CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., June 17, 2005 — The Department of Theatre and Dance at Southeast Missouri State University takes on its 2005-2006 season, announcing a wide variety of exciting productions, from classic Greek tragedy to contemporary American opera.
“Trojan Women,” the classic tragedy by Euripides, will open the season. First performed in 415 BC, its tidings are timeless and its messages universal. As relevant today as it was in ancient Greece, the play depicts the destruction wreaked on family, spirit and home as it tells the story of the women of Troy as they wait to be turned over to their new Greek masters, the very ones who murdered their husbands, brothers, and sons. With arguably the best roles ever written for women actors, “Trojan Women” will be a meaningful venture into history and an excellent study of the inevitable destruction of war. Directed by Robert Dillon, Jr., “Trojan Women” will run Sept. 30, Oct. 1 and Oct. 5-9 in the Forrest H. Rose Theatre.
The next play of the year will be the contemporary comedy, “Art,” by French playwright Yasmina Reza. Winner of “Best New Comedy” at the 1997 Olivier Awards and “Best Play” at the 1998 Tony Awards, “Art” describes the friendship of three men that is fatally disrupted when one of them buys a very expensive modern work of art that resembles nothing so much as a blank canvas. Exploring both what comprises art and what comprises friendship, this three-man-play will be performed entirely by Theatre and Dance alumni and directed by Dennis Seyer. “Art” will be performed Oct. 25-30 in the Rose Theatre.
To round out the fall semester, faculty will choreograph the fabulous Fall Dance Concert planned for November. The last few seasons have seen the Department of Theatre and Dance gaining momentum, and 2005-2006 should be no exception. With packed audiences and dynamic and varied performances by talented faculty and students, the dance concerts are becoming increasingly popular from year to year. This year’s concert features choreography by Gil McNaughton and Hilary Peterson, both new to the University, and Dr. Marc Strauss. The Fall Dance concert will run in the Rose Theatre Nov. 11-12 and Nov. 18-19.
The spring 2006 semester will begin with an exciting offering — Aaron Copland’s American opera, “The Tender Land” — directed by Department of Music faculty member Dr. Chris Goeke. Set on a depression-era farm in the American Midwest, “The Tender Land” is the simple and poignant story of Laurie, a young girl yearning for a life beyond her farm surroundings as she graduates from high school. When drifters come to town, Laurie’s dissatisfaction with her home life grows, and she is drawn to experience adventures outside of the only environment she has ever known. This popular and epic opera will come to life with Southeast’s talented singers and actors and will be rounded out with a full orchestra pit. “The Tender Land” will be performed Feb. 22-26 in the Rose Theatre.
In March, the dance faculty and students will combine forces to present a Spring Dance Concert. The highlight of this show will be the strong student presence, as senior-level students showcase their original work as they prepare to embark on their professional careers. The Spring Dance concert will be performed March 9-11 in Parker Dance Studio.
William Shakespeare’s enduring and powerful “Romeo and Juliet” will be the final play of the 2005-2006 school year. Probably the most popular play in Shakespeare’s repertoire, “Romeo and Juliet” is the heart wrenching story of tragic love surrounded by secrecy, strife, misunderstanding, and how it ultimately leads to the death of two young lovers. Never meant by Shakespeare to be read as literature, but to be performed live on stage, “Romeo and Juliet” may contain some of the most beautiful and memorable language ever written. Its lines are easily and immediately understood by audience members of all ages as the play’s underlying passion and emotion transcends the age of the words themselves. The Department of Theatre and Dance will proudly present “Romeo and Juliet,” directed by Dr. Kenn Stilson, on the Rose Theatre stage April 21-22 and April 25-30.
Tickets for all productions will be on sale beginning July 1. Season tickets, available through Sept. 23, also will be available and are offered with a 20 percent discount. The Performing Arts Box Office will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is located in the lobby of the Forrest H. Rose Theatre. Reservations may also be made by calling (573) 651-2265.