SummerStage sizzles with drama, music, comedy and more

David Catlin's 'A Mid-Summer Night's Daydream' is part of Wirtz Center's SummerStage season

EVANSTON, Ill. --- From “Peter Pan” to ‘Pinball Wizards,’ the Wirtz Center’s SummerStage 2017 season at Northwestern University offers something for everyone.

Other season highlights include a concert of new songs from the 12th annual Songwriter’s Project; a 90-minute Shakespearean romp featuring music, circus and fairies; four new National Theatre Live screenings including “Peter Pan” and “Twelfth Night;” Imagine U’s Block Party; and a concert staging of “The Who’s Tommy.”  

Online presale begins today, April 21. Walk up and phone orders begin May 11 with the opening of the Wirtz Center box office. The box office is located in the Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive on the Evanston campus.

For presale tickets and program and event details, visit the Wirtz Center website.

SummerStage 2017 Schedule:

The Johnny Mercer Foundation and the American Music Theatre Project present “Songwriters in Concert”
Saturday, June 24 at 8 p.m.
Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive

The 12th annual Songwriters Project culminates in a one-night-only concert featuring 12 young artists performing songs they’ve worked on during an intense week-long training with master teachers Stephen Bray (“The Color Purple”), Craig Carnelia (“Sweet Smell of Success”) and Grammy Award winner Lari White (“The Apostle” soundtrack and “Amazing Grace 1 and 2: A Country Tribute”). Musical styles on display range from musical theater, country and jazz to rock and contemporary pop. The celebratory concert also includes performances by Bray, Carnelia and White.  

The program is created in partnership between the American Music Theatre Project at Northwestern and the Johnny Mercer Foundation. 

Single tickets are $10 - $30. Advance tickets for Northwestern students are $6.

“A Mid-Summer Night’s Daydream: A Most Raucous Riff, Reveling in Shakespeare’s Renowned Reverie”
by William Shakespeare
adapted and directed by David Catlin
July 21 to 30
Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive

Fairies, lovers, clowns and royals will draw audiences deep into the madness and nonsense of a primeval garden wood in this hilarious and heartfelt new adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream.” From Lookingglass Theatre Company co-founder David Catlin comes a new and wholly original adaptation blending music, circus and Shakespeare into a 90-minute romp. The production unites the collaborative team that gave Northwestern, Chicago and the national theatre community “The Little Prince” and “Moby Dick.” Recommended for ages 10 and older.

The limited two-week summer schedule begins Friday, July 21 and runs through Sunday, July 30. Performance times are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. with an additional matinee performance on Saturday, July 29 at 2:30 p.m.

Single tickets are $10 - 25. Advance tickets for Northwestern students are $6.

Imagine U Drama Workshop and Block Party
Sunday, July 23 at 12:30 p.m. (workshop)
Saturday, July 29, from noon – 5 p.m. (block party)
Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive

Following spring’s sold-out workshops for “Go, Dog. Go!,” Imagine U will offer a free 45-minute long creative drama workshop with Northwestern teaching artists led by David Catlin, director of “A Mid-Summer Night’s Daydream.” Come get lost deep in the garden-wood. Transform into impossible human flowers, create ridiculous garden insects and morph into terrifying woodland beasts with members of the creative team from Wirtz Center’s “A Mid-Summer Night’s Daydream.” Experience Imagine U’s fun-filled, 45-minute workshop exploring Lookingglass Theatre Company’s brand of physical theatre and collaborative creation. The workshop is open to any child who attends, but will be most engaging for students who are between the ages of 5 and 8.

The workshop will be held before the 2 p.m. performance of “A Mid-Summer Night’s Daydream.” Tickets are $5.

Following last year’s successful inaugural Block Party, Imagine U returns to the Arts Circle with a fun-filled day of outdoor family activities, music and games. The event will take place on Saturday, July 29, from noon to 5 p.m. during the two-show day of “A Mid-Summer Night’s Daydream” just outside the theatre at 30 Arts Circle Drive. The Imagine U Block Party is free and recommended for all ages. Fairy costumes are encouraged.

“The Who’s Tommy: In Concert”
music and lyrics by Pete Townshend
book by Pete Townshend and Des McAnuff
directed by Geoff Button
Aug. 3 to 6
Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive

A deaf, dumb and blind boy's journey from pain to triumph was immortalized as a sensory-defying rock and roll experience when legendary British rock band The Who released the album “Tommy” in summer of 1969. The smash hit rock opera album went on to become a cult-classic musical film and then a Broadway smash hit. Northwestern alumnus Geoff Button directs a unique and electrifying concert staging of this acclaimed musical that will rock the senses. The production contains mature content and is recommended for ages 14 and up.

