March 25, 2014

Big Muddy New Play Festival is April 3-6

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Department of Theater at Southern Illinois University Carbondale will present the Big Muddy New Play Festival, April 3-6, in the C.H. Moe Theater in the Communications Building. 

This year’s festival includes the full production of a play written by Jacob Juntunen, an assistant professor and head of the department’s playwriting program, along with readings of two full-length student plays. 

Here are the plays: 

  • “Joan's Laughter,” by Juntunen, is an engaging and thought-provoking look at the final hour before Joan of Arc's execution.  Joan’s enemies imprison her and convict her of heresy and torture her, demanding that she save her soul by repudiating her "voices." From its historical inspiration “Joan’s Laughter” explores the abandonment we all feel in our darkest moments.  Megan A. Smith of Chicago's Sideshow Theatre Company is guest director.  Jacob Josef designed the dramatic set and lighting, and Lauren Ramsey designed the costumes.  The student cast includes Matlyn Rybak as Joan, Dan Heise as Ladvenu, Emily Thompson as the nun, and Mitchell Connolly and Michael Wilson as belligerent prison guards. Performances are at 7:30 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, April 3-5, and 2 p.m. on April 6. Tickets are $16 adults and $6 for students. 
  • “Trixxxie 2.0” by graduate student Kirsten Easton, is set in the not-too-distant future and tells the story of a man with a sex-robot fetish who must decide between his fantasies and his marriage. Jason Hedrick directs a reading of this new play at 1 p.m. April 5.  Admission is free. 
  • “Be Free, Little Teacup Pig” by graduate student Jaclyn Grogan tells the story of a young woman working extra hours to save her family's home who unexpectedly finds that she must deliver a fragile creature to a foreign land. Patrick McGregor II directs a reading of this new play at 4 p.m. April 5.  Admission is free. 

Seating is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis.  Tickets for "Joan's Laughter" are available by contacting SouthernTicketsOnline, calling 618/453-6000, or at the McLeod Theater Box Office.  The box office, located in the Communications Building, is open from Noon to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday, and also one hour before performances.  Contact the theater department at 618/453-5741 for more information.