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John Kinzer
IU Department of Theatre and Drama

Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tony-winning 'The Last Night of Ballyhoo' closes the 62nd season at IU's Brown County Playhouse

WHAT: The Last Night of Ballyhoo by Alfred Uhry
WHEN: August 6-7, 11-14, 18-21 at 8 p.m.; August 8, 14-15, 21-22 at 3 p.m.
WHERE: All performances take place at the Brown County Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren, Nashville, Indiana.
TICKETS: $22 regular admission and $15 for children and students. Flex Vouchers, 4 ticket vouchers for the price of 3: $44-$64. For ticket information, group rates, or to order flex vouchers call the IU Auditorium at 812-855-1103 or Brown County Playhouse at 812-988-2123, or get details and buy online at

July 21, 2010

NASHVILLE, Ind. -- Indiana University's Brown County Playhouse presents its final production of the 2010 season, The Last Night of Ballyhoo, by Alfred Uhry, opening on August 6.

After Ballyhoo, Uhry became the first-ever writer to win three of the most prestigious writing awards: the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Academy Award for his play (and film) Driving Miss Daisy and a Tony Award for The Last Night of Ballyhoo.

"This coming-of-age story is filled with humor and insight as a family learns to live and love together," said IU Professor of Acting and Directing Dale McFadden, who also directed last season's Driving Miss Daisy. "It is an appealing story that tells the timeless tale of the old and the young facing life together."

The Last Night of Ballyhoo

The play opens in Atlanta in December of 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 suitable date for daughter Lala to Ballyhoo, a lavish ball for Jewish socialites. When Uncle Adolf brings Joe -- his new, very eligible assistant -- home for dinner, the romantic schemes begin.

The Ballyhoo cast includes both IU students and seasoned professional actors. Playhouse veteran Sarah Fischer (There Goes the Bride, Present Laughter) is joined by several IU undergraduate students going from IU's Lee Norvelle stages to make their playhouse debuts: Alana Cheshire (Marat/Sade, The Clean House), Miles Heymann (Hamlet) and Kelly Lusk (Take Me Out, Bobby Cory).

Making his debut in Brown County is Joel Leffert, seen on Broadway in Trevor Nunn's production of Not About Nightingales. Leffert has appeared on the television show Law and Order and in the films Six Degrees and Deconstructing Harry. Nancy Slusser, who has performed off Broadway and on national tours of regional theaters across the country, will make her first appearance at the Brown County Playhouse. An alumna of Eastern Illinois University, Slusser was a member of the cast of Seduced, which competed in the American College Theatre Festival the same year IU's production of The Cashier received an ACTF award for new scripts. IU Voice and Speech Professor Nancy Lipschultz joins the cast, bringing her acting experience (from New York to Los Angeles to London) and experience as a vocal coach for theatrical productions across the nation.

In addition to McFadden as director, the creative team includes costume design by Associate Professor of Costume Design Linda Pisano and lighting by Professor of Interior Design Marie Shakespeare. They are joined by scenic designer Katie McDermott and sound designer Chris Wood, both MFA students. Jeff Corso will be stage managing his first Brown County Playhouse production with assistant stage manager Joe Fernandez.

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