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Theatre Department Production Calendar

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ESU Theatre 2023 Season

How I Learned to Drive

by Paula Vogel

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize: Drama • Directed by Jim Harris

Ronald Q. Frederickson Theatre •

March 23-26, 2023

3-23: 7:30pm | 3-24: 7:30pm | 3-25: 7:30pm | 3-26: 2:00pm

A wildly funny, surprising, and devastating tale of survival as seen through the lens of a troubling relationship between a young girl and an older man. HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE is the story of a woman who learns the rules of the road and life from behind the wheel. Themes of sexual abuse, incest, and pedophilia. Winner of the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Love for Love

By William Congreve • Adapted by Dennis Turney, Jr. and Kevin Rabas

A Restoration disco-glam mashup: Comedy • Directed by Dennis Turney, Jr

Karl C. Bruder Theatre •

April 27-30, 2023

4-27: 7:30pm | 4-28: 7:30pm | 4-29: 7:30pm | 4-30: 2:00pm

William Congreve pokes satirical fun at the tittle tattle, vanity, scandalous behavior, and extravagance of the fashionable set. In this witty farce, love and money square off as two brothers attempt to follow their hearts without losing their inheritance. Adapted and directed by ESU Theatre Professor Dennis Turney, Jr., this witty Restoration comedy is transported to Studio 54 at the height of the disco era.

ESU 2023 Summer Season:

Ride the Cyclone

Music, lyrics and book by Jacob Richmond and Brooke Maxwell

A Musical Fantasy: Dark Comedy • Directed by Pete Rydberg

Karl C. Bruder Theatre •

June 22-25, 2023

6-22: 7:30pm | 6-23: 7:30pm | 6-24: 7:30pm | 6-25: 2:00pm

When life goes off the rails, we discover what really matters. Six teenagers from a Canadian chamber choir take one last ride on a rollercoaster that changes the course of each of their lives forever. At once quirky and smart, edgy and beautiful, RIDE THE CYCLONE ultimately reveals the resilience of the human spirit. “High-spirited and just plain fun from start to finish.” — New York Times

Ticket Information


  • General Audiences: $18
  • ESU Employees and Senior Citizens: $15
  • Student (any): Free
  • Guild members get 15% off tickets

Please let us know if any of your party may be accommodated for mobility/accessibility.

If you have any questions, please contact our Theatre Administrator Denisha Seiter at or by calling 620-341-5256.

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Theatre Guild

Consider joining the Theatre Guild and supporting ESU Theatre! The Emporia Theatre Guild serves as a “friends of the theatre” social club, committed to celebrating the arts through attending theatre productions, and extending the experience through social events fueled by friends, food, and cocktails. Learn more on the Theatre Guild page.