2015-16 Theatre Season
Translated by: Richard Wilbur
Directed by: Rhett Luedtke
Location: Wood-Mar Auditorium
Oct. 22-24 and Oct. 29-31 at 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 1 at 2 p.m.
Synopsis: Tartuffe was originally banned from the theatre when it was first performed in 1664 and has been delighting audiences ever since. Tartuffe, a slick, religious charlatan, dupes Orgon, a rich family man, into believing that Tartuffe is deeply concerned for Orgon’s eternal salvation. Orgon’s family members see through the charade and do all they can to open Orgon’s eyes, but to no avail. When Orgon promises Tartuffe his daughter’s hand in marriage, and the keys to his house, Elmire (Orgon’s wife) concocts a daring plan to open Orgon’s eyes once and for all. One of Moliere’s most celebrated comedies, Tartuffe has historically been loathed by religious hypocrites, but celebrated by the wise.
**Tartuffe is presented through special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc.
The Spitfire Grill
By: James Valcq & Fred Alley
Based on the film by: Lee David Zlotoff
Directed by: Rhett Luedtke
Musical direction by: Maggie Daane
Location: Wood-Mar Auditorium
Jan 28-30 & Feb 4-6 at 7:30 p.m.
Jan 31 & Feb. 7 at 2 p.m.
Synopsis: Percy Talbott, just released from the Taycheedah Correctional Institution for Women, arrives in the small town of Gilead, Wis., with the dream of starting life anew. Hannah Ferguson, the owner of the Spitfire Grill (which happens to be for sale), hires Percy despite the vocal opposition from the community. Suspicion grows when Percy convinces Hannah to raffle off the Grill instead of selling it. Entry fees are $100, and the best essay on why you want the Grill wins. Soon, mail is arriving by the wheelbarrow and new life is infused into the community. Based on the 1996 hit movie, The Spitfire Grill will warm your heart and remind you of the power of redemption and renewal in a messy world.
** The Spitfire Grill is presented through special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.
The Balkan Women
By: Jules Tasca
Directed by: Cambria Herrera
April 8-9 & 14-16 at 7:30 p.m.
April 17 at 2 p.m.
Synopsis: Samira and Amina Jusic, two devout Muslim women, find themselves in a Serbian detention camp for Muslim women in the midst of the Balkan Wars (1990s). Sixteen Serbian soldiers have been killed by a car bomb at the local fuel depot. One of the women in the camp is responsible, and the Serbs will use whatever interrogation tactic necessary to find the culprit. Jules Tasca’s update of Euripides’ The Trojan Women is a dynamic meditation on the power of family ties in the midst of the Balkan Wars. The play pits men against women, Serbs against Bosnians, and Christians against Muslims. The unforgettable outcome will leave you breathless.
PLAY CONTAINS ADULT CONTENT (violence, language, sexual intimidation). Recommended for ages 14 and above.
** Produced by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.
Mr. Darwin's Tree
By: Murray Watts
Starring: Andrew Harrison
April 21 at 7 p.m.
Synopsis: Mr. Darwin's Tree is a dynamic one-person show that explores the intersection of science and religion in a powerful and compelling story. The production is sponsored by the Templeton Religion Trust, the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities and George Fox's academic affairs office. Join us for a great evening of theatre!
2014-15 Theatre Season
by William Shakespeare
Directed by Megan Weaver
Oct. 23-25 and Oct. 30 – Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 2 at 2 p.m.
Synopsis: One of Shakespeare's most celebrated comedies, Twelfth Night features Viola's cross-dressing misadventures as she tries to figure out love and survival in a world of lovesick men. Hilarious reversals and bittersweet misunderstandings ensue, as Viola introduces her ambiguous identity to the misfit oddballs of Illyria – and steals more than one heart in the process. Join us for an evening of buoyant wordplay, raucous slapstick and some of the wittiest love scenes in all of Shakespeare.
Book by Allan Knee
Based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott
Music by Jason Howland
Lyrics by Mindi Dickstein
Directed by Rhett Luedtke
Feb. 5-7 and Feb. 12-14 at 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 8 and 15 at 2 p.m.
