August 22, 2012

Theater department announces 2012-2013 season

by Vincent Rhomberg

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Southern Illinois University Carbondale Department of Theater announces its 2012-2013 season, and asks: Are you ready to feel the passion?

The season begins with the electrifying rock musical "Rent," the first in the Four Show Subscription Series.  "Rent" runs Oct. 18-21.  The Tony-award winning musical -- a twist on the famed opera "La Bohéme -- tells the story of a group of young artists who struggle to achieve their dreams despite the adverse realities of the bohemian Lower East Side of Manhattan, and under the shadow of the HIV epidemic.  Recommended for mature teens and adults, the production is directed by Courtney Self and musically co-directed by Kay Satoh and Tim Fink.

Next up and in time for the holiday season is the "fun for all and all for fun" "The Three Musketeers."  This hilarious, action-packed update, loosely based on the novel by Alexandre Dumas, runs Nov. 29-Dec. 2. In this version, dashing d'Artganan is forced to take along his kid sister on his musketeer adventure. The story is full of villains, international intrigue, a dangerous lady, and, of course, friendship.  Recommended for all audiences.  J. Thomas Kidd directs.

The season continues with "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf," running Feb. 21-24.  This contemporary classic, blending theater, music, poetry, and dance, tells the story of seven African-American women who examine the struggles and obstacles in their lives. Recommended for mature teens and adults.

The subscription series climaxes with the searing romantic drama "Reasons to be Pretty," running April 25-28.  An off-hand remark about the "regular" looks of a lover ignites a series of confrontations and discoveries delivered with the compassionate insight and razor-sharp wit of one of America's most vibrant contemporary playwrights. Recommended for mature teens and adults.

These productions begin at 7:30 p.m., with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. at the McLeod Theater in the Communications Building. Tickets for the four-show subscription series are $56 for adults and $24 for students, and are on sale now.  Individual tickets for these productions are $16 for adults and $6 for students and are available beginning Sept. 4.

In addition to the subscription series and regular theater season, the Department of Theater offers three special productions.

"The Three Seasons of Cora," by Erin R. Zimmerman, makes its world premiere in the C. H. Moe Theater (Communications Building) with a Nov. 1-4 run.  This new play tells the story of a late 19th century West Virginia young woman claimed, tamed, and ultimately changed by the oppressive forces of society. Segun Ojewuyi directs the play.  Tickets are $12 and $6.

The comic opera "Cosi Fan Tutte," with music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte, takes the stage for two performances only, on Feb. 8 and 10.  In this hugely popular opera, two men set out to prove their fiancées are faithful by wooing them in disguise. The opera is performed in English with the Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Edward Benyas.  Tim Fink directs the production. Paul Transue is the musical director. The show performs Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. at Shryock Auditorium. Tickets are $16 and $6.

The Playwrights' Festival comes along March 28-31, with a collection of new works from SIU playwrights. Silly, serious, satirical or sensationalistic, new works form the foundation for the future of American theater. The festival is coordinated under the artistic direction of Jacob Juntunen who takes the helm of the Department of Theater’s playwriting program.  Plays are presented in the C.H. Moe Theater. Tickets are $12 and $6.

Subscription series and individual tickets may be purchased by calling 618/453-6000, online at, in person at the McLeod Theater or Shryock Auditorium Mon.–Fri. noon-5 p.m., or by mail with a ticket order form. SouthernTicketsOnline provides ticketing services for the Department of Theater. Some fees apply to phone and online purchases.

For more information, visit .