The OSU Department of Theatre will serve up terror, drama, disarming comedy, Shakespeare, and a musical suitable for the whole family, during its upcoming Main Stage season, so don’t miss a word, song, emotion or visual delight by buying your season tickets now through Oct. 7.
New this year, a “flex pass” feature on all season tickets that gives patrons the option to choose to see all four of the Main Stage productions in the Vivia Locke Theatre, or use any unused ticket to bring a friend to any of the remaining Main Stage productions. The flex pass is so flexible that all four season tickets could be used at one time, should family and/or friends wish to join you for a show. The discounted season ticket rate is $40 general admission, $30 for seniors (65+) and $25 for students.
The 2017-2018 Main Stage season starts with “The Birds” by Conor McPherson, running Oct. 5-7 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 8 at 2:30 p.m. Murderous birds provide the backdrop and the terror for this tense and harrowing drama of three unlikely people forced together for survival – but will anyone get out alive? Acclaimed contemporary Irish playwright Conor McPherson bases his play on the same short story Alfred Hitchcock used for his 1962 horror film of the same name, but the similarities end there. “The Birds” includes some strong language, and parental guidance is advised for children. Department head Andrew Kimbrough directs the production.
One of William Shakespeare’s early plays, “The Comedy of Errors,” will run Nov. 30, Dec. 1-2 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 3 at 2:30 p.m. “The Comedy of Errors” utilizes slapstick comedy instead of the verbal humor typically featured in Shakespeare’s later plays. Stolen money, betrayed wives and lovers, charges of insanity and proof of demonic possession – what more could an audience want? In this absurd farce by the acknowledged master of the English language, chaos breaks loose as long-separated identical twins and their identical twin servants attempt to reunite. Sound implausible? You bet! Funny? Absolutely! “The Comedy of Errors” is directed by Professor of Performance Lloyd Caldwell, who has recently headed OSU Theatre’s physical comedies “The 39 Steps” and “Shipwrecked!” For this production, OSU Theatre will be offering a reduced ticket price of $5 for children 12 and under.
The spring semester will begin with “How I Learned to Drive” by Paula Vogel. The play will run Feb. 22-24 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 25 at 2:30 p.m. In this gripping drama and disarming comedy, Paula Vogel explores the journey a woman takes in reconciling a history of abuse at the hands of her family members, particularly her uncle. “How I Learned to Drive” premiered in 1997 and went on to win numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Twenty years later, the play still delivers as its story of abuse and recovery remains all too common. This play is for mature audiences only and not suitable for children.
Raphael Parry, executive and artistic director for Shakespeare Dallas, will be guest directing “How I Learned to Drive.” Parry has been with Shakespeare Dallas since 2002, serving first as producing artistic director before assuming his current role. He co-founded and was the former co-artistic director of Undermain Theatre in Dallas, where he directed and acted in more than 40 productions. Parry has received awards from Dallas Theatre Critics’ Forum, the Leon Rabin Awards and the Dallas Theatre League. The play will be the first produced at OSU with funds from the Mary Lou Lemon Professorship, currently held by Assistant Professor Lee Brasuell. The professorship was established by the late Robert Lemon specifically to support programming in the Department of Theatre that gives voice to subjects and artists recognized as underrepresented in mainstream arts programming.
The final production will be the annual musical, “She Loves Me” by Joe Masteroff, Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick. The musical will run April 26-28 at 7:30 p.m. and April 29 at 2:30 p.m. The authors base their musical on a play from 1937, “Parfumerie,” by Hungarian playwright Miklos Laszlo, which inspired the 1998 Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan movie, “You’ve Got Mail.” The musical follows Amalia and Georg, two coworkers in a Budapest perfume shop, who can’t stand each other. But they find love in their respective pen pals, completely unaware they are corresponding with each other! The two coworkers quickly learn an uncomfortable truth – there’s no accounting for love. This musical is suitable for the whole family, and OSU Theatre will be offering a reduced rate of $5 for children 12 and under.
OSU Theatre welcomes three new faculty members to the department. Maggie Gayle joins the faculty as visiting assistant professor of scenography. Maggie received her B.F.A. in theatre and a minor in art from Emporia State University, and her M.F.A. in scenic design from Brandeis University. Gayle will serve as scenic designer for three of the Main Stage productions and teach classes in scenic design, props design, and props construction. Renee Garcia comes on board as the visiting assistant professor of costume design. Garcia received a B.A. in theatre from Florida State and her M.F.A. in costume design from the University of Missouri, Kansas City. Garcia will serve as costume designer for three of the Main Stage performances and teach classes in costume design and construction. Also joining the faculty is Leslie J. Miller as instructor of professional practice in dance. Miller will be a full-time faculty member administering and teaching classes for the brand new minor in dance. She received the B.F.A. in Ballet from University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music, and the M.F.A. in dance performance from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Season tickets are on sale now through the first production in October. Season tickets can be purchased online or in person at the Theatre Office, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday. For more information about the shows and season tickets, visit theatre.okstate.edu or call (405) 744-6094. Because the Department of Theatre receives no state funding for its production season, but relies entirely on box office revenue, grants, and donations, gifts in support of the production season are highly appreciated. Potential donors are encouraged to contact Andrew Kimbrough, the head of the department, to discuss their involvement.