Synopsis: The four Marsh sisters gather in their attic in the midst of a cold winter just before Christmas, 1863, in Concord, Mass. Meg longs to be invited to a ball, Amy longs for a Christmas tree and Beth longs for her father to come home from the war. Meanwhile, Jo is bursting with the creative energy of a writer on the verge of unleashing her imagination. The four join together to rehearse Jo’s new operatic adventure and the sisters’ worries are allayed for the moment. Thus begins the adventures of the Marsh sisters as they face life’s trials together and learn that, despite what life throws at them, family bonds last forever. Bring the whole family to celebrate Louisa May Alcott’s great American classic with us this February.
Little Women is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).
These Shining Lives
by Melanie Marnich
Directed by Rhett Luedtke
April 9-11 & April 16-18 at 7:30 p.m.
April 12 & 19 at 2 p.m.
Synopsis: Melanie Marnich’s poetic tale of the women who worked for Radium Dial Company in Ottawa, Ill., in the 1920s and ’30s is deeply moving, wistful and beautifully tragic. Inspired by actual people and real events, These Shining Lives chronicles the lives of four women who refuse to allow a company more concerned with profit than safety to silence their voices. Join us as we remember our collective past, reflect on the present and dream of a better future.
Produced by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc.
2013-14 University Theatre Season
Fall Classic Drama
The House of Bernarda Alba (la Casa de Bernarda Alba)
By Federico Garcia Lorca
Oct. 24-26 and Oct. 31 – Nov. 2 at 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 3 at 2 p.m.
Immediately following her husband’s death, Bernarda Alba orders her five daughters to observe an eight-year mourning period in which none of them will leave the house. The young women do their best to obey their mother, but when the handsome Pepe el Romano arrives on the scene the young womens’ desire to honor their mother’s tradition is set against their yearning for freedom. Originally written as a critique of the rise of fascism in 1936, The House of Bernarda Alba addresses themes of repression and the fear of change.
** The House of Bernarda Alba is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York.
Book by Alfred Uhry
Music and Lyrics by Jason Robert Brown
Jan. 30 – Feb. 1 and Feb. 6-8 at 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 2 and 9 at 2 p.m.
Additional shows added: Feb. 13-14, 7:30 p.m.
Synopsis: Based on historical events in Atlanta, Ga. (1913), Parade dramatizes the racially charged trial of Leo Frank, a Jewish factory manager who is wrongly accused of murdering a 13-year-old girl under his employ. As the press and the public call for his execution, Leo learns to rely on the power of love in the midst of injustice. Winner of the 1999 Tony Awards for Best Book (Uhry) and Best Original Musical Score (Robert Brown), Parade is a dynamic and powerful musical that will take your breath away.
** Parade is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).
Spring Comic Murder Mystery
The Game's Afoot; or Holmes for the Holiday
By Ken Ludwig
April 3-5 & 10-12 at 7:30 p.m.
April 13 at 2 p.m.
Synopsis: It is Christmas Eve, 1936, and Broadway star William Gillette (who also happens to play the leading role in the smash hit, Sherlock Holmes) has invited his fellow cast members to his home to celebrate the holidays. But when one of the guests is stabbed to death, the festivities in Gillette’s isolated Connecticut castle quickly turn dangerous. Luckily, Gillette has played Sherlock Holmes on the stage and knows exactly what to do to nab the killer before the next victim appears. Join us for an evening of mystery and hilarity.
** Produced by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc., New York.
2012-13 University Theatre Season
Fall Classic Comedy
The Servant of Two Masters
By Carlo Goldoni
Oct. 25-27 and Nov. 1-3 at 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 28 and Nov. 4 at 2 p.m.
This celebrated comic masterpiece, written in 1743 in the great Italian tradition of Commedia Dell’Arte, will have you rolling in the aisles. Truffaldino, a young, simpleminded and occasionally clever servant, finds himself in over his head when he impulsively agrees to manage two masters at the same time without either of them knowing about it. Add two pairs of swooning lovers, two angry fathers, and a host of additional simpleminded servants and you are guaranteed a delightful, sidesplitting evening at the theatre.
