Ashland University Theatre Announces Award-Winning Season

8/18/10 ASHLAND, OH -- From John Steinbeck, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, to Pulitzer-Prize winning Stephen Sondheim, Ashland University Theatre features a 2010-2011 "Award-Winning Season."

The season opens with Steinbeck's classic "Of Mice and Men," a powerful tragedy following the lives of two hopeful migrant workers during the Great Depression. As explained in a journal entry from Steinbeck, "In every bit of honest writing in the world there is a base theme. Try to understand men, if you understand each other you will be kind to each other. Knowing a man well never leads to hate and nearly always leads to love. There are shorter means, many of them. There is writing promoting social change, writing punishing injustice, writing in celebration of heroism, but always that base theme. Try to understand each other." Directed by Professor of Theatre Ric Goodwin, evening performances begin at 7:30 p.m. in Hugo Young Theatre on Oct. 15, 16, 22 and 23, along with a 2 p.m. matinee on Oct. 24.

The compelling drama "Marisol" by Obie Award winner Jose Rivera is a powerful fantasy about humanity and a plea to save our world by overthrowing the pervasive sense of selfishness and recovering the long-lost, much-needed compassion for our fellow human-being. Co-directed by Associate Professor of Theatre Dr. Teresa Durbin-Ames and senior theatre major Lauren Yobbagy of Delaware, Ohio, performances in the intimate Studio Theatre are Nov. 11-13 and Nov. 18-20 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 21 at 2:00 p.m.

Sondheim's magnificent musical "Sunday in the Park with George" is one of very few musicals to have won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It is a fictional account of the real-life painter Georges Seurat who focuses obsessively on his art which does not allow him to create or sustain relationships. He sees nothing wrong with his actions and a journey of understanding continues beyond Seurat's lifetime in Act 2. Directed by Assistant Professor of Theatre Fabio Polanco, the musical performs in the Studio Theatre on Feb. 17-19 and Feb. 23-26 at 7:30 p.m., with 2 p.m. matinees on Feb. 20 and 27.

"Picasso at the Lapin Agile" by funny-man Steve Martin, winner of the 2003 Mark Twain Humorist Award, concludes the season. Pitting Picasso's talent against Einstein's genius, this clever comedy, with rapier-sharp wit and one-liners, sets up a hilarious meeting between Picasso and Einstein in a 1904 Parisian bar reflecting on the impact of art and science on the 20th century. Ashland University Theatre welcomes guest director Alexander Stephano for this production in Hugo Young Theatre on April 8, 9, 15 and 16 at 7:30 p.m., and April 17 at 2 p.m.
With performances slated to begin this October and continue through April, reserved season tickets are available at the Ashland University Central Box Office beginning Tuesday, Sept. 7.  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 Eagle Card.

Additional theatre presentations in the Studio Theatre for the 2010-2011 season include three senior projects and the annual Drop of a Hat Players showcase. Although free and open to the public, admission requires a reservation through the University's Central Box Office.

This fall, senior Rachel Turos of West Salem, Ohio, presents "Art in Design," an artwork and lighting design installation in the Studio Theatre on Sept. 9-11. In the spring, seniors Taylor Hale of Hinkley, Ohio; Jake Kinney of Ashland, Ohio; and Sarah Saddler of Jefferson, Ohio, will present selections from "Musical of Musicals" in the Studio Theatre on March 26 at 7:30 p.m.; and Natasha Cline, a senior theatre major from Columbus, Ohio, presents a staged reading of her original play "Waxed Fruit" on March 27 at 7:30 p.m. The theatre department's musical revue troupe Drop of a Hat Players performs two shows for their annual showcase on April 16 at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

To purchase tickets, call the Ashland University Central Box Office at 419-289-5125, Monday through Friday, 12 noon to 6 p.m. For more information, visit the web site at www.ashland.edu/operations/theatre<http://www.ashland.edu/operations/theatre> or contact Tricia Applegate, coordinator of performing arts publicity and events, at 419-289-5950 or tapplega@ashland.edu<mailto:tapplega@ashland.edu>.

Ashland University (www.ashland.edu<http://www.ashland.edu>) is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University 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.