Emporia State University Theatre 2016 – 2017
Big River, The 39 Steps, Six Characters in
Search of an Author & Sense and Sensibility
Emporia State University Theatre is
preparing for its new season of plays and
musicals. The season features three shows
adapted from popular novels and a classic of
the twentieth-century theatre.
The season begins with the Homecoming
scholarship musical, Big River, The Adventures
of Huckleberry Finn. Propelled by an award
winning score from Roger Miller, Mark Twain's
timeless classic sweeps us down the mighty
Mississippi as Huck Finn helps his friend Jim,
a slave, escape to freedom at the mouth of the
Ohio River. Their adventures bring to life
favorite characters from the novel including
the Widow Douglas; the uproarious King and
Duke; Huck's pal, Tom Sawyer, and their rowdy
gang; Huck's drunken father, the sinister Pap
Finn; the lovely Mary Jane Wilkes and her
trusting family. Under the direction of Jim
and Lindy Bartruff, Big River will run in The
Karl C. Bruder Theatre in King Hall, October
13th through the 16th.
The 39 Steps is the second production
of the season. It was adapted from a novel of
the same name by John Buchan, but is perhaps
best known as the film by Alfred Hitchcock.
Adapted for the stage by Patrick Barlow and
under the direction of Theresa Mitchell, The 39
Steps is a fast-paced whodunit for anyone who
loves the magic of theatre! Over 150 zany
characters (played by a ridiculously talented
cast of 4), an on-stage plane crash, handcuffs,
missing fingers and some good old-fashioned
romance! A man with a boring life meets a
woman with a thick accent who says she's a spy.
When he takes her home, she is murdered. Soon,
a mysterious organization called "The 39 Steps"
is hot on the man's trail in a nationwide
manhunt. The 39 Steps runs from November 30th
through December 3rd in the Bruder Theatre.
The spring semester begins with a
classic of the twentieth-century theatre, Six
Characters in Search of an Author by Luigi
Pirandello. When first produced in 1921, the
play left its original audience baffled. But
since, the play has become a regular on stages
throughout the world. In the play, six
fictional characters, abandoned by their
creator, invade a rehearsal in progress and
demand to be brought to life by a new author.
But the characters' agenda collides with the
more lighthearted ambitions of these theatre
artists, whose open rehearsal "audience
engagement event" becomes darkly entangled with
the characters' tragic story -- all the while
asking the audience to consider just what is
real. Under the direction of Senior Theatre
Major Nathan Dale Short, Six Characters in
Search of an Author will be presented March 1st
through the 4th in the Karl C. Bruder Theatre.
Bursting with humor & emotion, Sense and
Sensibility asks: when reputation is
everything, how do you follow your heart? ESU
Theatre will present the regional premiere of
the work under the direction of Dan Matisa,
April 25th through the 29th in the Ronald Q.
Frederickson Theatre in Roosevelt Hall.
Actress Kate Hamill has adapted Jane
Austen's Sense and Sensibility where it
continues to run in a much-celebrated off-
Broadway production. You've never seen Austen
like this! Called the "greatest stage
adaptation of this novel," this new adaptation
follows the adventures (and misadventures) of
the Dashwood sisters—sensible Elinor and
hypersensitive Marianne—after their sudden loss
of fortune. During the rehearsals in Emporia,
the playwright will travel to Emporia to be a
part of the play's preparation and to visit
with local theatre-goers.
For tickets and additional information,
call the university ticket office at 620-341-
Contact: Jim Bartruff
Director of Theatre
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