Bloomington, IN - The summer heats up as the Indiana University Department of Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance presents 2018's IU Summer Theatre Festival. This summer’s line-up ranges from the heartfelt to the hilarious, with a nostalgic American drama, a manic multisyllabic spelling bee, a riotous rural comedy, and a premiere musical workshop.
The Summer Theatre Festival starts off with three Opening Nights in a row, July 6, 7, & 8 and continues throughout July with Our Town, The Foreigner, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee running in repertory. Company members from The Foreigner and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee combine to form one large cast for Our Town. Cast members include Equity actors Sean Blake, Marya (\ma-ri-ah\) Grandy, Mark Ulrich, and Karen Janes Woditsch, as well as MFA actors Michael Bayler, Jay C. Hemphill and Glynnis Kunkel-Ruiz, and IU undergraduate actors.
At a Glance:
First to take the stage as Friday night's summer opener is Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, directed by Dale McFadden, Head of Acting and Directing. Described by Edward Albee as “…the greatest American play ever written,” Our Town follows the citizens of Grover’s Corners through three acts: “Daily Life,” “Love and Marriage,” and “Death and Eternity.” Narrated by a stage manager (Mark Ulrich) and performed with minimal props and sets, audiences follow the Gibbs and Webb families and their children as they experience life, death, love, and marriage. This production features the entire company of IU Summer Theatre's July festival.
Opening Saturday Night is Tony Award-Winning The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Conceived by Rebecca Feldman, with additional material by Jay Reiss, music and lyrics by William Finn, and book by Rachel Sheinkin, this frenetically fun musical follows six eccentric tweens as they vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. Through hilarious and touching stories, the six competitors hope to spell their way to victory. Six spellers enter; one speller leaves! The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is directed by Richard Roland, Interim Head of Musical Theatre BFA at IU.
Opening Sunday night, July 8, is The Foreigner by Larry Shue. Set inside a fishing lodge in rural Georgia, The Foreigner opens with two Englishmen, Froggy and Charlie, arriving as guests. Froggy claims that Charlie is a "foreigner" and does not speak English. Under the assumption that he cannot understand them, the other guests quickly begin revealing their secrets, and Charlie soon discovers scandals amongst the residents of the lodge. The Foreigner received two Obie Awards and two Outer Critics Circle Awards as Best New American Play and Best Off-Broadway Production. The Foreigner is directed by Jonathan Michaelsen, Professor of Theatre and Drama.
After a brief hiatus, and to welcome students back to campus, August brings the Premiere Musical workshop of Hoagy Carmichael's Stardust Road. A musical journey celebrating the music of Bloomington hometown hero Hoagy Carmichael, Stardust Road tells the story of three young Americans during the World War II era as they experience life, love and loss. The workshop will be directed by guest artist Susan Schulman, with musical direction and arrangements by guest artist Larry Yurman and choreography by guest artist Michael Lichtefeld.
WHAT: Indiana University Summer Theatre Festival
WHEN: Daily performances July 6 – July 29, excluding Mondays.
Premiere Musical, August 15-18 at 7:30pm
WHERE: Lee Norvelle Theatre and Drama Center, 275 N. Jordan Ave.
TICKETS: Regular admission is $20 for adults, $10 for students.
The Premiere Musical Workshop Stardust Road is $10 for all seats.
Ticket packages available.
Tickets available at 812.855.1103 or theatre.indiana.edu.
For more info and interview requests, please email email@example.com.