Four shows remain in Emporia State Theatre’s 2012-13 season

October 15, 2012

Now that the Homecoming Scholarship Musical has had its run, it’s time for the Emporia State University Theatre Department to prepare for the rest of its season. The 2012-13 season of Emporia State University Theatre continues with a hilarious Christmas comedy, an Irish drama, a new American play and the annual spring dance show.

Jim Bartruff, director of theatre, announced these shows:

  •  “Inspecting Carol” by Daniel Sullivan and the Seattle Repertory Theatre, Nov. 28-30 and Dec. 1;
  • “Dancing at Lughnasa” by Brian Friel, Feb. 27-28, 2013, and March 1-2;
  • “Brownstone” by Catherine Butterfield, April 10-13 and 17-20; and
  • “La Diner” spring dance show, May 3, 2013.

ESU Theatre alum Larry Mitchell (BFA, 2005) returns to his alma mater to direct the holiday production “Inspecting Carol” by Daniel Sullivan and members of the Seattle Repertory Theatre. In this hilarious backstage comedy, a man who asks to audition at a small theater is mistaken for an informer for the National Endowment for the Arts. Everyone caters to the bewildered wannabe actor, and he is given a role in the current production, “A Christmas Carol.” Everything goes wrong and hilarity is piled upon hilarity. Senior Noah Mefford (Burlington) is the lighting designer. Ron Fowlkes is the set designer and Amanda Dura designs the costumes. Senior Yui Watanabe (Chiba, Japan) designs the makeup and hair. The production is rated PG-13 for language and adult situations.

“Dancing at Lughnasa” won three Tony Awards in 1992.  Set in the 1930s, it focuses on five unmarried sisters living together in the Irish countryside. The household is made up of the imperious teacher Kate, the irreverent Maggie, the serene and steady Agnes, the sweetly eccentric Rose and the romantic Chris, who has given birth to an illegitimate son, Michael.

The women cling to their knitting needles and the radio. Young Michael cleaves to his kite, as his absentee father, Gerry, unexpectedly arrives on his motorcycle. Meanwhile, the sisters’ older brother, Jack, returns home from 25 years of missionary work. “Dancing at Lughnasa” achieved critical acclaim and commercial success on Broadway in 1992. It became a celebrated film starring Meryl Streep in 1998. The production is under the direction of Dr. Jim Ryan. The set designer is Nancy Pontius. Susan Mai and Fowlkes design costumes and lights.

The season continues with a new American comic-drama, “Brownstone,” where three points of time converge in a New York brownstone, spanning 80 years and encompassing the lives of three pairs of people. There are the newlyweds who long to move to Paris, aspiring actresses who struggle to get their big break, and a young couple who find their relationship complicated by an unexpected pregnancy. With nothing but the roof above their head in common, all these characters share in New York experiences of compromising ambition, falling in love, and making memories.

Written by Catherine Butterfield, ESU Theatre is proud to present the play’s regional premiere. “Brownstone” is under the direction of Theresa Mitchell. Fowlkes is the set designer and Dura will design the costumes. Pontius is the lighting designer.

In addition to these productions, ESU Theatre will present “La Diner,” our Spring Dance Show featuring the music of the 1950s. Staged and choreographed by Lindy Bartruff, the dance show will be presented in the Karl C. Bruder Theatre on Friday, May 3 for one performance only.

Curtain for all performances will be at 7:30 pm. For additional information about the Theatre Department or its season, please visit www.emporia.edu/theatre or check out the department's Facebook group, ESU Theatre. 

For reservations, call the University Box Office in the Memorial Union toll-free at 1-877-341-6378.

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