By Emily Mann
Feb. 7-9 and 14-16 at 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 10 at 2 p.m.
Synopsis: Illinois, 1861. Elizabeth Packard fights for her life and her dignity when her husband, Reverend Theopholis Packard, commits her to Jacksonville Insane Asylum without proof of insanity for challenging his religious fundamentalism. Based on historical events, Mrs. Packard is a penetrating story about one woman’s struggle to follow her convictions despite the enormous costs to her family, her friends and her personal dignity. Join us for a time to mourn and wonder as we ponder the costs of our own convictions as individuals within a religious community.
Spring Romantic Comedy
By Matthew Barber,
from the novel by Elizabeth von Arnim
April 11-13 & 18-20 at 7:30 p.m.
April 14 & 21 at 2 p.m.
Synopsis: In the winter of 1922, Lotty and Rose, two very frustrated housewives find themselves trapped in the gloom of bleak marriages and perpetual London rain. All seems hopeless until they decide to use their dress money and what little savings they have to rent a villa in Italy for the month of April. Joined there by a young English countess and a grumpy English dowager their lives – and the lives of their two new friends - blossom in mysterious and unexpected ways. This 2003 Tony Award nominee for Best Play promises to delight and inspire all who dream of wisteria blossoms, sunshine and new beginnings.
Enchanted April is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York.
2011-12 University Theatre Season
Fall Southern Classic
By Robert Harling
Oct. 27-29 and Nov. 3-5 at 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 6 at 2 p.m.
Chinquapin, Louisiana. 1988. In the midst of wedding plans, divorces, births, funerals, new beginnings and profound endings, six women find a haven in the comfort of Truvy’s Beauty Salon. As they tackle the challenges of life with laughter, charm, tears and grit, we are reminded that while they are as lovely and fragile as magnolias they are also as tough and unflinching as steel.
Steel Magnolias is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York.
She Loves Me
Book by Joe Masterhoff
Music by Jerry Bock
Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick
Feb. 2-4 and 9-11 at 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 5 and 12 at 2 p.m.
Directed by Rhett Luedtke
Musical Direction by Maggie Daane
Conducted by Richard Elliott
Georg Nowack’s life as the head clerk in Maraczek’s Parfumerie is relatively peaceful until Amalia Balash is hired. While Georg and Amalia clash at work, each of them finds solace writing love letters to their anonymous romantic pen pals in the evening. But when Georg discovers that his romantic pen pal is none other than Amalia he faces a crisis of heart. Will his love for his pen pal prevail? Or will his disgust of his co-worker triumph? Join us for a delightful evening of theatre created by the same dynamic tandem who wrote Fiddler on the Roof.
The Broken (A Working Title)
Written & devised by the ensemble & design team
April 12-14 and 19-21 at 7:30 p.m.
April 22 at 2 p.m.
Synopsis: The Broken is our most ambitious theatre event as a department in many years. A select group of students (both actors and designers) will begin with a single image this September, and by April 12 will have created (devised) a brand new play together. Based loosely on actual events, we will begin with the image of a fortified, barbed-wire fence in a foreign country. A middle-aged Bible translator stands on one side of the fence with a machete in his hands. On the other side stands a native of the country also wielding a machete. As we develop this play together, we will explore the tensions, paradoxes and complications inherent in the clash between two cultures with different ways of expressing their faith.
2010-11 University Theatre Season
Nov. 4-6 & 11-13 at 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 14 at 2 p.m.
As a young maiden, Kreousa unwillingly conceives a child with the god Apollo.
Not wanting to bring shame on her family, Kreousa hides her pregnancy and then abandons her baby in a cave hoping that Apollo will protect the child. Sixteen years later, Kreousa arrives at Apollo’s temple in Delphi and meets a young boy named Ion who serves as one of the temple’s servants. Will Apollo allow Kreousa and Ion to recognize each other as mother and son, or will he keep his crime a secret and lead the play to a tragic end? The play’s ending promises a surprise.
