September 06, 2019

Exciting season planned at SIU’s Marion Kleinau Theatre

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — The fall 2019 performance series at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Marion Kleinau Theatre features a diverse set of theatrical presentations by talented Saluki students and faculty.

All performances begin at 8 p.m. The Student Fine Arts Activity Fee supports some of the productions, allowing them to be presented at no cost to the audience. General admission for the other shows is $7 while the cost for students, with a valid ID, is $5.

Guest artists coming this fall

This semester’s theater schedule includes several free productions, including three starring special guest artists. The free shows include:

  • Sept. 7 – Graduate Student Performance Hour, featuring a variety of performance genres presented by new and returning graduate students.
  • Sept. 12 – “A Body in the O,” part of the Sept. 8-14 residency with Tim Miller, performance artist. This new production, created from Miller’s latest book of performances and stories, traces its roots to a day in 1984 when Miller climbed into the “O” of the famous Hollywood sign and imagined the performance space treehouse he dreamed of. It’s a journey that travels through such themes as Homeland Security, the human heart and a wedding day as Miller envisions the way performance changes the world.
  • Sept. 14 – “Body Maps,” the culmination of a week-long performance workshop Miler will conduct with SIU students. This ensemble, directed by Miller, will include pieces written and performed by the students.
  • Oct. 1 – “(Un)Documents,” a full-length solo show written and performed by award-winning actor and poet Jesus I. Valles, is a poignant look at the human side of citizenship, countries and documentation. It’s a journey between two countries, moving across the river with different names, languages and roles trying to find a place against the backdrop of documentation and citizenship without losing oneself.
  • Dec. 3 – Beginning Courses Spotlight Hour, incorporating some of the best work of students in beginning performance courses, such as performing culture and storytelling, as chosen by their instructors.
  • Dec. 5 – Advanced Courses Spotlight Hour, featuring some of the best work of undergraduate and graduate students in advanced performance courses.

More fall productions

The fall semester also features a variety of other presentations with paid admission. They include:

  • Sept. 26-28 – “Nourish,” written and performed by Christos Patelis and co-directed by Patelis and Rebecca Walker, the play explores the link between home cooking and identity by looking at the relationships between a grandmother, mother and son and how food and recipes connect people.
  • Nov. 7-9 – “Inheritance of a Flyover,” written, directed and performed by Anna Wilcoxen. For some people, the Midwest is a “flyover” spot linking one destination to another, but the people who live there have stories to tell, big and small, and an inheritance worth examining, which this production, with mature themes, explores.

A wide variety of presentations are planned during the spring 2020 semester as well. More details will be available later in the semester.

Special venue

The theater is entirely operated by students, with graduate students handling the technical and publicity aspects. Named in honor of Marion Kleinau, professor emeritus, the intimate, 110-seat theater is located on the second floor of the Communications Building.

The modern laboratory space provides the backdrop for communication studies students and faculty to explore, practice and refine their performance skills.

Many of the productions are experimental, providing unique learning opportunities in different styles and techniques while giving audiences quality entertainment.

Make reservations now

For advance reservations, call 618/453-5618.  All shows begin promptly at 8 p.m. and there is no admittance after the performance begins.

For additional information, email