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May 10, 2002

Purdue Theatre announces 2002-03 playbill

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue Theatre will celebrate 95 years of student performance with a season of plays new to its stages.

A darkly fun musical, a disarming look at love and the war between the sexes, the adaptation of a classic American novel, and the 2001 Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winner will take place on the Mainstage. The Studio Season takes audiences to the mythical town of Zion, Ind., and to an imaginary regional theater in Texas.

Tickets for all productions go on sale June 1. Plays featured during the 2002-03 Mainstage Season include:

"Little Shop of Horrors" by Howard Ashman with music by Alan Menken. Sept. 19-29, Experimental Theatre.

Romance blooms between shy Seymour and bubbly Audrey, but they are more interested in the money-making potential of Seymour's new plant, discovered after a total eclipse of the sun. The money pours in and Seymour becomes a celebrity, but his plant's taste for blood leaves Seymour wondering if the plant has an agenda of its own. Featured songs include the "Little Shop of Horrors" and "Suddenly Seymour." Eric Sydnor, who earned his master's degree in directing at Purdue, serves as guest director.

• "Big Love" by Charles Mee, Nov. 7-17, Experimental Theatre.

The night before their wedding, five brides-to-be have second thoughts. Promised as infants to their cousins, they sneak away to a sumptuous Italian villa. Soon, the would-be grooms arrive and a knock-down, drag-out war between the sexes erupts. The production, a hit of the 2000 Humana Festival of New American Plays, provides a hip, disarmingly funny look at men, women and the power of love. The play was inspired by "The Suppliant Women" by Aeschylus, which some believe is the earliest surviving play of the western world. Kristine Holtvedt, associate professor of theatre, serves as director. The play contains adult situations and language as well as brief nudity.

• "To Kill a Mockingbird," a play by Horton Foote, based on the novel by Harper Lee, Feb. 21 through March 1, Loeb Playhouse.

The trial of an unjustly accused black man reflects the details of small town life in the South and examines the consequences of ignorance, prejudice and hate, as well as the values of courage, honor and decency. Richard Stockton Rand, associate professor of theatre, serves as director. Three weekday school matinees of this production will be presented. Teachers can call (765) 494-3084 for more information. The play is suitable for children in upper elementary school and above.

• "Proof" by David Auburn, April 17-27, Experimental Theatre (Subject to rights availability).

On the eve of her 25th birthday, a young woman who has spent years caring for her brilliant but unstable father must deal with his death, the arrival of her estranged sister and the attentions of a former student of her father's who hopes to find valuable work in the 103 notebooks her father left behind. The discovery of a mysterious notebook draws her into the most difficult problem of all: How much of her father's madness – or genius – will she inherit? The play is directed by Richard Sullivan Lee, associate professor of theatre. The play contains adult language and situations.

The 2002-03 Studio Season includes:

• "The Diviners" by Jim Leonard Jr., Oct. 17-20, 24-27, Black Box Theatre, Creative Arts Building 3.

Buddy Layman may be a bit "tetched" in the head, but folks in his hometown of Zion, Ind., depend on him to help predict the weather and find water with his divining rod. When a former preacher shows up, the townsfolk are abuzz, and a cathartic friendship is born between him and Buddy. Written with support from the Indiana Arts Commission, the play features guest director Jeff Casazza from the Indiana Repertory Theatre. It is suitable for children in middle school and above.

• "Anton in Show Business" by Jane Martin, April 3-6, 10-13, Black Box Theatre, Creative Arts Building 3.

In this amusing story of a fictional regional theater in Texas, the staff struggle to mount a production of Chekov's "Three Sisters" with a TV sexpot, a young Texas school teacher with dreams of greatness and a jaded theater actress reduced to small roles. A tribute to the survival of the art form, the play was a hit at the 2000 Humana Festival of New American Plays. The play is directed by Anne Fliotsos, assistant professor of theatre. It is suitable for high schoolers and young adults.

Theatre patrons can choose from three different ticket options. The traditional Mainstage Season subscription offers a ticket to each of the four Mainstage productions, with buyers choosing any performance night. Mainstage Season subscribers enjoy the greatest savings over single performance ticket purchases. Season subscriptions are $44 for the general public, $30 for students and $34 for senior citizens.

A new option is the Flex Pass, which allows the purchaser to choose any two Mainstage performances and one Studio performance for a discounted price. Flex Pass prices are $27.50 for the general public, $20.50 for students and $22.50 for senior citizens. Tickets for single performances also are available. All ticket prices will include box office processing fees.

Season brochures will be available in late summer. Order forms are available at campus box offices, by calling Purdue Theatre at (765) 494-3074 and online. For information about school matinees or group ticket orders, call (765) 494-3084.

Mainstage subscriptions, Flex Pass subscriptions and single performance tickets also may be purchased at the Loeb Box Office, Stewart Center, or by calling (765) 494-3933. Out-of-town subscribers can call toll-free at 1-800-914-SHOW. Orders will be processed after June 1.

CONTACT: Lori Sparger, Purdue Theatre marketing director, (765) 494-3084, theatre@purdue.edu.

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes, bforbes@aes.purdue.edu; http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/AgComm/public/agnews/