By John Patrick Shanley
Feb. 3-5 & 10-12 at 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 6 at 2 p.m.
1964. The Bronx, New York. Iron-willed Sister Aloysius, head of St. Nicholas Catholic School, suspects that Father Flynn is having an improper relationship with a student. The well-being of a young boy, the reputation of the school, and the fate of a popular priest are all at stake. Though lacking evidence, Sister Aloysius follows her convictions with singular focus. But what must be compromised in pursuit of the truth? is the truth more complex and more costly than first believed? With deeply drawn characters and taut dialogue, this Pulitzer Prize-winning drama explores the human discomfort with the gray areas of life.
The Taming of the Shrew
by William Shakespeare
April 7-9 & 14-16 at 7:30 p.m.
April 10 & 17 at 2 p.m.
The wealthy merchant Baptista has a problem. His youngest daughter Bianca wants to get married, but according to custom Bianca can’t get married until her older sister Katerina is wed. Unfortunately, Katerina has no desire to get married. Her sharp wit, biting tongue, and fiery disposition have successfully scared all her suitors away. But when the free-spirited and rebellious Petruchio arrives on the scene, Katerina finds her match and a most extraordinary courtship begins.
2009-10 University Theatre Season
By Jim Leonard, Jr.
Nov. 5-7 & 12-14 at 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 15 at 2 p.m.
Buddy Layman almost drowned as a toddler. Now, as a teenager, he can feel the rain coming from miles away and is the best water diviner in the county. The small farm community of Zion, Ind., (population 40) trusts Buddy’s water instincts, but they also marvel at his terror of water and his inability to bathe. When a charismatic but backsliding preacher drifts into town and befriends Buddy, the two lost souls find a common bond as they help each other divine for truth, faith and hope. But the play drifts toward irreversible tragedy when the townsfolk demand that the young preacher returns to the pulpit.
University Players, Drama Ministry Team
Feb 26-27 at 7:30 p.m.
This year, the University Players will be focusing on the moments in our journeys when we pause in the doorway at the threshold of change.
Rodgers and Hammerstein's A Grand Night for Singing
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Musical arrangements by Fred Wells
Orchestration by Michael Gibson and Jonathan Tunick
Conceived by Walter Bobbie
Feb. 4-6 & 11-13 at 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 7 at 2 p.m.
Thirty-six of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s most memorable romantic ballads comprise this delightful evening of theatre. The arc of Grand Night takes the audience on a musical journey through all the emotional stages of love. From “Oh What A Beautiful Morning”(Oklahoma), “We Kiss in the Shadows” (The King and I) and “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair” (South Pacific) to “A Lovely Night” (Cinderella), “My Little Girl” (Carousel) and “Maria” (The Sound of Music), this evening of theatre is sure to delight and inspire.
by Sarah Ruhl
April 8-10 & 15-17 at 7:30 p.m.
April 18 at 2 p.m.
Ruhl’s imagination explodes on the stage in this fantastical retelling of the myth of Orpheus. Eurydice follows the story of Orpheus’ lover as she falls in love only to die on her wedding day. After falling to her death, Eurydice travels to the underworld, where she meets her father and struggles to remember her lost love. A visually dynamic and inventive story, Ruhl’s world features raining elevators, a room made of string, talking stones and letters sent through the earth via worms. This contemporary retelling of a timeless love story will take your breath away.
2008-09 University Theatre Season
Thoroughly Modern Millie
Book by Richard Morris and Dick Scanlan
New music by Jeanine Tesori
New lyrics by Dick Scanlan
Nov. 6-8 & 12-15 at 7:30 p.m.
Directed by Teresa Thuman (guest director)
Vocal direction by Maggie Daane
Richard Elliot, conductor
This high-spirited musical comedy has it all. When small-town girl Millie Dillmount moves to New York City in 1922, she discovers a world filled with intrigue, jazz and danger. In her quest to move up in the world of glitz and glamour, Millie discovers there is more to being a modern girl than she imagined. Danger is around every corner, and it’s up to Millie to save the day, expose her sinister landlady, and finally marry her boss – whoever he may be. Adapted from the beloved 1967 Oscar-winning film starring Julie Andrews and Mary Tyler Moore, this recent 2002 Broadway hit was a winner of six Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
The Triumph of Love
By Pierre Carlet de Marivaux
March 5-7 & 12-14 at 7:30 p.m.
