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John Kinzer
IU Department of Theatre and Drama

Last modified: Wednesday, February 3, 2010

IU announces 2010-2011 seasons for Lee Norvelle Theatre, Brown County Playhouse

WHAT: 2010-2011 Lee Norvelle Theatre and Drama Center and Brown County Playhouse Season
WHEN: Lee Norvelle season opens Friday, Oct. 8, 2010; Brown County Playhouse opens June 11, 2010
WHERE: All performances take place in the Lee Norvelle Theatre and Drama Center on the corner of Seventh St. and Jordan Ave. in Bloomington or the Brown County Playhouse at 70 S. Van Buren St. in Nashville, Ind.
TICKETS: Season renewal begins Feb. 8, 2010. For more information about on sale dates and ticket information contact the IU Auditorium Box Office at 812-855-1103.

Feb. 3, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University Department of Theatre and Drama will open a 2010-2011 Lee Norvelle Theatre and Drama season filled with multiple award-winning plays.

"As You Like It"

A scene from "As You Like It" by the IU Department of Theatre and Drama. The newly announced 2010-2011 season includes another classic favorite by William Shakespeare, "The Winter's Tale."

Print-Quality Photo

The fall semester debuts in October with one of the most memorable musicals of our time. Rent, a character-driven story of tragedy and hope by Jonathan Larson, is followed by Rabbit Hole, David Lindsay-Abaire's witty exploration of grief and healing. The third offering heralds the return of playwright NoŽl Coward to the IU stage for the first time since 1993 with the comedy Hay Fever. The semester concludes with Paula Vogel's Pulitzer Prize-winning story of one woman's triumph over abuse, How I Learned to Drive.

The second semester opens with Tony Kushner's uniquely American Pulitzer Prize-winning epic Angels in America: Millennium Approaches. William Shakespeare follows in one of his most sweeping sagas The Winter's Tale. Playwright Naomi Iizuka infuses a pulsing, contemporary energy into the traditions of the Japanese Noh theater with her eerie cycle of ghost stories Language of Angels. Closing the season is one of America's best-loved composers, Cole Porter, in Anything Goes, a light-hearted romp at sea.

The Brown County Playhouse opens its 2010 season with The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, an endearing musical for audiences of all ages. From the playwright who wrote The Foreigner comes the inventive comedy The Nerd. Closing out the summer is The Last Night of Ballyhoo from the Alfred Uhry, who wrote last season's hit Driving Miss Daisy. The traditional autumn offering at the playhouse will be announced when it becomes available.

"Driving Miss Daisy"

Last season, IU Theatre and Drama presented "Driving Miss Daisy" by Alfred Uhry. The new 2010-2011 season will include Uhry's "The Last Night of Ballyhoo."

Print-Quality Photo

2010-2011 Lee Norvelle Theatre and Drama Center Season

Rent book, music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson; Ruth N. Halls Theatre, Oct. 8, 9, 12-16, 2010

Awards: Tony Award (best musical, best score, best book), Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Musical, Book for a Musical and Lyrics for a Musical.

Jonathan Larson created a contemporary musical based on the classic opera La BohŤme that explores sexuality, the human tragedies of homelessness and AIDS, the glory of friendship and the creation of art. An emotionally stirring story of a community of young artists struggling to survive and celebrate life in New York's East Village, Rent has become one of the most successful musicals in American history. The original production ran for 12 years on Broadway (5,123 performances), and Rent is currently the eighth longest running show in Broadway history.

"Rent . . . shimmers with hope for the future of the American musical . . . Mr. Larson has proved that rock-era song styles can be integrated into a character-driven story for the stage with wildly affecting success." -- New York Times

Rabbit Hole by David Lindsay-Abaire; Wells-Metz Theatre, Oct. 22, 23, 26-30, 2010

Awards: Winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Becca's very reason to be has vanished after the accidental death of her 4-year-old son, a tragedy that transforms the lives of Rabbit Hole's five characters. Eight months after the death of their child, the parents continue their delicate dance through an emotional minefield while warily watching out for the feelings of others. Sometimes angry, often funny, and always humane, Rabbit Hole explores the ways individuals deal with grief, both alone and as families.

"A beautifully observed new play blessed with David Lindsay-Abaire's customary grace and wit." -- New York Times

Hay Fever by NoŽl Coward; Ruth N. Halls Theatre, November 12, 13, 16-20, 2010

Welcome to the 1920s English country home of the Bliss family, an eccentric group of four outlandish characters who each -- without consulting one another -- invite a guest to spend the weekend. The unsuspecting guests have no idea what's in store for them. After-dinner parlor games descend into a masterly series of misalliances, leading the theatrical Bliss family to engage in giddy mind games at the expense of their innocent weekend prey.

"Light, luminous, and charming . . . and hilariously funny." -- New York Post

How I Learned to Drive: by Paula Vogel; Wells-Metz Theatre, Dec. 3, 4, 7-11, 2010

Awards: Pulitzer Prize for Drama (1998), Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play (1997), Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play (1997), Obie Award for Playwriting (1996-1997), Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway Play, New York Drama Critics Award for Best Play.

