Theatre and Dance

WIU Theatre and Dance 2019-2020 Theatre Season:

Faculty Showcase:

Bill Kincaid in EVERY BRILLIANT THING

By Duncan Macmillan, with Jonny Donahoe
Directed by Carolyn Blackinton

Heidi Clemmens in Faculty Dance Showcase

When:
September 6 & 7 at 7:30pm

Where:
Horrabin Theatre

About the performance:

You’re six years old. Mum’s in hospital. Dad says she’s “done something stupid.” She finds it hard to be happy. So you start to make a list of everything that’s brilliant about the world. Everything that’s worth living for.

  1. Ice cream.
  2. Kung Fu movies
  3. Burning things.
  4. Laughing so hard you shoot milk out your nose.
  5. Construction cranes.
  6. Me.

You leave it on her pillow. You know she’s read it because she’s corrected your spelling. Soon, the list will take on a life of its own. A play about depression and the lengths we will go to for those we love. Add to this the choreography of Heidi Clemmens and you have a night to remember!

faculty showcase


STUPID F#@KING BIRD

By Aaron Posner
Directed by Bill Kincaid

When:
September 25 – 28 at 7:30pm, September 29 at 2:00pm

Where:
Hainline Theatre

About the play:

An aspiring young director rampages against the art created by his mother’s generation. A nubile young actress wrestles with an aging Hollywood star for the affections of a renowned novelist. And everyone discovers just how disappointing love, art, and growing up can be. In this irreverent, contemporary, and very funny remix of Chekhov’s The Seagull, Aaron Posner stages a timeless battle between young and old, past and present, in search of the true meaning of it all. Original songs composed by James Sugg draw the famously sub textual inner thoughts of Chekhov’s characters explicitly to the surface. STUPID FUCKING BIRD will tickle, tantalize, and incite you to consider how art, love, and revolution fuel your own pursuit of happiness.

stuid freaking bird


SHOWCASE: NEW FRIENDS VI

PUFFS
Directed by Adam Lewis

When:
September 25 – 28 at 7:30pm, September 29 at 2:00pm

When:
October 4 & 5 at 7:30pm

Where:
Simpkins Theatre



MOONLIGHT AND MAGNOLIAS

By Ron Hutchinson
Directed by DC Wright

When:
October 23 – 26 at 7:30pm, October 27 at 2:00pm

Where:
Horrabin Theatre

About the play:

1939 Hollywood is abuzz. Legendary producer David O. Selznick has shut down production of his new epic, Gone with the Wind, a film adaptation of Margaret Mitchell's novel. The screenplay, you see, just doesn't work. So what's an all-powerful movie mogul to do? While fending off the film's stars, gossip columnists and his own father-in-law, Selznick sends a car for famed screenwriter Ben Hecht and pulls formidable director Victor Fleming from the set of The Wizard of Oz. Summoning both to his office, he locks the doors, closes the shades, and on a diet of bananas and peanuts, the three men labor over five days to fashion a screenplay that will become the blueprint for one of the most successful and beloved films of all time.

moonlight


FIRST DATE

Book by Austin Winsberg
Music and Lyrics by Alan Zachary & Michael Weiner
Directed by Lysa Fox, Musical Direction by Lisa Wipperling

When:
November 1 & 2

Where:
Simpkins Theatre

About the play:

When blind date Aaron is set up with serial-dater Casey, a casual drink at a busy New York restaurant turns into a hilarious high- stakes dinner. As the date unfolds in real time, the couple quickly finds that they are not alone on this unpredictable evening. In a delightful and unexpected twist, Casey and Aaron’s inner critics take on a life of their own when other restaurant patrons transform into supportive best friends, manipulative exes and protective parents, who sing and dance them through ice-breakers, appetizers and potential conversational land mines. Can this couple turn what could be a dating disaster into something special before the check arrives?

first date


ARCADIA

By Tom Stoppard
Directed by Carolyn Blackinton

When:
November 6 – 9 at 7:30pm
November 10 at 2:00pm

Where:
Hainline Theatre

About the play:

ARCADIA moves back and forth between 1809 and the present at the elegant estate owned by the Coverly family. The 1809 scenes reveal a household in transition. As the Arcadian landscape is being transformed into picturesque Gothic gardens, complete with a hermitage, thirteen year-old Lady Thomasina and her tutor delve into intellectual and romantic issues. Present day scenes depict the Coverly descendants and two competing scholars who are researching a possible scandal at the estate in 1809 involving Lord Byron. This brilliant play moves smoothly between the centuries and explores the nature of truth and time, the difference between classical and romantic temperaments, and the disruptive influence of sex on our life orbits- the attraction Newton left out.

Arcadia


BFA SHOWCASE

Directed by Lysa Fox & Lara
Petrin with Sharon Nott

When:
November 15 & 16 at 7:30pm

Where:
Simpkins Theatre

About the show:

Join the BFA Musical Theatre class of 2020 as they showcase their training from over the past four years. The evening will feature Rose Blume, Logan Edris, Warren Freeland, Vicky Vidziunas, and Paige Woods.