March 15 at 2 p.m.
This delightful 18th-century romantic comedy is filled with all the confusions and complexities of love. Princess Leonide's world turns upside down when she falls in love with a young man who can rightfully usurp her kingdom. Unfortunately, her love interest is being tutored by an over-rational philosopher who hates love and has taught the young man to hate women. So Leonide and her maid, Corine, dress up as men, invade the phiolosopher's estate and try to prove to the men that love conquers all.
2007-08 University Theatre Season
Written by Tricia Gates Brown
October 25-27 & November 1-3 at 7:30 p.m.
November 4 at 2 p.m.
A "world premiere" event for the George Fox campus. Alumna Tricia Gates Brown's Whatever Kindles is about the lives of individuals who volunteer for the Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) that work to prevent violence and promote alternatives to war in Iraq, the West Bank, Columbia, and other regions in the world devastated by violence. Whatever Kindles is an artistically challenging and intellectually stimulating fictional play based on the stories of actual events in the lives of CPT members who are following Jesus' example of bringing peace to the world.
January 31 - February 2 at 7:30 p.m.
This winter, our best student directors and designers will take over Wood-Mar Auditorium and call it their own! Come and celebrate our students' work as they embrace their storytelling instincts and work to bless our community with disciplined and often challenging stories.
Adapted by Wynn Handman from the Richard Wright novel
A joint presentation by the university's Multicultural Services and Theatre departments
February 8-9 at 7:30 p.m.
Broadway actor Charles Holt plays Richard Wright and a host of additional characters in Wynn Handman's adaptation of Wright's influential 1945 autobiography Black Boy. This taut, one-hour show about Wright's dawning awareness of racism and the power of the written word is aimed squarely at family audiences. Join us for a talkback with Mr. Holt after the show.
As it is in Heaven
Written by Arlene Hutton
April 10-12 & 17-19 at 7:30 p.m.
April 13 at 2 p.m.
The 1830s Shaker society of Pleasant Hill, Ky., is set in an ordered way until a newcomer, Fanny, sees angels in the meadow. Soon all the young women are receiving spiritual "gifts" of songs, drawings, ideas, and giggles and completely upsetting the community. Are these gifts an honest resurgence of original Shaker celebration, or something manufactured by Fanny? Traditional Shaker hymns are woven into the action of this family-friendly play.
2006-07 University Theatre Season
The Secret Garden
Written by Marsha Norman & Lucy Simon
based on the children's novel by Francis Hodgson Burnett
October 26-28 & November 2-4 at 7:30 p.m.
November 5 at 2 p.m.
Howling winds, a drafty mansion, a hunchback uncle, and a forlorn garden greet Mary Lennox when she arrives at Misselthwaite Manor. The mysterious and cold mansion threatens to engulf Mary as she mourns her parents' death while she tries to adjust to her new life in England. But then Mary finds the key to a secret garden and what she discovers there changes her broken world and the people around her forever. Join us for an evening of family entertainment as we celebrate the journey from mourning to dancing.
A one-man play written by Aldyth Morris
Based on the life and death of Father Damien DeVouster, priest to the exiles of Hawai'i.
February 16-17 at 7:30 p.m. & Feb. 18 at 2 p.m.
Some said he was a hero and a martyr. Others said he was coarse, hot-tempered, and drunk with pride. Who was this fiery and passionate man? And why did he fight his family, government, and church to serve a group of dying outcasts? Featuring theatre professor Bryan Boyd, Father Damien's story is told in a compelling and intimate form of theatre - the one-man play.
Pride and Prejudice
Written by Jon Jory
Based on the novel by Jane Austen
April 12-14 and 19-21 at 7:30 p.m. & April 15 at 2 p.m.
