University Theatre has announced its 2015-2016 season, which includes a Tony award-winning musical, Machiavellian machinations, two comedies – one classic and one darkly contemporary, a New Play Festival, and award-winning dramas based on historical events. While it may be easy to get used to fantastic-season-after-fantastic-season from University Theatre, these productions require a tremendous amount work and resources to offer our students (and audiences) these splendid opportunities. The new season opens September 24 with a suitcase full of spare hands in A Behanding in Spokane by Martin McDonagh, and only gets better from there:
One very determined man has been searching for his missing hand for the past twenty-five years, encountering an unstable hotel clerk and a bickering young couple with a hand to sell. In October, Emily Mann’s Mrs. Packard portrays the struggles of a woman in 1861 who has been committed to an asylum, without proof of insanity, by her husband. The 1936 classic You Can’t Take It With You, which was also a hit in 2014 when it was revived on Broadway, features a delightfully eccentric family that will inhabit the Fine Arts Theatre in November during UGA’s Spotlight on the Arts Festival.
Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood in 1991, torn apart by a fatal car accident, race riots, and a murder, is the setting for February’s Fires in the Mirror by Anna Deavere Smith. It is followed later that month by comedic social climbing in The Mandrake, by the notorious Italian political philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli. A festival of new plays, primarily by UGA graduate and undergraduate students, is planned for March. The Demon Barber of Fleet Street rounds out the season in April with Sweeney Todd, the hilariously macabre musical by Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler. In it, a 19th century barber who has been wronged by fellow Londoners, takes revenge by murdering his customers . . . who are then included in his popular meat pies.
Wow. Very much like leading-edge scienitific research, a stellar, ambitious theatre season in first rate venues is another of the traits that makes UGA a major American university. The four mainstage productions and three Studio Series presentations offer live theatre in a vibrant atmosphere that is hard to top on any campus. Tickets for mainstage productions are $16, and $12 for UGA students. Studio Series tickets are $12, and $7 for UGA students. Subscriptions, which save 25% off of the single ticket prices, are on sale now through the Performing Arts Center. Get your tickets and subscriptions today by calling locally 706-542-4400, toll free at 888-289-8497, or ordering online at www.drama.uga.edu.
Image: graphic source. Above, courtesy of University Theatre.