Bloomington, IN - The summer heats up as the Indiana University Department of Theatre & Dance presents the 2021 IU Summer Theatre season. In addition to presenting a digital on-demand fully staged and filmed musical, IUST is partnering with WFIU to present two fully produced audio plays broadcasting in July 2021, one of which will feature conversations and materials from IU’s Lilly Library Edgar Allan Poe collection.
Partnering with local radio station WFIU, IUST presents two audio plays: Waycross, a new comedy by Jayne Deely, and Twisted Tales of Poe, by Philip Grecian from the stories and poems of Edgar Allan Poe. And finally, rehearsed and recorded in person while adhering to COVID-19 safety guidelines, we are delighted to be able to present Maltby and Shire's Closer Than Ever, a musical revue which will be available for video streaming in July.
In Waycross, Lee is a CIA asset assigned to the nation’s riskiest and most vital missions. Lee’s arch-enemy Nadia Rachnamninov is close on Lee’s tail through every mission from Mauritius to Minsk. At this point, Nadia is the closest thing Lee has to a friend, unless you count CIA Director Skybell, who seems to live in Lee’s earpiece. When Lee finds herself charged with the task of infiltrating a community theatre in Georgia undercover as something called a dramaturg, she has never been more in over her head. The clock’s ticking, every second bringing the town closer to potential destruction, and opening night. A play about finding heroes where you least expect them.
Broadcast alongside Waycross is Philip Grecian’s Twisted Tales of Poe. Based on four works by Edgar Allan Poe, the prisoners of Leverett Street Jail, Death Warrant Division, await their fates as the doomed tell their stories. A man brought to justice in “The Black Cat”; a sampling of “The Cask of Amontillado;” what “The Tell-Tale Heart” could reveal; and a soul visited by guilt in “The Raven.” These chilling stories converge into an evening’s sampling of Poe, one of America’s most enduring and misunderstood literary giants. In partnership with the Lilly Library, this broadcast will also feature conversations about and materials from IU’s Lilly Library Edgar Allan Poe collection.
The Lilly Library has extensive collections related to the life and literature of Edgar Allan Poe, including rare first editions of his works, original letters and manuscripts, portraits, and even two locks of his hair. Poe was one of the first collecting passions of J.K. Lilly Jr., and one of Lilly's earliest triumphs as a book collector was obtaining a copy of Poe's first anonymously published poem, Tamerlane, known in collecting circles as the "black tulip of American literature"—only twelve copies have survived.
And finally, rehearsed and recorded in person while adhering to COVID-19 safety guidelines, we are delighted to present Maltby and Shire's Closer Than Ever, a musical revue which will be available for video streaming July 18–31. Featuring the work of Richard Maltby, Jr. and David Shire, Closer Than Ever is a riveting song cycle exploring the everyday challenges of love in the modern world. Each song is a unique story told by a new character, taking audiences, not only into the songbook of Maltby and Shire, but into these individual experiences with resounding sincerity and precisely placed hilarity. Songs contain themes about aging, mid-life crisis, second marriages, role reversals with parents, working couples, and unrequited love.