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John Kinzer
IU Department of Theatre and Drama

Last modified: Monday, April 16, 2012

Indiana Festival Theatre returns with classic comedies, musicals

WHAT: IU Department of Theatre and Drama presents Indiana Festival Theatre
WHEN: June 13 to Aug. 19, 2012
WHERE: All performances take place at the Lee Norvelle Theatre and Drama Center, 275 N. Jordan Ave. in Bloomington
TICKETS: Regular admission is $25 for adults, $15 for students; flex passes offer four ticket vouchers at a discount, and preview tickets are discounted. Details at

April 16, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The IU Department of Theatre and Drama announces its second annual Indiana Festival Theatre season. Hosted in the Lee Norvelle Theatre and Drama Center on the IU Bloomington campus, the new season offers a slate of classic comedies and musicals for theater lovers of all ages.

Kicking off the summer in the Ruth N. Halls Theatre will be "Damn Yankees," the much-loved musical that takes a swing at America's most legendary sports franchise. "Damn Yankees" opens June 14 and plays through July 1. Meanwhile, as a special offering for children -- and the young at heart -- Robert Kauzlaric's adaptation of "The True Story of the Three Little Pigs" will play in the Studio Theatre from June 23 to July 7.

Opening July 5 in the Wells-Metz Theatre will be "The Taming of the Shrew." Kate and Petruchio, perhaps Shakespeare's rowdiest couple, will battle it out through July 28. And if all that Elizabethan-style domestic hilarity has audiences itching for even more laughs, the infamous Sycamore family of Kaufman and Hart's "You Can't Take It With You" will supply a hefty dose of good old-fashioned American family chaos. "You Can't Take It With You" will also be in the Wells-Metz from July 12 to 29. These two shows will run in repertory.

Closing out the summer with a four-day engagement is "Happily Ever Chloe." Featured in the Premiere Musicals Workshop at IU last summer, "Chloe" returns with a more fully realized production Aug. 16 to 19 in the Wells-Metz Theatre. This is the latest incarnation of an exciting new musical by Grammy Award-nominated IU alumni Michael Heitzman and Ilene Reid.

For additional details about the season, visit

The season is part of IU's second annual Summer Festival of the Arts, a 113-day event that features visual arts, music, cinema, dance and theater on the Bloomington campus.

Indiana Festival Theatre

"Damn Yankees"
Book by George Abbot and Douglass Wallop; music and lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross; directed by George Pinney; musical direction by Terry LaBolt
When: June 13, 7:30 p.m. (preview)
June 14-16 at 7:30 p.m.
June 17 at 2 p.m.
June 19-23 at 7:30 p.m.
June 24 at 2 and 7:30 p.m.
June 26-30 at 7:30 p.m.
July 1 at 2 p.m.
Where: Ruth N. Halls Theatre
Synopsis: "Damn Yankees" has just about everything one could hope for in summer entertainment: Baseball, love, music, laughs and -- of course -- a deal with the devil. It's 1955, and baseball fan Joe Boyd, whose beloved Washington Senators are buried in the basement of the standings, is approached by the charming but devious Mr. Applegate. Is Joe desperate enough to trade his soul for a chance to lead his favorite team to victory over the vaunted "damned Yankees" in New York? Joe becomes a young baseball sensation and takes the Senators into the winner's circle, but will baseball glory really bring him happiness? And what will he do about that contract he signed with Mr. Applegate?

"The True Story of the Three Little Pigs"
A children's musical based on the children's book of the same title by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by Lane Smith; book and lyrics by Robert Kauzlaric; music by Paul Gilvary and William Rush; directed by Chad Rabinovitz; musical direction by Jay Ivey
When: 11 a.m. June 23, 26-30 and July 2-3, 5-7
Where: Studio Theatre
Synopsis: "The True Story of the Three Little Pigs" reminds audiences there are two sides to every story. The long-suppressed account of the Big Bad Wolf is brought to light in Piggsylvania's trial of the century, where the audience acts as the jury to decide the Wolf's fate.
"One of the best children's shows of the year. Case closed." -- The New York Times

"The Taming of the Shrew"
By William Shakespeare; directed by Jonathan Michaelsen
When: July 5, 7:30 p.m. (preview)
July 6-7 at 7:30 p.m.
July 8 at 2 and 7:30 p.m.
July 15, 17, 19, 21 at 7:30 p.m.
July 22 at 2 p.m.
July 25, 27 at 7:30 p.m.
July 28 at 2 p.m.
Where: Wells-Metz Theatre
Synopsis: In Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew," passionate and cocksure Petruchio -- eager to win a challenge and claim a dowry -- marries temperamental and headstrong Katharina and takes her, kicking and screaming, to his country estate. But Katharina is a woman to be reckoned with. Will Petruchio "tame" her or will Kate find love on her own terms?
"In Shakespeare's day, 'comedy' meant only that the lead character didn't die. Here, it means that the fun button has been punched and turned up loud." -- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"You Can't Take It With You"
By George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart; directed by Dale McFadden
When: July 12 at 7:30 p.m. (preview)
July 13-14 at 7:30 p.m.
July 15 at 2 p.m.
July 18, 20 at 7:30 p.m.
July 21 at 2 p.m.
July 22, 24, 26, 28 at 7:30 p.m.
July 29 at 2 p.m.
Where: Wells-Metz Theatre
Synopsis: In "You Can't Take It With You," Tony Kirby and Alice Sycamore find themselves in the happiest of conditions: love. But when Tony's parents come to dinner at the Sycamore home, chaos ensues. Can Tony and Alice's true love weather the storm of parlor printing presses, federal investigations and explosive basement fireworks? In this classic comedy about love, social class and family dynamics, the Sycamores may be mad, but they only prove the rest of the world is madder.
"Mr. Hart and Mr. Kaufman ... have never scooped up an evening of such tickling fun." -- The New York Times

"Happily Ever Chloe"
By Michael Heitzman and Ilene Reid; directed by George Pinney; musical direction by Ray Fellman
When: August 16-18 at 7:30 p.m.; August 19 at 2 p.m.
Where: Wells-Metz Theatre
Synopsis: Adopted Asian-American Chloe Ellsworth finally finishes college and returns home to her family farm in Middle Valley, Ind. Just as she's about to settle into her new life, her royal birth family lands on her doorstep and demands that she return with them immediately to her native country -- to take her place on the throne. This life-altering disruption sends her on a fairy-tale journey, a lifelong quest to discover who she really is and her true place in the world.
"A very funny, gracefully executed, thought-provoking, heart-wrenching show." -- George Walker, WFIU