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IU Theatre and Drama

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University Communications

Last modified: Wednesday, March 11, 2009

IU Department of Theatre and Drama announces 2009-10 season

March 11, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- As Indiana University's Department of Theatre and Drama celebrates its 75th anniversary year (2008-09) and the upcoming 2009-10 theater season, the department continues a tradition of professional-level student performances featured in both classic favorites and cutting-edge, contemporary plays.

Modern works such as The Clean House and Take Me Out will be featured alongside Shakespeare and George Bernard Shaw, Peter Weiss's riveting Marat/Sade, Congolese playwright Sony Labou Tansi's Parentheses of Blood, and two musicals, including Stephen Sondheim's beautiful A Little Night Music. And as an added treat, the Department of Theatre and Drama will bring Sondheim to Bloomington for a free IU Auditorium appearance April 30, 2009, where he will be interviewed on stage by NPR's Scott Simon.

The Lee Norvelle Theatre and Drama Center season opens Oct. 9, 2009, with Willy Russell's award-winning musical Blood Brothers.

Blood Brothers, Oct. 9-10, 13-17, 2009, Ruth N. Halls Theatre -- A musical with music, lyrics, and book by Willy Russell, directed at IU by Murray McGibbon, Blood Brothers won the Olivier Award for Best New Musical and was a Tony Award-nomine for Best Musical and Best Book of a Musical.

A pair of twins are separated at birth. One is raised in wealth and privilege, the other in squalor and a life of crime. After fate reunites them, they become fast friends -- but fall in love with the same girl. Their lives explode when she marries one of them but still loves the other. One of the longest-running works in musical theatre in history and winner of the Olivier Award for Best New Musical, Blood Brothers explores the human carnage of class warfare. It's no wonder that the 1988 production of Blood Brothers is still running in London's West End after 20 years.

"Exhilarating . . . one of the best musicals ever written." -- Sunday Times (London)

The Clean House, Oct. 23-24, 27-31, 2009, Wells-Metz Theatre -- Written by Sarah Ruhl, recipient of a MacArthur Genius grant, this 2005 Pulitzer finalist won the 2004 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Directed by Bruce Burgun.

In a visionary comedy tinged with fantasy, Lane's life is in chaos: her maid, obsessed with her quest for the "perfect joke," won't clean the house. Her obsessive sister comes to the rescue. It seems like a match made in heaven -- until the three women discover that Lane's husband is having an affair. Just wait until they find the funniest joke. You'll die laughing. Playwright Sarah Ruhl's vision, poetry and a touch of madness makes The Clean House unforgettable.

"Fresh . . . Romantic . . . One of the finest and funniest new plays you're likely to see." -- The New York Times

As You Like It, Nov. 13-14, 17-21, 2009, Ruth N. Halls Theatre -- A classic William Shakespeare play directed by Fontaine Syer.

As You Like It speaks directly to the 21st Century -- and, as the title asserts, has something to offer every taste -- with a cross-dressed heroine, love at first sight, gender games, explorations of sexual ambivalence and melancholy Jaques. A group of displaced people fleeing the hierarchy of the court, family disruption and political corruption alight in the mystical Forest of Arden. Watch how Shakespeare sorts out true love and right from the misuse of power and might in a beloved comedy of extraordinary flexibility and depth.

"Full of unspoiled mirth and innocent affection." -- The Arden Shakespeare 1904

Parentheses of Blood, Dec. 4-5, 8-12, 2009 , Wells-Metz Theatre -- Written by Sony Labou Tansi, 1981 (French), 1985 (English), directed by Edris Cooper-Anifowoshe.

In a country controlled by a brutal authoritarian regime and threatened by rebellion, the government views freedom fighter Libertashio as a particular threat that must be eliminated. Libertashio is dead, but that doesn't stop the government from continuing to hunt him down. The horror of the real, brutal, ugly world is hardly distinguishable from any imaginable hell. Filled with jolting turns, Parentheses of Blood remains a bitterly funny, bloody, tragic farce, a comedy of confusion, identity and misguided principles.

