Ashland University Announces 2014-2015 Theatre Season

Ashland University Announces 2014-2015 Theatre Season

9/5/14 ASHLAND, Ohio – Ashland University Theatre announces its 2014-2015 season, which showcases four very different productions that seem to be conveniently tied together in the traditional English bridal rhyme of four "Somethings" for good luck.

Like the rhyme, the season begins with "Something Old" with George Bernard Shaw's classic masterpiece "Saint Joan" then jumps to "Something New" with the World Premiere of Lindsay Joy's "In the Event of My Death" in collaboration with New York's Farm Theater.  In the spring, the season continues with "Something Borrowed" from the silver screen with Frank Baum's beloved musical "The Wizard of Oz," and concludes with John Guare's award-winning black comedy "The House of Blue Leaves" as "Something Blue."

Unique to the season is the seating for the first two productions in Hugo Young Theatre.  To create a more intimate setting for the audience as well as add to the productions' drama, new seating configurations are built on the Hugo Young Theatre stage.  Patrons should keep in mind that this will limit the usual seating capacity in Hugo Young Theatre so early purchase of tickets is recommended.  

Opening on Friday, Oct. 3, at 7:30 p.m. in Hugo Young Theatre, performances for "Saint Joan" continue on Oct. 4, 10 and 11 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 5, at 2 p.m. Directed by Associate Professor of Theatre Dr. Teresa Durbin-Ames, the script is based on the life and trial of Joan of Arc. The drama remains as vivid and timely to modern audiences as it was scandalous and incendiary in its premiere in 1923 (not long after the canonization of Joan of Arc by the Roman Catholic Church).

AU Theatre is proud to be selected by New York’s Farm Theater as one of three universities to participate in a College Collaboration project. Last spring, the Farm Theater commissioned emerging playwright Lindsay Joy to write a new play in communication with the universities' students. All three universities will produce the original script throughout this academic year with Ashland presenting the premiere performance of "In the Event of My Death" directed by Assistant Professor of Theatre Scott Hudson.  

This contemporary story follows eight small town, twenty-somethings who know each other from high school and share an impromptu time of mourning and celebration after the funeral of a mutual friend.  Ms. Joy's characters are drawn with funny, irreverent humor, empathy and compassion.  The script does contain adult language and content.  Performances are scheduled for October 30, 31, November 1, 6, 7 and 8 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, November 2 at 2 p.m. on the Hugo Young Theatre stage.

This contemporary story follows eight small town, twenty-somethings who know each other from high school and share an impromptu time of mourning and celebration after the funeral of a mutual friend.  Joy's characters are drawn with funny, irreverent humor, empathy and compassion. The script does contain adult language and content. Performances are scheduled for Oct. 30, 31, Nov. 1, 6, 7 and 8 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 2, at 2 p.m. on the Hugo Young Theatre stage.

With direction by guest director Bob Russell and musical director Ron Blackley, professor of music, little Dorothy Gale of Kansas dreams of what lies over the rainbow in Frank Baum's musical classic "The Wizard of Oz" slated in Hugo Young Theatre on Feb. 13, 14, 20 and 21 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 15, at 2 p.m.  With a large cast comprised of University students and faculty along with community youth and adults, the audience will join Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tinman, the Cowardly Lion and Toto as they travel the world of Dorothy’s imagination.

The final production of the season is John Guare's award-winning black comedy "The House of Blue Leaves" directed by Dr. Durbin-Ames on April 9, 10, 11, 15, 16 and 17 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 12, at 2 p.m. in the intimate Studio Theatre. Set in Queens the day of Pope Paul VI's visit to New York City, this play follows the chaos of ordinary lives including nuns, a political bombing, a GI headed for Vietnam, a zookeeper who dreams of making it big in Hollywood as a songwriter, and his wife Bananas, a schizophrenic destined for the institution.

“Inside the Season” pre-show talks continue this season for each production. Patrons are invited to join us at 6:45 p.m. before the second Friday performance of each production for a pre-show conversation with members of the production team. Audience members can get the inside story as they learn more about the history of the production and the artists who created it. The director and/or designers will prepare you for what you are about to see and leave you with a deeper understanding of the playwright and world of the play.

With performances slated to begin the beginning of October and continue through April, reserved season tickets are now available at the Ashland University Central Box Office. Season tickets include admission to all four season productions at a reduced price compared to single tickets. Season tickets for all four productions are: $38 for adults; $32 for senior citizens, Ashland University faculty, staff and alumni; and $16 for non-AU students . Single tickets are: $12 for adult; $10 for senior citizens, AU faculty, staff and alumni; $8 for groups of 10 or more, $5 for non-AU students, and $2 for Ashland University students with ID.

The theatre department is presenting school matinee performances of “Saint Joan” on Oct. 10 and "In the Event of My Death" on Nov. 6. All school matinees begin at 9 a.m. All seats are $2 and can be reserved by calling 419-289-5950.

The Department of Theatre also will present the popular Drop of a Hat Players Spring Showcase on Saturday, April 11, at 2 p.m. in Hugo Young Theatre. Although free and open to the public, admission to this event requires a reservation through the University’s Box Office to guarantee a seat.

To purchase tickets, call the Ashland University Box Office at 419-289-5125, Monday through Friday, 12 noon to 6 p.m., or order online anytime at www.ashland.edu/tickets (additional fees apply).  For more information, visit the Web site at www.ashland.edu/theatre or contact Tricia Applegate, coordinator of performing arts publicity and events, at 419-289-5950 or tapplega@ashland.edu.

Ashland University, which has been ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###