CSU Theatre Unveils 2011-2012 Season

COLUMBUS, Ga. -- The Columbus State University Department of Theatre 2011-2012 season offers a world-premiere  about dynamic women, a farce, tragicomedy and zombie science fiction thriller.

Entering its fourth year at Theatre on the Park on the CSU's RiverPark campus in downtown Columbus, the theatre department's season opens Sept. 22-25 with the world premiere of Compañeras, by Kathleen Coudle-King, winner of the 2011-2012 Larry Corse International Playwriting Competition, which is administrated by CSU.

Compañeras, directed by Becky Becker, is the story of seven tenacious women political prisoners during Uruguay's "dirty war" of the 1970s — rehearsing The House of Bernarda Alba, to pass time and lend one another support.

Other mainstage plays this season are:

  • Noises Off, Michael Frayn’s Tony Award-winning comedy,  Oct. 27-30. This comic masterpiece, directed by Larry Dooley, is not one play, but two — the hilariously horrible British farce, Nothing On, and the comedic nightmare that ensues backstage.
  • Three Sisters, a tragicomedy written by Anton Chekhov in 1900, Nov. 17-20. Directed by Haley Rice, the touching, funny play follows three bored young women living in a country town in Russia. The sisters deal with a hostile takeover from a sister-in-law, infidelity, a devastating fire, drunkenness, and the drudgery of work and death.
  • Jennifer Haley’s Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom, Feb. 2-5. Directed by Kate Musgrove, this adult-themed play plunges the audience into a cautionary tale about video game addiction. The game setting: A subdivision with identical houses. The goal? Smash through an army of zombies to escape the neighborhood for good. But as the line blurs between virtual and reality, parents and players realize that fear has a life of its own.
  • Caroline, or Change, based on the book and lyrics by Tony Kushner with music by Jeanine Tesori, March 29-April 1. Directed by Becky Becker, this musical is the story of the changing world of 1963 with JFK's assassination, the Vietnam War, a growing Civil Rights movement, and the life of Caroline Thibodeaux, a divorced African-American maid in St. Charles, Louisiana. Caroline struggles to support her four children, hold onto her integrity, and come to terms with her rapidly changing world.  This Tony-nominated score celebrates the great American musical styles of gospel, R&B, soul and the blues.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Sept. 8-11, will be the Fall Theatre for Youth Series’ opening production. This story features a small boy who learns that giving a mouse a cookie has implications that lead to madcap adventures. This story features lovable characters, one very hungry mouse and a hilarious lesson about cause-and-effect.

The CSU Theatre for Youth Series is directed by Brenda Ito, who also takes the cast on tour with each play at various schools throughout the Columbus and Eastern Alabama regions. Each tour reaches about 25,000 students each semester. The CSU students tour twice a week, which gives them a wonderful opportunity to apply the skills they are learning through their studies at CSU.

How I Became a Pirate
will be the spring production Jan. 19-22. It features the story of young Jeremy Jacobs, who is recruited by Captain Braid Beard for treasure-burying purposes. The musical is a story of adventure and finding one’s own heart — a path that can’t be found on a treasure map.

A Christmas children’s production, The Toys Take Over Christmas, will not go on tour but will be featured as part of “Lunch with Santa," with CSU busing in elementary students to get their picture with Santa, see the production and eat a lunch provided by Burger King.Written by Patricia Clapp, the play follows the adventures of Sunny, a cheerful, inquisitive rag doll brought to life by the Toymaker, whose toyshop is filled with living toys.

“We decided to add this to our regular season and open it to the public because we would like to start creating a tradition for families in the community,” says Cameron Bean, advancement and marketing coordinator for CSU Theatre. “By doing this, we hope that every December they’ll think about catching a show at the Theatre on the Park.”

All shows are directed by CSU theatre professors, but the productions give theatre students opportunities to build sets, learn about lighting, and make costumes, scenery and props. Senior students who have shown exceptional ability in a specific area might be given the opportunity to direct or associate direct, or design a mainstage production as well.

The Mainstage Series productions will continue to run Thursday through Saturday evenings, with closing Sunday matinees. Saturday morning shows are added to the fall and spring Theatre for Youth productions. Season ticket packages cost  $72 for the Mainstage Series, $24 for the Theatre for Youth Series and $96 for both. A 20percent discount on each package applies for CSU alumni, seniors, active military and children. CSU students and faculty receive free admission for one show each production.Season tickets are available from the CSU Theatre Box Office at 10th Street and Bay Avenue or online at http://www.ColumbusState.edu/theatre.  For more information, call 706-507-8444.