"In the field of francophone African writing there was no greater genius than Sony Labou Tansi." -- The Independent (London)

The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton under the Direction of Monsieur de Sade (Commonly known as Marat/Sade), Feb. 5-6, 9-13, 2010, Wells-Metz Theatre -- Written by Peter Weiss, 1963 (German), 1964 (English), and directed by Dale McFadden, Marat/Sade won the 1966 Tony Award for Best Play.

Acting can be therapy for asylum inmates, but things get out of hand when the director is infamous fellow inmate the Marquis de Sade and the play depicts the murder of revolutionary leader Jean-Paul Marat. The asylum inmates seize the opportunity to unleash their rage at the ascension of Napoleon and their insufferable poverty, leading to utter chaos and powerful theatre. Primed for a new generation of theatergoers, Marat/Sade is a powerful theatrical experience not to be missed.

"One of the most amazing plays I've ever seen . . . exciting, exhilarating, awesome -- I was stunned." -- The Daily Mail

Major Barbara, February 26-27, March 2-6, 2010, Ruth N. Halls Theatre -- Written by George Bernard Shaw, directed by Sabrina Lloyd.

Booze, bombs and the Salvation Army make an explosive concoction where Christian compassion and righteousness collide with forces of incongruous ethical alliances. As a major in the Salvation Army, Barbara balks at accepting her estranged father's money (made from manufacturing armaments which matches another's donation from distilling alcohol). Her supervising officer accepts the huge contribution presenting Major Barbara with a dilemma. Her family needs the money, but her principles dictate otherwise. Shaw's witty, powerful play will remind you of the hypocrisy afoot in our own time.

"No matter where you stand with regard to current geo-political terrorism, the cry 'Dare you make war on war?' hits home as timely." -- Variety

Take Me Out, March 26-27, 30-31, April 1-3, 2010, Wells-Metz Theatre -- Written byRichard Greenberg and directed by Jonathan Courtemanche, Take Me Out won the 2003 Tony Award for Best Play, the New York Drama Critics' Circle award for Best Play, Outer Critics Circle award for Best Play and Drama Desk Award for Best Play.

Enter the depths of the clubhouse and showers of America's pastime to witness the hidden identities, relationships, problems and prejudices behind our most beloved sport. Star center-fielder Darren Lemming is an extraordinary athlete of awe-inspiring talent. When controversy arises, his manager and his team are thrown into turmoil and confusion, especially the deeply racist and homophobic star pitcher, exposing the full spectrum of hate, rage and humor that lies beneath the surface of baseball -- and the human experience.

"A funny and troubling look at athletes and identity . . . Take Me Out is a dynamic, involving play." -- New York Post

A Little Night Music, April 16-17, 20-24, 2010, Ruth N. Halls Theatre -- Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by Hugh Wheeler, directed and choreographed by George Pinney with musical direction by Terry LaBolt.

Celebrate the Department of Theatre and Drama's 2009 Ralph L. Collins Memorial Lecture visit by Stephen Sondheim with his unforgettable stylish celebration of romantic love. An age-spanning variety of unhappy spouses and unfaithful lovers come together for "A Weekend in the Country" resulting in a riotous remixing of mates in Sondheim's romantic, adult fairy tale told in waltz time. Winner of a host of Tonys including 1973 Best Musical and other awards, A Little Night Music will have you waltzing your way into a spring night.

"Heady, civilized, sophisticated and enchanting. Good God! An adult musical!" -- The New York Times

More information about the 2009-2010 Lee Norvelle Theatre and Drama Center season is available on the Department of Theatre and Drama website at Brochures will be available soon by contacting John Edward Kinzer at the Department of Theatre and Drama's Audience Development office at 812- 855-0514 or