Monday, August 22, 2016

ISU's Fall Shows, Now With Casting and Website Update

Since I posted a piece on Illinois State University's 2016-17 theater schedule in June, ISU (as a whole, it appears) has undergone a massive website change, meaning that the schedule is no longer listed in one place. The handy history chart – detailing what had been performed at ISU each year back to somewhere in the 90s – is also MIA. If those things reappear at some point or if one of you finds where they've been moved to, I would love to hear about it. I am a big fan of a good list, especially one that qualifies as reference material. And this time, I'll copy and paste it somewhere just so I know it's safe.

Until then... Well, here's a reminder of what's happening with ISU theatre this fall, now updated with casting information in the wake of last week's auditions. Although I haven't found an event listing with a link to ticket-buying information for all of these shows together, there is a short one ("Upcoming Events") at the bottom of this page that hits the beginning of Waiora and does have a ticket info button.

WAIORA by Hone Kouka
September 30 to October 9, Center for the Performing Arts Hone Kouka was the youngest-ever writer to win New Zealand's Bruce Mason Playwriting Award in 1992. He is of Ngati Porou, Ngati Raukawa and Ngati Kahungunu descent, and he often writes about Maori characters and issues. Waiora tells the story of a Maori family struggling to find an identity and a sense of home when they move from a rural life to a more urban one.
Directed by Kim Pereira
Wai: Brandi Jones
Amiria: Emilia Dvorak
Boyboy: Alex Levy
Rongo: Hannah Spohnholtz
Steve: Mac Byrd
Louise: Emma Harmon
The Tipuna: William Brown, Anastasia Ferguson, Anthony Harden, Cayla Jones and Chloe Szot

TWO SHORT PLAYS: THE COFFEE BAR by Ali Salem and THE WALLS by Griselda Gambaro
October 21 to 29, Westhoff Theatre
These two short plays, to be performed together as one evening of theater, deal with how artists respond in the face of political repression and fear. Egyptian playwright Ali Salem used humor and satire in The Coffee Bar, his 1968 play that critiques the politics of power and the effect on the powerless, while Argentinian playwright Griselda Gambaro wrote The Walls in 1965, putting a harsh spotlight on the kidnappings, torture and executions that were part and parcel of daily life under the Argentinian police state.
Directed by Janet Wilson
Producer: Gina Cleveland
Author: Daija Nealy
Coffee Bar Attendant: Simran Sachdev
Directed by Bruce Burningham
Young Man: Daniel Esquivel
Usher: Ryan Groves
Functionary: Daniel Balsamo

IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE: A Live Radio Play, adapted by Joe Landry
December 2 to 9, Center for the Performing Arts 
It's a Wonderful Life, the 1946 Frank Capra movie about a man who meets an angel on Christmas Eve and learns his ordinary life was worth living, often shows up at the very top of Favorite Movies Ever lists. Joe Landry reimagined it as a 1940s radio play, with actors behind big standing microphones, scripts in hand, sound effects performed with wood blocks and car horns, and a big APPLAUSE sign cuing the audience.
Directed by Connie de Veer
George Bailey: William Olsen
Mary Bailey: Sarah Seidler
Billy/Clarence: Jack VanBoven
Violet/Zuzu: Breeann Dawson
Gower/Potter/Joseph: Mark de Veer
Mrs. Hatch/Stage Manager/Foley Artist/Pianist: Marixa Ford
Pete/Peter Bailey/Burt/Ernie/Sam W.: Everson Pierce
Announcer/Mr Welch/Martini/Tommy/Harry: Jacob Artner
Ruth/Matilda: Gina Sanfilippo
Janie/Sadie Vance/Rose Bailey: Becky Murphy

And there you have it. With the addition of the Fall Dance Concert, with performances November 3, 4 and 5,  ISU's fall season is complete. You can find info on individual performances, including ticket prices, if you use the ISU Event calendar and ask for the month you want.

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