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May 7, 2003

Purdue Theatre announces 2003-04 playbill

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Time-honored classics, a recent Broadway smash and a cult favorite come together in the upcoming Purdue Theatre season.

The 2003-04 Mainstage Season includes:

• "Proof" by David Auburn, Sept. 25 through Oct. 5, Experimental Theatre.

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 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?

Called "The best play on Broadway" by the Hollywood Reporter, "Proof" won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the 2001 Tony Award for Best Play. It will be directed by guest artist Jeff Casazza from the Indiana Repertory Theatre. The play contains adult language and situations.

• "The Cherry Orchard" by Anton Chekhov, Nov. 13-23, Experimental Theatre.

Chekhov's tragic-comic work satirizes the decline of a Russian family whose dire financial situation forces the auction of their beloved cherry orchard. The tale of one family's fortunes parallels the sea of social change in the early days of the Russian Revolution. In this, Chekhov's last play, he illuminates the dreary nature of life in turn-of-the-century Russia, which he believed should be a catalyst to make people create another, better life. The play will be directed by Richard Stockton Rand, professor of theatre. It is suitable for high school students and older audiences.

• "King Lear" by William Shakespeare, Feb. 20-28, Loeb Playhouse.

Widely regarded as Shakespeare's crowning artistic achievement, "King Lear" provides fodder for discussion between traditional critics, who find a heroic pattern and ultimate redemption in the story, and modern readers, who see instead a bleak reflection of the futility of the human condition. The scenes in which a mad Lear rages against his deceitful daughters and nature itself are among the finest example of tragic lyricism in the English language. The production features Richard Sullivan Lee, associate professor of theatre, in the role of Lear. Chicago-based freelance director Peter Forster will serve as guest director. Weekday school matinees of this production will be presented. Teachers who want more information can call (765) 494-3084. The play is suitable for high school students and older audiences.

• "Hay Fever" by Noel Coward, April 15-25, Experimental Theatre.

"Hay Fever," features Coward's 1920s masterpiece of bad manners in an English country house. Bliss is sorely lacking in this tale of the eccentric Bliss family: a retired actress, her novelist husband and their two self-involved children. Weekend guests arrive, but their reception is less than inviting. Dale E. Miller, professor of theatre, directs and performs in the production, along with Kristine Holtvedt, associate professor of theatre. The play is suitable for high school students and older audiences.

The 2003-04 Studio Season includes:

• "Psycho Beach Party" by Charles Busch, Oct. 23 through Nov. 2, Black Box Theatre, Creative Arts Building 3.

A Gidget-like teen with a bizarre array of personalities hosts her own "Psycho Beach Party," a campy spoof of 1960s beach movies with a hint of Alfred Hitchcock's psychological suspense thrillers. Special 11 p.m. evening performances will be presented on both Fridays. The play will be directed by Anne Fliotsos, assistant professor of theatre. It contains adult language and situations.

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

The Flex Pass option allows the purchaser to choose any two Mainstage performances along with the 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 include box office processing fees. Ticket orders will be processed after July 1.

Season brochures will be available this summer. Order forms are available at campus box offices, by calling Purdue Theatre at (765) 494-3074 and online at http://www.sla.purdue.edu/theatre. For information about school matinees or group ticket orders, call (765) 494-3084.

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

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

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


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