8/28/15 ASHLAND, Ohio – Ashland University Theatre has scheduled its 2015-2016 season, which reflects on human connections through family, technology, romantic relationships and more.
From the heart-warming celebration of our nation’s pioneer women in the musical “Quilters” to our technologically obsessed world seen through the contemporary comedy “Dead Man's Cell Phone,” and concluding with Shakespeare's classic comedy about love, “A Midsummer Night's Dream” -- the season follows the words of Herman Melville: “We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads, and along these sympathetic fibers, our actions run as causes and return to us as results.”
The season opens on Friday, Oct. 9, at 7:30 p.m. in Hugo Young Theatre with the musical written by Molly Newman and Barbara Damashek based on “The Quilters: Women and Domestic Art” by Patricia Cooper and Norma Bradley Allen.
Directed by Associate Professor of Theatre Dr. Teresa Durbin-Ames, “Quilters” depicts the courage and spirit of our nation’s pioneer women. Music, dance and drama transform the harsh realities of frontier life into a Legacy Quilt containing blocks of familiar patterns like the Lone Star, the Log Cabin and the Double Wedding Ring. The pieces of these women’s lives are stitched together with love, laughter and tenderness to tell a story of survival, fellowship and family values on the road west. As a special feature to enhance this performance, hand-made quilts from area women will be displayed throughout the theatre. In addition to opening night, performances continue on Oct. 10, 16 and 17 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 11, at 2 p.m.
For the second production, the season jumps into the current day with Sarah Ruhl’s wildly imaginative new comedy “Dead Man's Cell Phone” on Nov. 5-7 and Nov. 12-14 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 8, at 2 p.m. in the intimate Studio Theatre. Directed by guest artist Rachael Swartz, the story begins with a stranger who has had enough of an incessantly ringing cell phone at the next table in a quiet café, while a dead man has a lot of loose ends. The play takes us on a reflective journey about how we memorialize the dead and how we are forced to confront our own assumptions about morality, redemption and the need to connect in a technologically obsessed world. Audiences are advised that this play contains adult language.
From the contemporary to one of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies, the season closes with “A Midsummer Night's Dream” directed by guest artist Patrick McGregor II and slated for Feb. 19, 20, 26 and 27 at 7:30 p.m., and Feb. 21 at 2 p.m. in Hugo Young Theatre. The classic tale follows the adventures of four young Athenian lovers who are manipulated by a band of fairies and a troupe of Athenian craftsmen in an attempt to control the events surrounding the couples’ marriages. Do we know how these summer romances will end?
“Inside the Season” pre-show talks continue this season for each production and are free and open to the public. Patrons are invited to join the group 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 those attending for what they are about to see and leave them with a deeper understanding of the playwright and world of the play.
Reserved season tickets will be available at the Ashland University Central Box Office when it opens after Labor Day on Tuesday, Sept. 8. Season tickets include admission to all three season productions at a reduced price compared to single tickets. Season tickets for all three productions are: $28 for adults; $24 for senior citizens, Ashland University faculty, staff and alumni; and $12 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 also offering a special school matinee performance of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night's Dream” on Friday, Feb. 26, at 9 a.m. All seats are $2 and can be reserved by calling 419-289-5950.
In addition to the above events, the theatre department will present two free events that are open to the public. On Sunday, April 10, at 7:30 p.m. in the Ashland University Library's Lecture Room, senior theatre major Natalyn Baisden will present her original one-woman show. In a collection of humorous and touching pieces inspired by the powerful people in her life, Baisden reveals her voice by dramatizing the most important lessons life has offered her. On Saturday, April 23, at 2 p.m., the popular Drop of a Hat Players Spring Showcase will be held in the Studio Theatre. Although free and open to the public, admission to these events require a reservation through the University’s Box Office to guarantee a seat.
To secure your 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ashland University 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. ###