Tri-State Theater

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Friday, September 03, 2010

Marshall's 2010 - 2011 Season

I promised a review of the upcoming seasons for theatre groups in our area, so let's start with the one that's been around the longest (as near as I can tell) - Marshall University's Department of Theatre, which is presenting six shows under the title Marshall's Theatre Alliance.

All the productions will be presented at the Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center. Here's the rundown:

- Saturday, Sunday, Monday will be presented October 6 – 9 at 8 p.m.
Brooklyn, 1985. As Mama Rosa prepares her celebrated sauce for the ritual Sunday meal, she recalls her own Mama’s lessons. “To make ragu, my Mama used to say, takes patience.” And love. Family tensions simmer during the Saturday preparations. On Sunday, smoldering antagonisms fuel misunderstanding and harsh words. Pasta plates and wine classes are abandoned on the table as the party breaks up, but on Monday morning, “Nothing gets put away until it is counted,” including the family’s abiding love for each other.

- The Good Doctor will be presented November 10-13 at 8 p.m.
The Good Doctor: A Comedy with Music is Neil Simon’s hilarious adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s short stories about the foibles of ordinary people. Two lonely pensioners wistful contemplate the possibility of taking tea together, a frightened governess quavers, an eager dental student lunges, and a desperate man freelances as a faux suicide. It’s all in good fun, directed by guest artist (and my pal) Clint McElroy.

- Dead Man Walking will be presented February 23-26 at 8 p.m.
(This play contains adult themes.) Tim Robbins’ dramatic adaption of Sister Helen Prejean’s autobiographical book, Dead Man Walking, has been performed by over 170 universities nationwide and is scheduled to open in New York next year. The Dead Man Walking School Theatre Project enlists the power of theatre arts to enliven the national discourse on the death penalty. The story unfolds as Sister Helen gives witness to the emotional roller coaster of death row inmate, Matthew Poncelet, as well as the deep heartache of his victims and their family members.

- Working will be presented April 20-23 at 8 p.m., and April 24 at 2:30 p.m.
Based on oral historian Studs Terkel’s bestselling book, Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do (1974). One worker’s story blends seamlessly into another’s as ordinary people reflect on their jobs and on the greater meaning of work. The songwriters who collaborated on Working find the soaring power and unique poetry of musical theatre in the spare, revealing and honest words originally spoken to Studs Terkel.

- Christmas Carol will be presented December 1-4.

- Theatre Guild Cabaret will be presented February 7-11 in the Francis-Booth Experimental Theatre.

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