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John Kinzer
IU Department of Theatre and Drama

Last modified: Monday, March 8, 2010

IU Theatre and Drama presents 'Take Me Out,' a Tony Award-winning tale of self-discovery, baseball

WHAT: Take Me Out by Richard Greenberg under the direction of Jonathan Courtemanche. This production includes mature content and full male nudity.
WHEN: Opens Friday, March 26 at 7:30 p.m. Runs March 27, April 1-3 at 7:30 p.m.; April 3 at 2 p.m.
WHERE: All performances take place at the Wells-Metz Theatre in the Lee Norvelle Theatre and Drama Center at 275 N. Jordan Ave. No photography or recording of any kind is permitted during performances.
TICKETS: Regular admission is $20, $15 for students and senior citizens; Student rush tickets: $12 cash with a valid IU Bloomington student ID on the day of each performance. Ask the box office about buying tickets in advance at student rush price with flex vouchers.

March 8, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University's Department of Theatre and Drama rounds third on the 2009/10 theater season with Richard Greenberg's Tony award-winning Take Me Out under the direction of M.F.A. directing student Jonathan Courtemanche.

jaysen wright (left), neal utterback, take me out rehearsal

Actors rehearse for "Take Me Out," opening March 26 at the Wells-Metz Theatre in the Lee Norvelle Theatre at IU Bloomington. Standing is Jaysen Wright, a first-year M.F.A. student in acting. Seated is Neal Utterback, a second-year Ph.D. student.

Print-Quality Photo

Darren Lemming is a major league superstar: a young, handsome, heavy-hitting center fielder for the New York Empires, a championship World Series team, beloved by all. Until, that is, he reveals to the world that he is gay. Suddenly, the locker room is wrought with tension as his teammates are thrown into turmoil and confusion.

"It's a play about realizing your true nature, escaping one's narrow existence and, perhaps most importantly, baseball," Courtemanche said.

Playwright Richard Greenberg examines the dynamics of homophobia, isolation, racial tension and the cult of celebrity in this funny, moving love letter to America's favorite pastime.

In an interview with The Age, Greenberg said, "Discovering the sport was a surprising moment of exuberance in my life when I already thought I was satisfied . . . Baseball has an enormous relationship with America. (It) serves as a metaphor for history, passion, power and class."

In this production, Courtemanche focuses on connecting the action of the play to the history of the game. "We've reflected that in the set, and I think there will be powerful images of what's happening in the story connecting to the history of baseball," Courtemanche said.

Several members and coaches of IU's baseball team helped prepare the actors for this production.

Courtemanche said he believes it's important to have real representations of gays onstage, both good and bad, though he considers Take Me Out to be more than just a "gay" play.

"I think we all have conceptions of who we are and what our lives are meant to be, but there are events and discoveries that we all make that shake those foundations," Courtemanche said.

Take Me Out contains mature content and full male nudity.

Jaysen Wright (As You Like It), first-year M.F.A. acting candidate, plays the central role, Darren Lemming. Also in the cast are second-year M.F.A. acting student Henry A. McDaniel III (Parentheses of Blood, Oklahoma! and Dead Man Walking) and undergraduate Adrian Burks (An American Ma(u)l). Second-year M.F.A. scenic design student Nick Passafiume (Blood Brothers, The America Play) has transformed the Wells-Metz Theatre into a baseball diamond complete with fully operating showers, first-year M.F.A. students Abby Wells (Parentheses of Blood) and Jason Orlenko will design the lights and costumes respectively.

For more information about the Department of Theatre and Drama, see