IU Theatre’s 2015-16 Season mixes cutting-edge new works with celebrated classics

March 25, 2015

Bloomington, Ind –  The Indiana University Department of Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance announces an eclectic new season, filled with classics, new plays by emerging voices, good natured buffoonery, original choreography, and renowned cutting-edge contemporary work.

HeddaIU Theater will kick-off the 2015-16 season with Henrik Ibsen’s masterpiece, Hedda Gabler (Sep. 25 – Oct. 3). First produced in 1891, Ibsen shocked audiences with this story of a woman seeking earthly power within a society that refuses to acknowledge her inner complexities. Dale McFadden – longtime head of IU’s MFA directing program – will lead this new production on the heels of directing River City at the Phoenix Theatre in Indianapolis.

MrBurnsWhen Anne Washburn’s Mr. Burns, a post-electric play (Oct. 23 – Oct. 31) opened in New York in 2013, the New York Times raved, “… downright brilliant… [this play] has arrived to leave you dizzy with the scope and dazzle of its ideas.” Now Indiana University will bring Washburn’s startling dystopian landscape to life, directed by department chair, Jonathan R. Michaelson. In a fallen American future, a band of survivors retell Simpson’s episodes in an attempt to conjure a shared, comforting past. But as the years pass, these tales take on the symbolic power of religion.

SweetCharityKenneth L. Roberson – Indiana University’s new Musical Theatre Professor of Practice – will direct Sweet Charity (Nov. 6 – Nov. 14). Working primarily as a choreographer in New York, Roberson’s Broadway credits include, Avenue Q, All Shook Up, Purlie (Encores!), and Freak. Sweet Charity brings one of the most iconic characters of musical theater to the stage. Charity Hope Valentine is dancehall regular, down on her luck, and nurturing her broken dreams. With a book by Neil Simon and music by Cy Colman, Charity premiered in 1966 to rave reviews and nine Tony nominations.

AntigoneSecond-year MFA director, Katie Horowitz, will direct Jean Anouilh’s Antigone (Dec. 4 – Dec. 12). A classic of the modern stage, this 1944 version of Sophocles’ tragedy was first presented in Nazi occupied France, highlighting the individual’s struggle for justice in an unjust society.

WinterDanceEach year the Winter Dance Concert (Jan. 15 – 17) pairs IU Dance students with a different professional visiting company, providing a one-of-a-kind learning experience for the students, and a chance for Bloomington to experience the work of some of the most revered contemporary dance-makers in the world.

MacbethThird-year MFA director, David Kote, will direct Macbeth (Feb. 5 – Feb. 13), Shakespeare’s enduring tale of ambition, lust, greed, and the power of seduction. When three mysterious witches proclaim Macbeth will become King of Scotland, the successful general’s hubris erupts like a demon, driving him to murder and betrayal in his quest for the throne.

NoisesEnglish playwright Michael Frayn’s 1982 hit, Noises Off (Feb. 26 – Mar. 5) continues to be one of the most widely produced comedies worldwide. Directed by IU Professor of Acting and Directing, Murray McGibbon, the play features a downtrodden troupe of actors attempting to perform a tepid farce. But in Frayn’s ingenious framing, we get to see this performance from backstage, bearing witness to the cast’s frantic efforts to keep the show afloat.

AFSnewSince 2011, Indiana University has recruited one MFA playwriting candidate per year, committing to support the development of that writer over a three-year period and, crucially, to produce their work in IU Theatre’s mainstage season. For the fourth consecutive year, At First Sight, a repertory of new plays by MFA playwrights (Mar. 25 – Apr. 2) will present two fully realized works by IU’s emerging voices. This year’s festival includes works by third-year candidate, Mauricio Miranda (author of last year’s American Asteroid), and second-year candidate, Bruce Walsh.

BBAJProduced on Broadway in 2010, Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson (Apr. 15 – Apr. 23) is one of the most inventive musicals of the last decade, winning a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book and an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Musical. Directed by the Head of Musical Theatre, George Pinney, this one-of-a-kind theatrical experience reimagines President Andrew Jackson as an Emo-Punk star, as the turbulence of his life is transposed into a biting rock-umentary.

HammerNailLed by IU Dance professor, Selene Carter, IU Contemporary Dance Theatre presents New Moves: Student Choreography Showcase (Apr. 28 – 29). This student showcase moves to the main stage this year and features innovative new works by emerging dance makers. 

WHAT: The 2015-16 IU Theatre Season
Hedda Gabler (Sep. 25 – Oct. 3)
Mr. Burns, a post-electric play (Oct. 23 – Oct. 31)
Sweet Charity (Nov. 6 – Nov. 14)
Antigone (Dec. 4 – Dec. 12)
Winter Dance Concert:  Leading Edges (Jan. 15 – 17)
Macbeth (Feb. 5 – Feb. 13)
Noises Off (Feb. 26 – Mar. 5)
At First Sight, a repertory of new plays by IU MFA playwrights (Mar. 25 – Apr. 2)
New Moves: Student Choreographers Showcase (Apr. 28 – Apr. 29)
Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson (Apr. 15 – Apr. 23)

WHERE: The Ruth N. Halls Theatre and the Wells-Metz Theatre, Lee Norvelle Theatre and Drama Center, 275 N. Jordan Ave.

TICKETS: Regular admission is $25 for adults, $15 for students, $20 for senior citizens. 812.855.1103 or theatre.indiana.edu. For group discounts contact Stacy Brown (staabrow@indiana.edu).

For more event details and interview requests, contact Amy Osajima (aosajima@indiana.edu).

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