BFA Showcase


Winter DanceWorks Concert

Coordinated by Heidi Clemmens & Lara Petrin

When:
December 5 – 7 at 7:30pm
December 8 at 2:00pm

Where:
Hainline Theatre

About the concert:

Western Illinois University's annual Winter DanceWorks Concert will offer an evening of dance, choreographed by students and instructors in University Dance Theatre (UDT). Each performance will incorporate a variety of dance styles, including modern/contemporary, jazz, Afro-modern and ballet.

Winter Dance


Underground Cabaret

Directed by Lara Petrin

When:
January 31 at 7:30pm
February 1 at 7:30pm

Where:
Simpkins Theatre

About the show:

The performance will feature musical theatre/theatre majors from the University. The Underground Cabaret is a performance to honor the career of Professor Emeritus Maughan McMurdie. As a former operatic baritone and bass, McMurdie taught at Western Illinois and performed throughout the region from 1969, until his retirement in 1992. Maughan passed away in 2007.

Underground


CRIMES OF THE HEART

By Beth Henley
Directed by Carolyn Blackinton

When:
February 14 & 15 at 7:30 pm

Where:
Simpkins Theatre

About the play:

The scene is Hazlehurst, Mississippi, where the three Magrath sisters have gathered to await news of the family patriarch, their grandfather, who is living out his last hours in the local hospital. Lenny, the oldest sister, is unmarried at thirty and facing diminishing marital prospects; Meg, the middle sister, who quickly outgrew Hazlehurst, is back after a failed singing career on the West Coast; while Babe, the youngest, is out on bail after having shot her husband in the stomach. Their troubles, grave and yet, somehow, hilarious, are highlighted by their priggish cousin, Chick, and by the awkward young lawyer who tries to keep Babe out of jail while helpless not to fall in love with her. In the end the play is the story of how its young characters escape the past to seize the future—but the telling is so true and touching and consistently hilarious that it will linger in the mind long after the curtain has descended.

Crime


THE SPITFIRE GRILL

Music and Book by James Valcq
Lyrics and Book by Fred Alley
Based on the 1996 film by Lee David Zoltoff
Directed by Lysa Fox, Musical Direction by Lynn Thompson

When:
February 26 – 29 at 7:30pm, March 1 at 2:00pm

Where:
Horrabin Theatre

About the play:

A feisty parolee follows her dreams, based on a page from an old travel book, to a small town in Wisconsin and finds a place for herself working at Hannah's Spitfire Grill. It is for sale but there are no takers for the only eatery in the depressed town, so newcomer Percy suggests to Hannah that she raffle it off. Entry fees are one hundred dollars and the best essay on why you want the grill wins. Soon, mail is arriving by the wheelbarrow full and things are definitely cookin' at the Spitfire Grill.

Spitfire


RICHARD II

By William Shakespeare
Directed by Hadley Kamminga-Peck

When:
March 25 - 28 at 7:30pm
March 29 at 2:00pm

Where:
Hainline Theatre

About the play:

Henry Bolingbroke has accused Thomas Mowbray of treason. Richard allows the two men to settle their feud in a trial by combat, but before the battle can ensue, the king stops the fight and banishes them both from the realm. Henry returns to claim the inheritance he feels he is rightfully due. Many nobles side with Henry against the king. Richard, who is forced to retreat to Flint Castle, agrees to meet with Henry. Richard eventually confesses to crimes against the state and cedes the crown to Henry. Sir Pierce of Exton murders Richard, believing he is acting in accordance with Henry's wishes. Henry, however, mourns Richard's death and exiles Exton for his deed, vowing to make a Crusade in the Holy Land to "wash this blood off from my guilty hand."

Richard II


NEOLITHIC FAIRY TALES:

Two Family Stories Adapted from Rudyard Kipling's "Just So Stories"
By Bill Kincaid with orchestrations by Jeri Sykes

When:
April 10 & 11 at 7:30pm

Where:
Simpkins Theatre

About the play:

Two separate stories from Kipling, presented together as one theatre event. In “How the First Letter was Written,” a tribe of Neolithic people decide they should invent written language after a series of misunderstandings that begin with a young girl’s attempt to send a message to her mother. In “The Beginning of Armadillos,” the Painted Jaguar plans on eating the Tortoise and the Hedgehog for dinner, but they outsmart him by thinking outside the box and evolving into armadillos.

Spitfire


Spring Gala Dance Concert

Coordinated by Heidi Clemmens & Lara Petrin

When:
April 22 – 25 at 7:30pm
April 26 at 2:00pm

Where:
Hainline Theatre

About the concert:

Western Illinois University's annual Spring Gala Dance Concert will offer an evening of dance, choreographed by students and instructors in University Dance Theatre (UDT). Each performance will incorporate a variety of dance styles, including modern/contemporary, jazz, Afro- modern and ballet.

Spring Gala


BYOP (Bring Your Own Play)

Directed by Adam Lewis & Tammy Killian

When:
May 1 & 2 at 7:30pm

Where:
Simpkins Theatre

About the performance:

New Plays, written by students, designed by students, performed by students, for students! Enjoy an evening of completely student-created new works.

BYOD