Theatre and Dance

WIU Theatre and Dance 2022-2023 Season:

NEW FRIENDS: SHOWCASE

Directed by Adam Lewis & Courtney Crouse*

September 30 & October 1 at 7:30pm

Simpkins Theatre

About the play: TBA


LUCKY STIFF

Book by Lynn Ahrens

Music by Stephen Flaherty & Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens

Directed by Lysa Fox

October 5 – 8 at 7:30pm & October 9 at 2:00pm

Hainline Theatre

About the play: This murder mystery farce of mistaken identities, millions in diamonds and a wheelchair- bound corpse will leave you dying of laughter.


COLLECTIVE RAGE:

A PLAY IN FIVE BETTIES

By Jen Silverman

Directed by Hadley Kamminga-Peck

Assistant Director Monica Bowker*

October 21 & 22 at 7:30pm

Simpkins Theatre

About the play: In COLLECTIVE RAGE, the lives of five very different New York women named Betty collide at the intersection of anger, sex and “theat-ah.” As they meet, fall in love, rehearse, revel and rage, they realize that they've been stuck reading the same scripts for far too long.


SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS

By Bess Wohl

Directed by Meagan Morrow*

October 26 - 29 at 7:30pm & October 30 at 2:00pm

Horrabin Theatre

About the play: In the overwhelming quiet of the woods, six runaways from city life embark on a silent retreat. As these strangers confront internal demons both profound and absurd, their vows of silence collide with the achingly human need to connect. Filled with awkward and insightful humor, this unique and compassionate new play asks how we address life’s biggest questions when words fail us.


THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST

By Oscar Wilde

Directed by Taylor Dahlberg*

November 9 – 12 at 7:30pm & November 13 at 2:00pm

Hainline Theatre

About the play: Oscar Wilde's madcap farce about mistaken identities, secret engagements, and lovers entanglements still delights theatre goers more than a century after its 1895 publication and premiere performance. The rapid-fire wit and eccentric characters of THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST have made it a mainstay of the theatre for decades.


BFA Showcase

Directed by Lysa Fox, Donald Laney & Sharon Nott

December 2 & 3 at 7:30pm

Simpkins Theatre

About the play: Join the BFA Musical Theatre class of 2022 -2023 as they highlight their training from over the past four years.


WINTER DanceWorks Concert

Directed by Donald Laney

December 8 – 10 at 7:30pm & December 11 at 2:00pm

Hainline Theatre

About the performance: WIU's annual Winter DanceWorks Concert will offer an evening of dance, choreographed by students and instructors in University Dance Company (UDC). These performances will incorporate a variety of dance styles, including modern/contemporary, jazz, Afro-modern, and ballet.


Underground Cabaret

Directed by Lisa Wipperling

February 3 & 4 at 7:30pm

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.


WOMAN IN MIND

By Alan Ayckbourn

Directed by DC Wright

February 17 & 18 at 7:30pm

Simpkins Theatre

About the play: Told from the first person perspective of Susan, a woman going through a breakdown. Her vivid fantasy life, created as a means to cope with the banalities of her real life, gradually merge with her real life with devastating consequences.


Blithe Spirit

By Noël Coward

Directed by Carolyn Blackinton

March 1 – 4 at 7:30pm & March 5 at 2:00pm

Horrabin Theatre

About the play: The smash comedy hit of the London and Broadway stages, this much-revived classic from the playwright of PRIVATE LIVES offers up fussy, cantankerous novelist Charles Condomine, re-married but haunted (literally) by the ghost of his late first wife, the clever and insistent Elvira who is called up by a visiting “happy medium,” one Madame Arcati. As the (worldly and un-) personalities clash, Charles’ current wife, Ruth, is accidentally killed, “passes over,” joins Elvira, and the two “blithe spirits” haunt the hapless Charles into perpetuity.


CABARET

Book by Joe Masteroff

Based on the play by John Van Druten and stories by Christopher Isherwood

Music by John Kander & Lyrics by Fred Ebb

Directed by Courtney Crouse*

April 5 – 8 at 7:30pm & April 9 at 2:00pm

Hainline Theatre

About the play: In a Berlin nightclub, as the 1920's draw to a close, a garish Master of Ceremonies welcomes the audience and assures them they will forget all their troubles at the Cabaret. With the Emcee's bawdy songs as wry commentary, Cabaret explores the dark, heady, and tumultuous life of Berlin's natives and expatriates as Germany slowly yields to the emerging Third Reich. Cliff, a young American writer newly arrived in Berlin, is immediately taken with English singer Sally Bowles. Meanwhile, Fräulein Schneider, proprietor of Cliff and Sally's boarding house, tentatively begins a romance with Herr Schultz, a mild-mannered fruit seller who happens to be Jewish.


THE GULF

By Audrey Cefaly

Directed by Hadley Kamminga-Peck

April 21 & 22 at 7:30pm

Simpkins Theatre

About the play: The divide between Kendra and Betty mimics the very world that devours them: a vast and polarizing abyss. On a quiet summer evening, somewhere down in the Alabama Delta, Kendra and Betty troll the flats looking for redfish. After Betty begins diagnosing Kendra’s dead-end life with career picks from What Color is Your Parachute, their routine fishing excursion takes a violent turn. This is the full-length version of the 40th Annual Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival winner, THE GULF.


NEXT WAVE

Dance Concert

Directed by Donald Laney

April 27 – 29 at 7:30pm & April 30 at 2:00pm

Hainline Theatre

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


BYOP (Bring Your Own Play)

Directed by Adam Lewis & Courtney Crouse*

May 5 & 6 at 7:30pm

Simpkins Theatre

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