August 21, 2013

Emporia State University Theatre presents its 100th Theatre Season of Plays

Emporia State University Theatre presents
its 100th Theatre Season of Plays

Since our first production of Nathan Hale in 1913 under the
direction of Caroline Medders with settings designed by Franklin
Gilson, ESU Theatre has been a vital element of the cultural life
of Emporia and the region. In the year in which we celebrate the
150th birthday of the university, we look forward to our next
season of plays:

October 10-13 All Shook Up! (Our 41st Homecoming
Musical) by Joe DiPietro

November 19-24 reasons to be pretty (comic-drama) by Neil

March 5-8 Boeing Boeing (Farce) by Camoletti, Cross
and Evans

April 16-19, 23-26 Uncle Vanya (tragicomedy) by Anton

May 2 Our Spring Dance Show by Lindy Bartruff

The 2013 season begins with Joe DiPietro's All Shook Up! A
musical comedy by the writer of Memphis and I Love You, You're
Perfect, Now Change, All Shook Up! is built around hit songs
made famous by Elvis Presley. Set in 1955, a dreamer and a
mysterious guitarist form an unlikely pair that inspires a small
town to open its eyes to the magic of romance and the power of
rock & roll. Borrowing some familiar plot devices from
Shakespeare, the score highlights classics like "Heartbreak
Hotel," "Love Me Tender," "Don't Be Cruel," "Can't Help Falling in
Love," and the title song.

ESU has ties to the Broadway production of All Shook Up! It was
stage managed on Broadway by ESU Alumna Lois Griffing who
also stage managed Hairspray and (currently) Kinky Boots. This
spicy musical, with music adapted by Tony-winning Stephen
Oremus will have you dancing out of your seat. Jim Bartruff
directs it, with choreography by Lindy Bartruff and musical
direction by Penny Speedie.

Our winter production has been entered as a participating entry
into the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Neil
LaBute's reasons to be pretty is a love story about the
impossibility of love. The play is under the direction of senior
Mike Koetkemeyer (Salina). LaBute introduces us to a couple,
Greg and Steph, a flawed but likable twenty-something couple.
When Greg is asked to comment on Steph's "looks," chaos
ensues. A romantic and adult play, reasons to be pretty explores
the hopelessness of romance in the 21st century. It earned its
author and original cast numerous awards including a Tony
Award nomination for Best Play in 2008. A sequel to the play,
Reasons to Be Happy, enjoyed a celebrated off-Broadway run last
spring starring Jenna Fisher (The Office).

The third production, Boeing Boeing, is a French farce adapted
for the English-speaking stage. It was also a movie vehicle for
Jerry Lewis and Tony Curtis in 1965. Revived on Broadway in
2008 in a Tony-winning production, the farce features Bernard
who is engaged to marry three different women, one French, one
German, and one American. Each fiancée is an airline hostess
with frequent layovers. Bernard keeps "one up, one down and
one pending" until unfavorable layovers bring them all to his
apartment at the same time. Theresa Mitchell will direct.

Uncle Vanya, Chekhov's classic tragicomedy will be the final
production of the season. In Uncle Vanya, a retired professor and
his beautiful young wife, Elena have return to the professor's
country estate. Uncle Vanya discovers his hopeless and
unrequited feelings for the professor's wife. Meanwhile, the
professor's daughter, Sonya, yearns for the doctor, Astrov, who
only has eyes for Elena. If things don't seem complicated
enough, the professor has an announcement that could change
the lives of the entire household. A timeless observation of
human behavior and relationships, Uncle Vanya remains relevant
to audiences of our time. Our production will be under the
direction of Dr. Jim Ryan.

On May 2, we present our fourth annual spring dance show
under the direction of Choreographer Lindy Bartruff. Further
details will be made available at a later date.

For additional information: Jim Bartruff
Director of Theatre

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