2019-2020 AU Theatre Season Focuses on ‘Stories of Courage’

2019-2020 AU Theatre Season Focuses on ‘Stories of Courage’

9/4/19 ASHLAND, Ohio – Throughout people’s life experiences they rely on courage to venture, persevere and withstand danger, fear or difficulty. The 2019-2020 AU Theatre season will tell three courageous stories in different styles (drama, comedy, musical) and set in varying time periods and places. Although they differ from each other in many ways, the stories and messages are timeless and universal including:

-- Arthur Miller’s dramatic adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s “An Enemy of the People”
-- The storytelling magic of ABBA's timeless songs in the musical “Mamma Mia!”
-- The female version of Neil Simon's hilarious comic classic, “The Odd Couple”

“An Enemy of the People” opens the season in conjunction with The Arthur Miller Society’s 13th International Conference, which is being held at Ashland University on Oct. 18-20. With a story as timeless as today’s news, the story is about a small Norwegian town that has just begun to win fame and wealth through its medicinal spring waters. Dr. Stockmann discovers the waters are poisoned and tries to warn his town. The press won’t report his findings; and the city officials refuse to give him a hearing. In his efforts to bring the truth to light, he is branded “an enemy of the people,” and his family’s safety is put in danger. Directed by Dr. Teresa Durbin-Ames, associate professor of Theatre, the show is scheduled for Oct. 11, 12, 18 and 19 at 7:30 p.m.; and on Sunday, Oct. 13, at 2 p.m. in Hugo Young Theatre.

A special school matinee performance of “An Enemy of the People” is slated for Friday, Oct. 18, at 9 a.m. and is recommended for high school English, journalism, history, government and business classes. All seats for the school matinee are $2 and can be reserved by contacting Tricia Applegate, coordinator of Performing Arts Events, at tapplega@ashland.edu or 419.289.5950. 

“Mamma Mia!” opens on Valentine’s Day weekend which is perfect timing for this enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship. The sunny and funny story unfolds on a Greek island paradise. On the eve of her wedding, a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother’s past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago. As a single mother who has made her way through the years with strength and determination, Mom is forced to confront her past and the truth about her daughter’s father. Also directed by Dr. Durbin-Ames, the production’s performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. curtains on Feb. 14, 15, 21 and 22; and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 16, in Hugo Young Theatre.

The season closes with Simon’s beloved comedy about the mismatched roommates Unger and Madison. Only in this version, instead of Felix and Oscar, we have Florence and Olive for the female version of “The Odd Couple.” As Olive and her group of girlfriends enjoy their weekly Trivial Pursuit game night, Florence arrives, fresh from being dumped by her husband. Fearful that the neurotic Florence might attempt suicide, Olive invites her to move in as her roommate. Olive’s easy going outlook on life soon clashes with Florence’s highly strung tendencies, testing their friendship to the limit with hilarious consequences and outcomes. Directed by Assistant Professor of Theatre Robert Sean Parker, evening performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. on April 1-4 while the 2 p.m. matinee is on Sunday, April 5, in the intimate Studio Theatre. A school matinee performance will be held on Friday, April 3, at 9 a.m. with all seats priced at $2. Reservations can be made directly with Tricia Applegate.

Opening night receptions are scheduled for all three of the main stage shows. The receptions held on Oct. 11, Feb.14 and April 1 will begin immediately following the performances and offer the audience a chance to celebrate with the cast and crew. The receptions are free with admission to the performance.

Season tickets are now on sale and 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.

In addition to the above events, the theatre department will also present the following four free events that are open to the public. To guarantee a seat, it is highly recommended that patrons secure a free ticket for these events through the University’s Box Office. 

  • Saturday, Nov. 9, at 7:30 p.m. in the Studio Theatre, Alpha Psi Omega theatre honor society will present a performance of an original 24-hour theatre project. 
  • Saturday, March 21, at 7:30 p.m. in the Studio Theatre, senior theatre majors Nik Demers and Holly Fongheiser will present their senior theatre project performances. 
  • Thursday, April 16, Alpha Psi Omega will present a Birthday Bash for the Bard. 
  • Saturday, May 2, at 2 p.m. in the Studio Theatre, the Drop of a Hat Players musical theatre revue troupe will perform their annual spring showcase concert. 

To order 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 tapplega@ashland.edu.

Ashland University, which has been ranked in the top tier of colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category, is a mid-sized, comprehensive private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Religiously affiliated with the Brethren Church, Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) deeply 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. ###