Friday, August 19, 2016

Bradley Announces Its 2016-17 Theatre Arts Season

Bradley University's Department of Theatre Arts has announced its 2016-17 season, with four shows that mix a surreal dystopic fantasy with comedy horror, heartbreaking history and a little Shakespeare just for fun.

On tap are Anne Washburn's Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play, where future survivors of some sort of apocalypse comfort themselves with performances of an old episode of The Simpsons. That will be followed by Emergency Prom by Steve Moulds, with a high school dance thrown by the kids who didn't fit in at the regular old prom; Melanie Marnich's These Shining Lives, a look at the short, tragic lives of "Radium Girls," who endangered their lives while painting watches that glowed in the dark; and Twelfth Night, Shakespeare's bittersweet comedy with mismatched lovers, identical twins and the triumph of chaos over order.

This is how they're describing the upcoming 2016-17 season:
Mr. Burns:  A Post-Electric Play by Anne Washburn. Music by Michael Friedman and lyrics by Anne Washburn.
September 22 - October 2, 2016
Part thriller, part musical, Mr. Burns asks how the stories we tell make us the people we are. In a near future where a cataclysmic series of nuclear disasters has left America without electricity, infrastructure, or mass communication, a small group of survivors huddles around a fire trying to remember the dialogue from a popular episode of The Simpsons. Seven years later they have become a theatre troupe, traveling the lawless, ravaged country to stage bits of The Simpsons in exchange for food and shelter. 75 years later still, the epic story of the nuclear disaster has become myth, enacting in musical theatre form the creation story of a new society and the dimly recalled saga of a revered hero named Bart.

Emergency Prom by Steve Moulds
November 10 - 13, 2016
A play featuring our fabulous freshman class It's 1996, a time before texting, Tinder, and Snapchat, and the misfits of Glen Burnie High hated last weekend's prom. What's an unlikely band of outsiders to do? Throw the prom they should have had, a do-over prom, an emergency prom, where Gus and Corey won't break up, where Stephanie and Billy will finally get together, where Patrick might get lucky, Manuel will have the "high school moment" he dreams of, and Melissa will get to dance with the secret love whose silence is breaking her heart. A hilarious, heartfelt look at a group of friends taking destiny into their own hands.

These Shining Lives by Melanie Marnich
February 16 – 26, 2017
In the 1920s and 30s, hundreds of Depression-era women in Central Illinois enjoyed well-paying jobs for the Radium Dial Company in Ottawa, about 70 miles from Peoria. There they painted faces onto watches and clocks with luminescent paint made from radium—an element whose toxicity was never explained to them—until their hands began to glow in the dark and their health problems grew too serious to ignore. Based on the historical record this haunting, inspirational play celebrates the bonds of friendship and solidarity that unite four young working women; the conflicts they share; and the vindication they seek that may or may not come in time. "Perfect, touching, and wistful..." —Talkin' Broadway

Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
April 20 – 30, 2017
"If music be the food of love, play on..." The perennial favorite and arguably Shakespeare's most transcendent comedy. A tale of young love in all its excess diverse, abetted by mistaken identity, gender confusion, unforgettable songs and exquisite poetry—not to mention some of Shakespeare's most vivid clowns and one of the greatest practical jokes in theatrical history. Originally written to celebrate the end of the Christmas season in the court of Queen Elizabeth, our production will herald the end of the school year and the beginning of summer.

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