SU Drama ready to launch 2006-07 season
SU Drama ready to launch 2006-07 season September 18, 2006SU News ServicesSUnews@syr.edu
The Syracuse University Department of Drama, in the College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA), will open its 2006-07 season with Greg Kotis and Mark Hollmann’s “Urinetown,” a hilarious send-up of musical drama that was nominated for 10 Tony Awards in 2002. The show runs Oct. 13-22. Directed by faculty member Marie Kemp, “Urinetown” is a tale of greed, corruption, love and revolution.
The show takes place during a water shortage, when urination is no longer free and people must pay to use public “amenities.” Public Amenity #9, one of the poorest, filthiest urinals in the city, is run with an iron fist by Penelope Pennywise and her assistant Bobby Strong, a dreamer who can’t seem to get his head out of the clouds. When Bobby meets Hope, the daughter of Urine Good Company C.E.O. Cladwell B. Caldwell, he decides to lead an uprising so it will no longer be “A Privilege to Pee.” Parodying the revolutionary spirit of classic musicals like “Les Miserables,” “Urinetown’s” good-natured mocking of dramatic structure will delight anyone who enjoys a good spoof.
Ben Travers’ popular 1920s comedy “Rookery Nook” is the second show of the season. Directed by faculty member Elizabeth Ingram, the show runs Nov. 17-Dec. 3. One of Travers’ nine Aldwych Farces, the play is set in 1926 and centers on Gerald Popkiss, a recently married playboy who suddenly finds himself traveling alone when his new wife, Clara, is waylaid by her mother’s sudden illness.
When Gerald arrives in Rookery Nook, his philandering instincts kick in when he happens upon a pretty young girl dressed only in pink pajamas who has been thrown out of the house next door to his. Hilarity ensues when Gerald struggles to properly outfit the girl and keep her hidden from his sister-in-law Gertrude and nosy maid Mrs. Leverett. Hailed as the “Master of the Farce,” Travers enjoyed his greatest popularity during the interwar years, and the good-humored absurdity of his plays is credited as the inspiration for the famous Whitehall Farces.
Just in time for the holiday season, SU Drama will join forces with Syracuse Stage for the third production of the season, “A Christmas Carol.” This musical adaptation of the classic Charles Dickens tale will be performed Nov. 28-Dec. 31 in Archbold Theatre, Syracuse Stage’s main performance venue. Directed by faculty member Rodney Hudson, “A Christmas Carol” will feature a combined cast of professional actors and SU Drama students. Ebenezer Scrooge, literature’s most famous miser, learns his lesson — and the meaning of Christmas — when the ghostly spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Future open his eyes to the consequences of his grumpy and penny-pinching ways.
In February, faculty member Craig MacDonald will direct “The Art of Dining.” Running from Feb.16-25, 2007, Tina Howe’s play offers an inside peek into the conversations of diners at a chic new gourmet restaurant, The Golden Carousel. Exploring the diners’ love/hate relationships with food, as well as the restaurateurs’ anxiety over the success of their new bistro, “The Art of Dining” is a comedy about food, relationships and the cross-section of the two. One of America’s most renowned playwrights, Howe was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama for her plays “Painting Churches” and “Pride’s Crossing”; her play “Costal Disturbances” received a Tony Award nomination for Best Play in 1987.
“The Winter’s Take” will infuse a little Shakespeare into the season March 23-April 1. The Bard’s genre-defying romance, sometimes referred to as a tragicomedy, will be directed by faculty member Malcolm Ingram. When King Leontes of Sicilia suspects his pregnant wife and his best friend of having an affair, he throws his wife in prison and orders her baby to be abandoned in the wilderness. A kindly shepherd finds the baby and raises her as his own for 16 years. Meanwhile, the Oracle of Delphi tells King Leontes of his foolishness: His wife now dead, grief-stricken Leontes will have no heir until his abandoned daughter is found. In the same tragicomic spirit as such late Shakespeare plays as “The Tempest” and “Cymbeline,” the story’s initial tragedy yields to an inevitable happy ending, but not before the characters endure the madness and death brought on by the flawed hero.
The Tony Award-winning “My One and Only” will close the 2006-07 season. Directed by faculty member David Wanstreet, the show runs April 27-May 12. With music by George and Ira Gershwin and book by Peter Stone and Timothy S. Mayer, “My One and Only” is full of fancy footwork and fun. When the show opened in 1983, Tommy Tune and Twiggy originally starred as aviator Captain Billy Buck Chandler and Channel swimmer Edythe Herbert. Set in 1927, Billy’s goal of being the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic is put on hold when he sees Edythe at a railroad station. Determined to win her affections, he seeks the advice of suave Mr. Magix. However, Edythe is under the control of Prince Nicolai Erraclyovitch Tchatchavadze, who will do anything to keep the lovers apart, including using Edith’s less-than-upstanding past against her.
Subscription ticket prices for the SU Drama Department’s 2006-07 season are $90 for adults and $78 for students and senior citizens. SU students enrolled in the Pulse program may purchase tickets through the Schine Student Center Box Office. One Wednesday performance of each play offers a “Pay What You Can Night” for SU students with SU I.D. For subscriptions, call the SU Drama Box Office at (315) 443-3275. For more information, visit http://vpa.syr.edu/drama.