Northwestern University has announced details of its 2012-2013 season of plays, musicals, and special events on the Evanston campus.
The announcement comes with a warning, however, that a three-year construction project around the theater venues might cause some inconvenience to theater-goers.
Free parking for evening and weekend events remains available, but the project will impact handicap parking and patrons requiring special access to Evanston campus theaters. The university advises patrons with special needs to access its website to learn more.
In addition to its mainstage programming, the university’s Theatre and Interpretation Center (TIC) will continue its partnership with the National Theatre in London to bring the “best of British theatre” to Chicago.
Four broadcasts have been announced so far, to include “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” based on the international best-selling novel by Mark Haddon; two broadcasts of “Frankenstein,” directed by Danny Boyle and featuring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller in alternating roles; Stephen Beresford’s new play, “The Last of the Haussmans”; and “Timon of Athens,” featuring Simon Russell Beale.
In the coming season, TIC also will continue its Imagine U Family Series, which will be expanded to include three full productions respectively directed by award-winning Northwestern faculty members Henry Godinez, David Catlin and Dan Cantor: “Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells,” “The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley” and “Sideways Stories from Wayside School.
Productions in the 2012-13 season will be held in venues on the University’s Evanston campus: the Josephine Louis Theater, 20 Arts Circle Drive; Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive; Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson Drive; Mussetter-Struble Theater, 1949 Campus Drive; or Hal and Martha Hyer Wallis Theater, 1949 Campus Drive.
Here are the details of the mainstage productions:
“The Verona Project,” written and directed by Amanda Dehnert, Oct. 9-Nov. 4, at the Josephine Louis Theater. Award-winning writer/director Amanda Dehnert’s new musical “The Verona Project” is an electric hybrid of theatre and live concert infused with original indie-folk-rock music.
A modern fable inspired by Shakespeare’s first comedy, “The Two Gentlemen of Verona,” the show takes an honest look at surviving love, loss, and the road to adulthood. Seen through the eyes of a group of young musicians, “The Verona Project” explores the journeys we all take and the people we eventually become.
“You Can’t Take It With You,” by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, directed by William Brown, Nov. 9-18, at the Ethel M. Barber Theater. A quirky, colorful play written by comedy masters Kaufman and Hart, “You Can’t Take It With You” follows the happily dysfunctional and perfectly mad Sycamore family.
When Tony Kirby, Alice Sycamore’s handsome fiancé, and his straight-laced, overly conservative parents come to the Sycamore household for dinner on the wrong night, the house immediately explodes with chaotic hilarity. Directed by Jeff Award-winner William Brown, this play reminds us that happiness cannot be bought.
“Nickel and Dimed,” by Joan Holden, based on “Nickel and Dimed, On (Not) Getting by in America” by Barbara Ehrenreich, directed by Jess McLeod, Feb. 1-10, at the Josephine Louis Theater. Based on the best-selling book by noted author and activist Barbara Ehrenreich, “Nickel and Dimed” is a piercing examination of the effects of bottom-line and welfare reform on working-class America.
It follows the character of Ehrenreich as she travels across America to document the struggles of low-wage workers and takes on jobs as a waitress, hotel maid, house cleaner, nursing-home aid, and store clerk. Her accounts of the realities of minimum wage survival earned her praise from The New York Times as “our premier reporter of the underside of capitalism.”
“The Pajama Game,” music and lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross, book by George Abbott and Richard Bissell, directed by Peter Sullivan, Feb. 15-March 3, at the Ethel M. Barber Theater. Based on the novel “7 1/2 Cents” by Richard Bissell with a score by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross and directed by Marriott Theatre artistic associate Peter Sullivan, “The Pajama Game” centers around the Sleep-Tite Pajama Factory where the worker’s demands for a seven-and-a-half-cent raise is being ignored.
In the midst of a potential strike, Babe, the leader of the Union Grievance Committee, and Sid, the handsome new factory superintendent, fall in love. Can Babe and Sid set aside their differences in order to make their relationship work, or will being on opposite sides of the fence lead to the demise of their romance?
“Occupy Dance 2013,” artistic director Annie Beserra, March 1-10, at the Josephine Louis Theater. “Occupy Dance 2013” reveals the power of a community coming together to overcome obstacles and celebrate common goals.
Through dance and text, choreographers take on the complex issue of poverty. Who is impoverished and what does that mean? How does poverty affect individuals and how does it affect the community at large? What fantasies and myths have our fears of poverty produced?
“The Exonerated,” by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, directed by Cat Miller, co-produced with Next Theatre Company and presented in partnership with the Center on Wrongful Convictions, April 19-May 5, at the Josephine Louis Theater. Based on real interviews conducted by playwrights Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, “The Exonerated” follows six former death row prisoners whose convictions were reversed.
From their trials to their incarcerations to their eventual releases, this award-winning play uses the words of these innocent men and women as they share the stories of everything and everyone they lost when they were wrongly convicted, as well as the lives they are working to rebuild.
The inaugural collaboration between TIC and Evanston’s Next Theatre Company, “The Exonerated” will be staged at TIC in partnership with the Center on Wrongful Convictions and will feature a cast of professional and student artists working together on this exploration of the criminal justice system.
“How to End Poverty in 90 Minutes (With 199 People You May or May Not Know), conceived and directed by Michael Rohd, May 15-23, at the Ethel M. Barber Theater. This is not a play; it is not a lecture; it is not an interactive workshop; it is not a physical theatre piece; it is not a public conversation. “How to End Poverty in 90 Minutes” is all of these things.
Most significantly, it’s an opportunity to challenge a different audience at every show with the question: how do you attack the problem of poverty in America? Over the course of 90 minutes, the audience will listen, explore and ultimately choose how to spend $1,000 from ticket sales that will be sitting onstage in cash. It is an experiment in dialogue, in collective decision-making, in shared responsibility and in the potential for art to help us make our world a better place.
Ticket information is available on the TIC website.