Smile Politely

Illinois Theatre announces 2018-19 season

The Department of Theatre at the University of Illinois has announced their 2018-2019 season, which will be apart of their two season 50th anniversary celebration. The selected works “consider the interplay between power and pleasure and how these things are defined, operate, and manifest in people’s lives” and include contemporary plays, a classic, a musical, and one world premeire. 

Here’s some more details: 

Urbana, IL — For nearly 50 years, Illinois Theatre, the producing entity of the Department of Theatre at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been producing enlivening, dynamic, and complex productions at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, and the Illinois Theatre 2018-19 season will be a cornerstone of the Center’s two-season 50th-anniversary celebration. Known for consistently challenging its students to grow as artists while also engaging the community and campus in conversation, Illinois Theatre continues its legacy with the 2018-19 calendar of performances. The six works each consider the interplay between power and pleasure and how these things are defined, operate, and manifest in people’s lives. Plays both classic and contemporary, plus one musical and one world premiere, delve into the acquisition, use, and consequences of power across time, evoking equal parts laughter and thought.

Tickets for the 2018-19 season will go on sale Saturday, July 14, at 10am on, by calling 217.333.6280 (800.KCPATIX), or in-person at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, 500 South Goodwin Ave., Urbana, Illinois. Single tickets for Illinois Theatre productions are $25 / Senior $24 / Student $15 / UI Student and Youth $10. Group and series discounts are available. Patrons who contribute at the $250 level and above will enjoy early ticket-ordering privileges.

An American Daughter
By Wendy Wasserstein
Studio Theatre: October 4-6; 10-14, 2018
Tom Mitchell, director
In this work set in contemporary Washington, DC, Dr. Lyssa Hughes—a descendant of Ulysses S. Grant—is being considered for the post of Surgeon General of the United States. In the 21st century, a woman’s progress in politics is fraught with challenge. The late playwright Wendy Wasserstein humanizes the political, creating an intelligent play that also bursts with humor and hurt.
Contains adult content
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart
Colwell Playhouse: October 18-20; 25-28, 2018
J.W. Morrissette, director
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum remains one of Broadway’s greatest musical farces. This 1962 Tony Award-winning, slapstick comedy combines the plays of ancient Roman comedian Plautus with the whimsical vaudevillian genius of modern musical theatre. Illinois Theatre will adopt a uniquely 21st-century lens in exploring how comedy has changed through the centuries and how this classic lives on today’s stage. To quote the show’s host Prologus, “Something familiar, Something peculiar, Something for everyone—a comedy tonight!”

The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade
By Peter Weiss
Studio Theatre: November 1-3; 7-11, 2018
Laura Hackman, director
Peter Weiss’ 1963 classic exploration of madness, history, and revolution takes on new resonance this fall. At Charenton Asylum, the inmates reenact the final days of the French Revolution for the visiting director and his upper-class family. With found instruments, props, and imaginative costumes, the production uses song and story to craft a parable about the delights and dangers of revolutionary action.
Contains adult content

Hit the Wall
By Ike Holter
Studio Theatre: January 31-February 2; February 6-10, 2019
Robert G. Anderson, director
The Stonewall Riots, started during a police raid on the Stonewall Inn in New York City in June 1969, are mythologized as the beginning of the contemporary gay rights movement. Playwright Ike Holter reimagines that night, bringing desire and frustration to a sweaty, messy, sexy life. Featuring a live band and a multivoiced narrative, Hit the Wall remembers the past but points bravely to the future.
Contains strong adult content

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
By Mark Haddon
Colwell Playhouse: February 28-March 2; March 7-10, 2019
Guest director TBD
Based on Mark Haddon’s prizewinning 2003 novel, the play presents a young man’s search for answers—to his favorite math problems, about what it means to be different, to the question of who murdered the neighbor’s dog. A play-within-a-play, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time explores the bonds between parent and child, and what it means to accept shortcomings in those we love.

Because I Am Your Queen
By Mina Samuels
Studio Theatre: March 28-30; April 3-7, 2019
Barbara McAdams, director
What would Mary Stuart, Shakespeare’s Hermione, Medea, Queen Christina of Sweden, and other queens of stage and screen say and do if they were all together at a day spa? What would they change? Illinois Theatre is thrilled to premiere this devised piece, created using Moment Work by Tectonic Theatre founding member Barbara McAdams and playwright Mina Samuels and further developed with our students. Please join us for a fast, funny, wicked take on femininity, power, and pleasure.
Contains adult content

Photo from Krannert Center Facebook page. 

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