August 11, 2004

New season set for McLeod Theater

by Bonnie Marx

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Feminism through the centuries, twins on a journey of self-discovery and a family with five sisters in the hills of rural 1930s Ireland are the stories that will unfold during the 2004-2005 season at Southern Illinois University Carbondale's McLeod Theater.

McLeod Theater, a fully equipped performance space, presents four major productions each year. In 2006, the theater will celebrate its 40th anniversary by presenting one show from each of the four previous decades.

Enhancing cultural outreach efforts is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it reaches its 150th anniversary in 2019.

For the 2004-2005 season, the schedule is:

On the Verge

7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, Sept. 29-Oct. 2; 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 3 "On the Verge, or the Geography of Yearning" is the story of three intrepid female explorers who set out in 1888 on a quest to prove they are not the weaker sex. Along the way they encounter strange characters and strange objects from the future. Playwright Eric Overmyer lets his characters roam through space and time until they end up at the height of American culture in the 1950s, where each woman must decide to accept or reject her future. Lori Merrill-Fink, associate professor of theater, will direct.

The Green Bird

7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, Nov. 10-13; 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 14

Written in 1765 by Venetian comic playwright Carlo Gozzi, "The Green Bird" tells the story of an unusual dysfunctional family. Tartagliona, grandmother to twins Renzo and Barbarina, holds their mother captive in the royal toilets underneath the castle. Tartagliona replaces the twins -- who were supposed to have been killed but are kindly being raised by sausage sellers -- with puppies. The story of the abandoned twins' search for their true identity incorporates characters from traditional commedia dell'arte along with serpents, magical creatures and talking statues. J. Thomas Kidd, who earned his M.F.A. in directing at SIUC in 1998, directs.


7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 25-26; 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, March 3-5; 2 p.m. Sunday, March 6

The Department of Theater and the School of Music are still choosing this year's musical.

Dancing at Lughnasa

7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, April 27-30; 2 p.m. Sunday, May 1

In "Dancing at Lughnasa," a young boy tells the story of growing up in a fatherless home with his unmarried mother and four spinster aunts in 1930s Ireland. Blending spontaneous dance and song, the play explores themes of myth, spiritual longing, faith and freedom of choice in a life that is not always easy or fair. Written by Brian Friel, Nigerian Segun Ojewuy will direct. The play will run in conjunction with the annual Irish Festival.

Season tickets are $37 for adults (ages 16-59), $30 for seniors (age 60 or more) and $20 for SIUC students, other students and children. Individual performance tickets are $11 for adults, $9 for seniors and $6 for students and children.

Tickets for McLeod events are available at McLeod Box Office, located at the south entrance of the Communications Building. The box office is open noon to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and one hour before each performance. Tickets are available for purchase by telephone by calling 618/453-3001.