholy “Man in Chair”. As he listens to his favorite record, his drab apartment gives way to the sparkling sets and lavish costumes of this “musical within a musical”.
MFA Thesis Project – Bridget Williams (Lighting Design)

Full Schedule:

September 23-October 1
Dancing at Lughnasa

by Brian Friel
Directed by Dale McFadden

Ruth N. Halls Theatre

October 21-29
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
by Christopher Durang
Directed by Jonathan Michaelsen
Wells-Metz Theatre

November 4-12
Jesus Christ Superstar
Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Lyrics by Tim Rice
Directed and Choreographed by George Pinney
Music direction by Brandon Porter
Ruth N. Halls Theatre

December 2-10
The Exonerated
by Jessica Blank and Eric Jensen
Directed by Liam Castellan
Wells-Metz Theatre

January 13-15
The 2017 Winter Dance Concert:Roots to Wings
Ruth N. Halls Theatre

February 3-11
The Duchess of Malfi
by John Webster
Directed by Katie Horwitz
Wells-Metz Theatre

February 24-March 4
The Tempest
by William Shakespeare
Directed by Henry Woronicz

March 24-April 1
At First Sight: a new play by Bruce Walsh
Director TBA
Wells-Metz Theatre

April 14-22
The Drowsy Chaperone
Book by Bob Martin and Don McKellar
Music and lyrics by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison
Directed by Kenneth L. Roberson
Choreography by Liza Gennaro
Music direction by Terry LaBolt
Ruth N. Halls Theatre

April 27-28
New Moves: Student Choreographers’ Showcase
Produced by Selene Carter
Venue TBA

WHERE: Lee Norvelle Theatre and Drama Center, 275 N. Jordan Ave., Bloomington

TICKETS: Regular admission is $25 for adults, $15 for students, $20 for seniors.  For more information, call 812.855.1103 or visit theatre.indiana.edu. For group discounts contact Abby Miller at millabby@iu.edu.

For interviews and additional production information, contact Amy Osajima at aosajima@indiana.edu