Ashland University Theatre Announces 2013-2014 Season Exploring World and Self

 Katie Mounts and Jacob Poiner in the 2014 spring production of "Little Shop of Horrors"

8/26/13 ASHLAND, Ohio - Ashland University Theatre announces its 2013-2014 season, which explores the world and the inner-self. From survival in war-torn Latin America, to a comical farce in Italy, then sailing on a Spanish ship to Fifth Avenue in New York in a Pop/Rock musical revue, and ending the journey with thought-provoking and entertaining One Acts and New Works -- the new season is set for adventure, compassion, discovery and inspiration.

The season’s journey begins with the Latin American drama “Night Train to Bolina” by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz. The play follows two children who use fantasy as a means of escaping the calamity of combat, as well as their own abused and impoverished lives. Looking for a way to escape the guerrilla warfare ravishing their home, Mateo and Clara flee their devastated rural village for the city of Bolina, a mythical metropolis where "kites go to die." Directed by Fabio Polanco, associate professor of theatre, performances will be staged in the intimate Studio Theatre for 7:30 p.m. evening performances on Sept. 26-28, Oct. 3-5, and a 2 p.m. matinee on Sept. 29.

“The Servant of Two Masters” takes us to an entirely different place as we travel to Italy with Carlo Goldoni's physical comedy masterpiece. Mayhem erupts when the wily and chronically hungry servant Truffaldino hatches a zany scheme to double his wages by serving two masters at once. This period piece out of the Italian renaissance offers live musicians, juggling, physical acrobatics, improvisation and great comedy. The theatre department is excited to have one of its newest faculty members directing this show as New York actor and director Scott Hudson, assistant professor of theatre, brings the show to life in Hugo Young Theatre on Nov. 1, 2, 8 and 9 at 7:30 p.m., and Nov. 3 at 2 p.m.

The Pop/Gospel/Jazz cabaret “Songs for a New World” by Jason Robert Brown transports audiences from the deck of a 1492 Spanish sailing ship to a ledge 57 stories above Fifth Avenue in New York City. In a musical revue format, the show is all about new beginnings and embarking on a new world. The audience will meet a startling array of characters including a young man who has determined that basketball is his ticket out of the ghetto; and a woman who dreams of marrying rich, nabs the man of her dreams and a soul-less marriage. Co-directed by Associate Professor of Theatre Teresa Durbin-Ames and senior theatre major Emily Jeppesen with Rowland Blackley, professor of music, as musical director, performances in Hugo Young Theatre are slated for Feb. 14, 15, 21 and 22 at 7:30 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on Feb. 16.

The season’s journey ends with a variety of one-act plays and new works featured in “Experience/Experiment: One Acts & New Works Festival.” Each evening will present different works, which are directed, designed and performed by AU theatre students who challenge themselves mentally and physically with thought-provoking results. New works in the Festival written and composed by senior theatre majors include “That's What I'm Dreamin'” by Jay Kunzi, “The Response” by Benjamin Isaiah Black, “I confidenti: a student-bred, student-led improv experiment” by Kelsey Bowens, and “Due Today!? The Life of a Full-time College Student” by Christian Neely and Jacob Poiner. Performances in the Studio Theatre are April 2-5 at 7:30 p.m., and April 6 at 2 p.m..

New this season is “Inside the Season” pre-show talks. Patrons are invited to join us 6:45 p.m. before the second Friday performance of each production for a pre-show conversation with members of the production team, scholars and guests. 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 at the end of September and continue through April, reserved season tickets are available at the Ashland University Central Box Office beginning Tuesday, Sept. 3.  Season tickets include admission to all four season productions at a reduced price compared to single tickets. Season tickets for all four productions are: $32 for adults; and $28 for senior citizens, students and Ashland University faculty/staff. Single tickets are: $10 for adult; $9 for senior citizens, students, University faculty/staff; $8 for groups of 10 or more; and $2 for Ashland University students with ID.

The theatre department is also presenting school matinee performances of “Night Train to Bolina” on Oct. 3, and The Servant of Two Masters on Nov. 8. 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 will also present the popular Drop of a Hat Players Spring Showcase on Saturday, April 5, 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, ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2013, 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. ###