Comedies rule upcoming Theatre season

theater masksQuirky humor prevails in the 2016-2017 season just announced by the UIndy Department of Theatre.

The four productions include a musical, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee; a ripped-from-the-headlines political satire, The Totalitarians; a risqué British farce, Move Over, Mrs. Markham (as the annual Dinner Theatre production); and the Student-Directed Productions, which put undergraduates in charge of the onstage and backstage aspects of selected shorts.

Admission is free for UIndy students, faculty and staff with ID ($14 for Dinner Theatre), and L/P credit is available for students. Each run begins with a free preview on the Thursday before opening, and all non-musical productions include a Half-Price Second Thursday performance, with $6 tickets for the general public.

Tickets may be reserved at the Event Ticketing Center in Ransburg Auditorium and through (317) 788-3251 or www.uindy.edu/ETC.

In more detail, the season comprises:

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Music and lyrics by William Finn, book by Rachel Sheinkin, conceived by Rebecca Feldman
Oct. 21-22 and 27-29, 8 p.m.; Oct. 23, 2 p.m.
Ransburg Auditorium, Esch Hall
Admission: $12 general; $10 for alumni, senior citizens, groups of eight or more and non-UIndy students with ID

In this Tony and Drama Desk award-winner — with its vibrant score, crowd participation and fast-paced, funny and touching story — six teens candidly share funny and poignant tales from their lives while struggling to spell obscure words and dodge the “ding” of failure.

The Totalitarians
by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb
Dec. 2-4 and 8-10, 8 p.m.
Studio Theatre, Esch Hall
Admission: $12 general; $10 for alumni, senior citizens, groups of eight or more and non-UIndy students with ID

Raucous dark comedy resonates with current events as this play follows a hungry political operative, her gaffe-prone candidate, the operative’s physician husband and a dying patient who reveals nefarious plans behind the campaign.

Dinner Theatre: Move Over, Mrs. Markham
by Ray Cooney and John Chapman
Feb. 24-26 and March 2-4; dinner 6:45 p.m., performance 8 p.m.
Schwitzer Student Center dining room
Admission: to be announced

Confusion and laughs ensue when three couples arrange illicit trysts in the same elegant London apartment. Playwright Ray Cooney is known for his many farces staged in London’s West End, including the long-running hit Run for Your Wife.

Student-Directed Productions
April 21-23 and 27-29, 8 p.m.
Studio Theatre, Esch Hall
Admission: $12 general; $10 for alumni, senior citizens, groups of eight or more and non-UIndy students with ID

These productions create laboratory experiences in which students can put their classroom education into practice. Working with faculty and staff, the students select, cast and direct the plays while also supervising lighting, design and construction. Specific shows will be announced in the spring.