How I Learned to Drive examines the life of a woman who learns the rules of the road and life from behind the wheel. Li'l Bit comes of age during the 1960s-70s in rural Maryland. She guides the audience through her memory as she recalls her early driving lessons from Uncle Peck, sparking a relationship that -- tentatively, disturbingly and sexually -- forms the underpinning of this disarmingly funny story that is full of heart and humor.

"Superb comic drama . . . haunting . . . a lovely, harrowing guide to the crippling persistence of one woman's memories." -- New York Times

Angels in America: Millennium Approaches by Tony Kushner; Wells-Metz Theatre, Feb. 4, 5, 8-12, 2011

Awards: Tony Award (best play and many more), Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Play, Actor, Director, Supporting Actor.

In this sweeping Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, Tony Kushner unveils a diverse cross-section of characters -- among them, attorney Roy Cohen (Joseph McCarthy's right-hand man), a young Mormon couple, a gay man with AIDS, the ghost of Ethel Rosenberg, and an angel -- to explore contemporary American culture, politics and the character of its people. Winner of numerous awards and adapted into a successful HBO motion picture, Angels in America is powerful, important American theater.

"Kushner sends his haunting messenger, a spindly, abandoned gay man with a heroic spirit and a ravaged body, deep into the audience's heart to ask just who we are." -- New York Times

The Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare; Ruth N. Halls Theatre, Feb. 25, 26, March1-5, 2011

Two kings, raised together as dear friends but separated in adulthood, reunite as fathers, but a violent jealousy propels them apart again. Across the vastness of time and tempest, one rekindles his happiness while the other plumbs the depths of his gloom after banishing his daughter to the winds and his wife to prison. Through it all, their children discover true love. In one of Shakespeare's most sweeping sagas, the bard evokes both outrage and pleasure in a story of rebirth, new life and resurrection.

Language of Angels by Naomi Iizuka; Wells-Metz Theatre, March 25, 26, 29-April 2, 2011

An eerie cycle of ghost stories, Language of Angels is set in the cave country of rural Appalachia. After a young woman goes missing in a cave on the edge of town, there is a Rashomon-like investigation of her disappearance and the fate of those who survive her. Iizuka spins a dreamlike web of intrigue and, notes one reviewer, "hooks the audience instantly."

"Language used like a loaded weapon." -- Seattle Times

"Language of Angels creates a trance and weaves the audience into a world with its own irrefutable logic and connections. -- San Francisco Chronicle

Anything Goes book by Guy Bolton, Howard Lindsay, P.G. Wodehouse and Russell Crouse; music and lyrics by Cole Porter; Ruth N. Halls Theatre, April 15, 16, 19-23, 2011

Awards: The original 1934 production preceded modern theatre awards, but revivals have won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Revival (1962 and 1987); the Tony Award for Best Reproduction of a Play (1987); the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival (1987); and London's Olivier Award for Outstanding Musical Production (2002). The original production ran for 420 performances, becoming the fourth-longest running Broadway show of the 1930s, despite the effects of the Great Depression.

Anything Goes, Cole Porter's lively and farcical musical comedy about ship-board romances, a stowaway, a sexy evangelist-turned-nightclub-singer, a Wall Street banker, and -- disguised as a minister -- Moonface Martin, Public Enemy 13, has provided (de)lovely memories for generations of audiences. With musical numbers such as "Anything Goes," "You're the Top," "I Get a Kick Out of You," "Friendship," "It's De-Lovely" and "Blow, Gabriel, Blow," this frothy romp brings to the Ruth N. Halls Theatre stage some of Cole Porter's best songs.

"The best Cole Porter songs are like glasses of champagne . . . they go to your head directly and leave no hangover behind." -- London Observer

Brown County Playhouse

Brown County Playhouse 2010 Season

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee book by Rachel Sheinkin Music/Lyrics by William Finn; June 11-July 4, 2010

Brush off your dictionary and join us for a d-e-l-i-g-h-t-f-u-l Tony Award-winning musical that's perfect for visitors to Brown County. Six misfit adolescents compete for the coveted first prize in the annual spelling bee, run by three quirky adults. C-h-a-r-m-i-n-g, toe tapping, r-o-l-l-i-c-k-i-n-g and full of giggles, this show includes audience participation, so be on your toes.

"Effortlessly endearing." -- New York Times

The Nerd by Larry Shue; July 9-Aug. 1, 2010

This inventive, side-splitting comedy (set in Terre Haute, Ind.) centers on the hilarious dilemma of a young architect who is visited by a hopelessly inept "nerd" he's never met before -- but who happened to save his life.

"Bring[s] the audience to its knees, laughing." --Milwaukee Tribune

The Last Night of Ballyhoo by Alfred Uhry; Aug. 6-29, 2010

Atlanta, December 1939. Hitler has invaded Poland. The premiere of Gone with the Wind is the next day. But the biggest concern of the Freitag family is finding a socially suitable date for daughter Lala to Ballyhoo, a lavish ball for Jewish socialites. When Uncle Adolph brings Joe -- his new, very eligible assistant -- home for dinner, the romantic schemes begin. This Tony-Award winning comedy captures the same heartfelt warmth as the author's earlier success, Driving Miss Daisy.

"The bedrock of reality makes Uhry's wise comedy even funnier."-- New York Daily News

Final Show TBD: Sept. 24-Oct. 24, 2010

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