Emporia State University Summer Theatre kicks off 58th season June 13

June 5, 2012

The 2012 Emporia State University Summer Theatre troupe prepares for the new season.

Two comedies, a farce and a children’s musical are the offerings for the 58th season of Emporia State University Summer Theatre, which opens Wednesday, June 13.

The four shows are:

  • June 13-16 — Dearly Beloved (Comedy) by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, Jamie Wooten
  • June 27-30Ken Ludwig’s The Fox on the Fairway (Farce)
  • July 11-14 — Leaving Iowa (Comedy) by Tim Clue and Spike Manton
  • July 25-27 — U:Bug:Me! (Children’s Musical) by Jeremiah Clay Neal

The opening production, Dearly Beloved by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten, is a comedy for all ages. The three Futrelle Sisters are throwing a wedding. But nothing is working out and now the bride and her groom are missing. As they try to figure out a way to salvage the wedding, they reunite their old singing group “The Sermonettes.” This hysterical, and ultimately heartwarming comedy is under the direction of Jim Bartruff. Chris Lohkamp will co-design the set along with the director. Amanda Dura will design the costumes, and Craig Moxon is the lighting designer.

Next up is the farcical comedy, The Fox on the Fairway written by Ken Ludwig. Ludwig's tribute to the great English farces of the 1930s and 1940s, The Fox on the Fairway takes audiences on a hilarious romp that pulls the rug out from underneath the stuffy denizens of a private country club. Filled with mistaken identities, slamming doors, and over-the-top romantic shenanigans, it is a furiously paced comedy. Jim Ryan will direct the production and guest artist Rick Rasmussen is the set and costume designer.

The third production is Leaving Iowa, a comedy by Tim Clue and Spike Manton. Leaving Iowa is the story of Don Browning, a middle-aged writer, who returns home to finally take his father's ashes to his childhood home. But when Don discovers Grandma's house is now a grocery store, he begins traveling across Iowa searching for a proper resting place. This father-and-son road trip shifts smoothly from the present to Don's memories of the annual, torturous vacations of his childhood. Don's existential journey leads him to reconcile his past and present at the center of the United States. Leaving Iowa is a postcard to anyone who has ever found themselves revisiting fond memories of his or her youth. The show is under the direction of Theresa Mitchell. Rick Rasmussen is the set and costume designer.

Closing out the season is the children’s musical U:Bug:Me! by Jeremiah Clay Neal. Life isn’t easy when you are a bug and Pico the housefly knows this only too well. His best friend is mad at him, his girlfriend, a caterpillar, is going through changes and an enormous horsefly is terrorizing him. A clever new musical for the whole family, this production is under the direction of Jim and Lindy Bartruff. ESU Theatre alum Ben Williams will design the set. His wife, Susan Williams, also an ESU theatre alum, will design the costumes. The final performance on Saturday, July 28 will be a 2 p.m. family matinee.

All performances are in the Karl C. Bruder Theatre in King Hall, with a 7:30 p.m. curtain (except for the final matinee performance of U:Bug:Me!) Individual tickets and season passes are available from the university box office at 620-341-6378.  

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