Performance times are Thursday, Aug. 3, at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 4, at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 5, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 6, at 2 p.m.

Single tickets are $10 - $25. Advance tickets for Northwestern students are $6.

Stage on Screen Series
The popular Stage on Screen series continues to bring the best of international theatre to the big screen at Northwestern University. Summer screenings include:

National Theatre Live: “Peter Pan”
by J.M. Barrie
directed by Sally Cookson
Saturday, July 22, at 2 p.m.
Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive

J.M. Barrie’s much loved tale comes to life in a wondrously inventive production co-produced by the National Theatre and Bristol Old Vic theatre, under the direction of Sally Cookson (NT Live: “Jane Eyre”). When Peter Pan, leader of the Lost Boys, loses his shadow, headstrong Wendy helps him to reattach it. In return, she is invited to Neverland, where Tinker Bell the fairy, Tiger Lily and the vengeful Captain Hook await. A riot of magic, music and make-believe ensues, which will delight children and adults alike.

National Theatre Live: “Twelfth Night”
by William Shakespeare
starring Tamsin Greig
directed by Simon Godwin
Wednesday, July 26, at 7 p.m.
Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive

A ship is wrecked on the rocks. Viola is washed ashore but her twin brother Sebastian is lost. Determined to survive on her own, Viola steps out to explore a new land, setting off a whirlwind of mistaken identity and unrequited love. The nearby households of Olivia and Orsino are overrun with passion. Even Olivia's upright housekeeper Malvolia is swept up in the madness. Where music is the food of love and nobody is quite what they seem, anything proves possible. Simon Godwin (NT Live: “Man and Superman”) directs this joyous new production with Tamsin Greig (“Friday Night Dinner,” “Black Books,” “Episodes”) as a transformed Malvolia. The ensemble cast that includes Daniel Rigby (“Flowers,” “Jericho”), Tamara Lawrence (“Undercover”), Doon Mackichan (“Smack the Pony”) and Daniel Ezra (“The Missing,” “Undercover”). Recommended for ages 12 and up.

National Theatre Live: “Obsession”
based on the film by Luchino Visconti
starring Jude Law
directed by Ivo van Hove
Wednesday, Aug. 9, at 7 p.m.
Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive

Jude Law (“The Young Pope,” “Closer,” “The Talented Mr. Ripley”) stars in the stage production of “Obsession,” broadcast live from the Barbican Theatre in London. Ivo van Hove (NT Live: “A View from the Bridge,” “Hedda Gabler”) directs this new stage adaptation of Luchino Visconti’s 1943 film. A drifter, Gino is down-at-the-heel and magnetically handsome. At a roadside restaurant, he encounters husband and wife, Giuseppe and Giovanna. Irresistibly attracted to each other, Gino and Giovanna begin a fiery affair and plot to murder her husband. But, in this chilling tale of passion and destruction, the crime only serves to tear them apart. The stage production of “Obsession” is produced by Barbican Theatre Productions Limited, London and Toneelgroep Amsterdam, co-commissioned by Wiener Festwochen and Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, co-produced by Holland Festival and David Binder Productions, and supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Recommended for age 12 and up.

National Theatre Live: “Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead”
by Tom Stoppard
starring Daniel Radcliffe, Joshua McGuire and David Haig
directed by David Leveaux
Thursday, Aug. 10, at 7 p.m.
Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive

Against the backdrop of “Hamlet,” two hapless minor characters, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, take center stage.  As the pair of friends stumble their way in and out of the action of Shakespeare’s iconic drama, they become increasingly out of their depth as their version of the story unfolds.

Daniel Radcliffe (“Harry Potter,” “The Woman in Black”), Joshua McGuire (“The Hour”) and David Haig (“Four Weddings and a Funeral,” “The Witness for the Prosecution”) star in Tom Stoppard’s brilliant situation comedy, broadcast live from The Old Vic theatre in London. David Leveaux’s new production marks the 50th anniversary of the play. Recommended for ages 12 and up.

Single tickets are $16 general admission and $10 for full-time students with valid ID.  

Tickets to all SummerStage events are available now through the Wirtz Center website.

The SummerStage box office will open on May 11 for sales by phone at 847-491-7282 or in person at the Ethel M. Barber Theater lobby box office.  Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and noon to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.

The Wirtz Center is a member of the Northwestern Arts Circle, which brings together film, humanities, literary arts, music, theater, dance and visual arts.

More News at Northwestern Now

 

 


Do you rely on Evanston Now for local news? Support independent journalism by becoming an Evanston Now member. Contribute monthly or just once.

Become a member