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USM Department of Theatre announces its 2017-2018 season focusing on theme of ‘Identity'

The Main Stage at Russell Hall

USM’s Department of Theatre announced its season of performances for the 2017-2018 academic year, which will focus on an overarching theme of 'Identity.'

“For USM Theatre’s 2017-2018 season, we chose a unifying theme which takes stock of where we are as department, as a university, as a community, as a nation; the theme of ‘Identity,’” said Andrew Harris, director of USM’s Department of Theatre. “Identity means not only how we see our individual selves, but also how we see or perceive others and how others see and perceive us (read more).”

The fall season will kick off on September 7 and 8 at 7:30pm with two special performances of Arlene Hutton’s “Last Train to Nibroc,” which was performed earlier this summer by two of the Theatre program’s student actors, Emily Grotz and Luis Del Valle, at the historic Deertrees Theatre in Harrison, Maine. The play is directed by Andrew Harris, who also acts as Deertrees Theatre’s artistic and executive director.

Other titles this fall include “Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom” by Jennifer Haley, a play about reality and video game virtual-ity coming together to create a comic horror story, directed by visiting faculty-in-residence, Dana Wieluns Legawiec, and “Twelfth Night (or What you Will)” by William Shakespeare, directed by USM’s lecturer in theatre Sara Valentine.

The spring semester will include “A Man of No Importance,” a fully staged musical based on a book by Terrence McNally, directed by visiting professor Cary Libkin with music direction by Edward Reichert, followed by “The Importance of Being Earnest” by Oscar Wilde, directed by Andrew Harris.

The Department will also introduce a two-night “Theatre Showcase” each semester, allowing Theatre degree students to work on developing particular skills or creative ideas that they share with faculty and fellow students. These showcases will be open to the public by cash donation at the door.

To learn more about the USM Department of Theatre’s programming and performances, please visit usm.maine.edu/theatre.

USM Department of Theatre 2017-2018 season of events at a glance:

Last Train to NibrocLast Train to Nibroc
By Arlene Hutton
Directed by Andrew Harris
Thursday, September 7 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, September 8 at 7:30 p.m.
SPECIAL EVENT: Admission by cash donation at the door

In December 1940, an eastbound cross-country train carries the bodies of the great American writers Nathanael West and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Elsewhere on the train, a chance encounter brings together a charming young discharged flyer, Raleigh, and shy May, a young woman who has been jilted by her soldier fiancé. As their paths continue to cross over the years, an unexpected bond blossoms. A funny, touching portrait of two people searching for happiness.

Neighborhood 3: Requisition of DoomNeighborhood 3
By Jennifer Haley
Directed by Dana Wieluns Legawiec
September 29 – October 8, 2017

Mom is in the kitchen mixing her Vitamin Shake. Dad is in the front yard whacking the weeds. The kids are playing indoors—brutally hacking flesh from bone as they battle zombies in the hit new video game, “NEIGHBORHOOD 3: REQUISITION OF DOOM.” The funny thing is, the streets in this game look eerily familiar, the house looks like the one next door, and that decapitated zombie looks a little like your best friend’s mom. Reality and virtual-ity ooze into each other in this terrifying (and funny) play by Jennifer Haley. RATED M for Mature Audiences for violence, blood and gore, parents attempting to talk to their teenage children, and inappropriate use of garden tools.

twelfth night

Twelfth Night (or What you Will)
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Sara Valentine
November 10 – November 19, 2017

“My master loves her dearly,  And I, poor monster, fond as much on him, And she, mistaken, seems to dote on me. What will become of this?” After surviving a shipwreck and disguising herself in the likeness of her drowned twin brother, the determined Viola becomes the center of a comic series of events: suitors and sword fights; disguise and deception; pranks and predicaments... Filled with some of Shakespeare’s most unforgettable characters, eloquent poetry and poignant songs, “Twelfth Night” reveals the comedy and consequences of mistaken identity, unrequited love and devilish mischief.

Theatre ShowcaseTheatre ShowcaseThursday, December 7 at 7:00 p.m.
Friday, December 8 at 7:00 p.m.
SPECIAL EVENT: Admission by cash donation at the door

Every semester our Theatre degree students work on developing particular skills or creative ideas that they share with faculty and fellow students. We’re proud to share this work with a larger audience in our theatre showcases. In a relaxed format, each evening’s performance may differ in content as you join us to explore this creative work produced by our theatre and dance students.

A Man of No Importance (musical)
March 2 – March 9, 2018
Based on a book by Terrence McNally
Music by Stephen Flahertya man
Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens
Directed by Cary Libkin
Music Directed by Edward Reichert

In 1964 Dublin, Ireland, bus conductor Alfie Byrne shares his passion for theater by reciting poetry to his passengers, and directing a troupe of players in the basement of St. Imelda’s Catholic Church. The trouble begins when Alfie decides to produce his favorite playwright Oscar Wilde’s scandalous play, “Salome.” The church simply can’t allow such heathen decadence to be performed, even in the basement. During the course of a tumultuous rehearsal process, Alfie learns that the theatre is not a place to hide from the world, but instead the very place where we may finally discover our true selves. As author Terrance McNally writes, “The small world of the St. Imelda’s Players becomes an enormous one and I would be surprised if you did not find at least a small part of your world in theirs.” Indeed, you will see that Alfie Byrne is a man of great importance.

“A Man of No Importance”is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI, 421 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019. Tel.: (212) 541-4684 Fax: (212) 397-4684 www.MTIShows.com.

importanceThe Importance of Being Earnest
By Oscar Wilde
Directed by Andrew Harris
April 20 – April 29, 2018

“The Importance of Being Earnest” is Oscar Wilde’s most brilliant tour de force, a witty and buoyant comedy. This superb satire is one of the funniest plays in the English language – the delightful repartee and hilarious piercing of hypocrisy and pomposity will make you laugh out loud. Two young carefree dandies, Algernon Moncrieff and the utterly reliable John (Jack) Worthing, lead double lives to court the attentions of the exquisitely desirable Gwendolyn Fairfax and Cecily Cardew. The gallants grapple with the riotous consequences of their deceptions, as well as with the formidable Lady Bracknel, and with a stage set for clever manipulations and hilarious confusion, being earnest takes on a whole new meaning!

Theatre Showcase
Thursday, May 3 at 7:00 p.m.
Friday, May 4 at 7:00 p.m.
SPECIAL EVENT: Admission by cash donation at the door

Every semester our Theatre degree students work on developing particular skills or creative ideas that they share with faculty and fellow students. We’re proud to share this work with a larger audience in our theatre showcases. In a relaxed format, each evening’s performance may differ in content as you join us to explore this creative work produced by our theatre and dance students.

To Purchase Tickets:

Visit usm.maine.edu/theatre, click on ‘Purchase Tickets’ and make your selection, or call the USM Theatre Box Office at (207) 780-5151, TTY (207) 780-5646.

Plays: $8 students, $12 seniors, faculty, staff, alumni, $16 general public
Musical: $10 students, $16 seniors, faculty, staff, alumni, $22 general public
Discount Wednesdays: Join us for our 5:00 performances on Wednesdays and pay $8 ($10 for our musical).

For those needing special accommodations to participate fully in this program, contact the USM Theatre Box Office (207) 780-5151. Hearing impaired: call USM's telex / TDD number (207) 780-5646.

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