Syracuse University’s Department of Drama (SU Drama) in the College of Visual and Performing Arts is pleased to announce its 2012-2013 season. Offerings will include Stephen Sondheim’s legendary musical "Merrily We Roll Along," the passionate Jacobean drama "’Tis Pity She’s a Whore," the comic "Top Girls" set in the early days of Margaret Thatcher’s England, magic and romance in "A Midsummer Night’s Dream" (a co-production with Syracuse Stage), and the critically acclaimed musical "Violet" with a score by Jeanine Tesori ("Caroline, or Change" and "Thoroughly Modern Millie"). A second co-production with Syracuse Stage, "White Christmas," will not be part of the subscription season, though tickets will be available at a discount to subscribers. SU Drama Subscriptions range $85-$95 and are now available by calling the Box Office at 315-443-3275 or in person at 820 East Genesee Street, Mon-Fri, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
“One of our goals in putting together SU Drama’s 2012-2013 season was to provide opportunities for student actors, designers and stage managers to hone their skills by working on plays that represent the very best of their genres,” said Timothy Bond, Producing Artistic Director of SU Drama. “Sondheim, Ford, Shakespeare, Churchill, Tesori…these are world-class playwrights and composers, and their work requires a wide range of theatre artistry that will prepare our students well for whatever artistic challenges they may encounter upon graduating from our program.”
Guiding the students’ work will be directors both familiar and new to Syracuse audiences.
“The success of the Department of Drama season relies heavily on the talent and energy of our directors, who, through the process of creating a production, become collaborative artists and mentors for our students,” said Ralph Zito, chair of SU Drama. “We are excited to present the work of newer faculty directors Brian Cimmet, Celia Madeoy and Tim Davis-Reed, as well as established faculty member Rodney Hudson who directed "The Cradle Will Rock" this past fall.”
Rounding out the diverse group of directors is Paul Barnes ("White Christmas," Syracuse Stage’s "The Miracle Worker") and Bill Fennelly (who served as Resident Director for the national tour of Disney's "The Lion King").
As in years past, multiple theater venues will be used, allowing opportunities for students to perform and design in different spaces. "Merrily We Roll Along," "Top Girls" and "Violet" will be performed in the Storch Theatre with endstage seating. "’Tis Pity She’s a Whore" will be performed in the Storch Theatre with three-quarter arena seating. "A Midsummer Night’s Dream" and "White Christmas" will be performed in the Archbold Theatre.
Merrily We Roll Along
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by George Furth
From the play "Merrily We Roll Along"
By George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart
Directed by and Musical Direction by Brian Cimmet
Choreographed by Andrea Leigh Smith
September 28 – October 7, 2012
Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s legendary musical charts the rise of a songwriting team during the years of Sondheim’s own young career. Starting in 1976 and running backward in time to 1955, this lively musical focuses on three individuals whose friendship is tested by time, events, ambition and fate. A masterly work by a master composer, "Merrily We Roll Along" features some of Sondheim’s most brilliant and bruising songs, including “Not a Day Goes By,” “Old Friends,” “Our Time” and “Opening Doors.”
’Tis Pity She’s a Whore
By John Ford
Directed by Celia Madeoy
November 2 – 11, 2012
After the death of her mother, Annabella is left to face adolescence alone. When her elder brother Giovanni returns home, he propels them both into a dangerous world of sexual transgression and youthful revolt. Together they crash through the boundaries of what can be said, what can be read, what to believe, and who can be loved. This passionate Jacobean drama is as shocking and controversial today as it was almost four hundred years ago.
By Caryl Churchill
Directed by Tim Davis-Reed
February 15 – 24, 2013
A skeptical and comic look at the role of women in contemporary society, "Top Girls" flashes with Caryl Churchill’s razor-sharp wit and ingenious theatricality. Set in the early days of Margaret Thatcher’s England, the play follows two sisters: hard-nosed, successful businesswoman Marlene, and Joyce who has stayed true to their working class background in rural Suffolk. It famously opens with Marlene’s fantastic dinner party, celebrating her promotion with women from myth and history. As the action swings from a smart London Women's Employment Agency to a cottage in rural East Anglia, "Top Girls" considers the personal sacrifices and compromises women must endure in the pursuit of “success.”
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Bill Fennelly
Co-produced with Syracuse Stage*
March 6 – 31, 2013
In Shakespeare’s hands, magic and romance and the very midsummer madness make for intoxication, enchantment, and rollicking, frolicking comedy. Get on your mud boots and your donkey ears (is there any character more wonderfully over-the-top than Bottom?) ‘cause it’s off to the woods with four eager young lovers, a band of hapless rustics, and rival camps of puckish sprites. “All shall be well!” Puck bellows, but it will be a myriad of magical moments and laughter by the bushel before that happens.
Book by Brian Crawley
Music by Jeanine Tesori
Lyrics by Brian Crawley
Based on "The Ugliest Pilgrim" by Doris Betts
Directed by Rodney Hudson
Musical Direction by Brian Cimmet
Choreography by Andrea Leigh Smith
April 19 – 28, 2013
With an energetic, Gospel, Rock, Country, and Rhythm and Blues score by Jeanine Tesori ("Caroline, or Change"), Violet was one of the most critically acclaimed off-Broadway shows of the ’1990s. Set in 1964 in the South during the early days of the Civil Rights Movement, Violet follows the growth and enlightenment of a bitter young woman accidentally scarred by her father. Hoping that a TV evangelist can cure her, she embarks on a journey by bus from her sleepy North Carolina town to Oklahoma. Along the way, she meets a young black soldier who teaches her about beauty, love, courage and what it means to be an outsider.