Jon Jory's 2004 adaptation of Jane Austen's masterpiece is a breath of fresh air in a world of adaptations gone awry. Jory captures the heart of this masterpiece with all its biting wit, idiosyncratic personalities and problematic courtships. Join us as for a delightful evening of romantic comedy as we witness the young and head strong Elizabeth Bennet battle it out with the high and mighty Mr. Darcy only to discover that Mr. Darcy may be her perfect match.
2005-06 University Theatre Season
Fall 2005Machinal (1928)
Written by Sophie Treadwell
October 20-22 & 27-29 at 7:30 p.m.
Synopsis: A 1928 Broadway hit, Machinal is a modern parable that depicts one woman's tragic journey from isolation to murder. In Treadwell's words the play is about "a young woman, ready, eager for life, for love...but deadened, squeezed, crushed by the machine like quality of the life surrounding." This highly charged and moving play asks us to re-examine how our own lives are part of various societal "machines" that can crush our spiritual hunger for God. Join us for a thought provoking evening of 1920s Expressionism as we explore the spiritual consequences of obedience to the machines of life.
The Last Night of Ballyhoo (1997)
Written by Alfred Uhry
Jan. 26-28 & Feb. 2-4 at 7:30 p.m.
Synopsis: It's December 1939. Love is in the air, Christmas is around the corner, Gone with the Wind is taking the world by storm and World War II is under way. Meanwhile the Freitag family scrambles to get ready for Ballyhoo, an extravagant ball for Atlanta's Jewish elites. This 1997 Tony Award winning play by the author of Driving Miss Daisy is a fun-filled, family-centered, living room comedy. However, the depth of this often hilarious romantic comedy is revealed as the characters face unexpected obstacles and learn to hold close to their family values, traditions and faith. Join us for an evening of heartfelt family entertainment.
Written by William Shakespeare
April 4-8 at 7:30 p.m. & April 8 at 2:00 p.m.
School Matinee: Thursday April 6, at 10:00 a.m. Call 503-554-2639 for information and reservations.
Synopsis: Written in 1605-06 at the height of his dramatic powers, Shakespeare's Macbeth is the story of a war hero and his wife who struggle with fate and their own ambitions. Urged on by his wife, Macbeth betrays and murders his king in an attempt to gain the power and prestige of the crown. The cycle of violence, betrayal and murder that follows the couples' ascent to the throne is both as ancient and as fresh as today's news. Despite the grisly themes, some of Shakespeare's most beautiful verse and profound wisdom come to life in this wonderfully supernatural play. "Something wicked this way comes."
2004-05 University Theatre Season
Trojan Women (415 B.C.E.)
Written by Euripides and Translated by Paul D. Streufert
Oct. 27-30 & Nov. 3-6 at 7:30 p.m.
Synopsis: After 10 years of war, the women of Troy are left standing in the ruins of their country, enslaved by the conquering Greeks and awaiting an uncertain fate. While their men and children are slaughtered, their city destroyed, the women survive the extreme desolation of war with determined nobility. Euripides' plea for peace has spoken to war-torn cultures for 2,400 years and still packs a punch.
Winter 2005 Musical
Smoke on the Mountain (1991)
Written by Connie Ray, Conceived by Alan Bailey
Musical Arrangement by Mike Craver and Mark Hardwick
Feb. 2-5 & 9-12 at 7:30 p.m.
Synopsis: It's 1938 and the Sanders family is back on the North Carolina Gospel Circuit for their first Saturday Night Gospel Sing in five years. While the Sanders' first-performance jitters cause them to make a few mistakes, testify a little too much, laugh a little too loud, and dance too much, their country-gospel songs are both inspiring and uplifting. Join us for an evening of gospel songs from the good old days.
Dancing at Lughnasa (1991)
Written by Brian Friel
April 14-16 & 21-23 at 7:30 p.m.
Synopsis: Friel's heartwarming story about five Irish sisters won three Tony Awards in 1992, including Best Play. The texture of the Mundy sisters' 1936 pastoral life starts out simply and elegantly as each sister attempts to deal with the tides of change - the old world versus the new, the old versus the young and the familiar versus the different.