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Theatre at NU season is iconoclastic and explores iconic classics

This year, the Northeastern Department of Theatre is producing an eight-play season of works that celebrate the power of storytelling, the poetry in everyday life, and the fragility of illusion. It will unearth LGBTQ histories, unveil identities, unmask oppression, unleash female heroes, and let the sunshine in.

The season begins on September 28 with Rooted, written and performed by Tim Miller. The internationally acclaimed performance artist shares stories of family trees and the hidden LGBT histories that live among the branches. Miller charts the growth of queer citizenship in America and the new challenges rooted in today’s political environment. Miller will be in residence for one week to work intensively with NU students, who will create and perform Body Maps on September 30. In a one-night-only, one-of-a-kind event, Body Maps weaves together autobiography and artistry to reveal compelling public truths about personal identity. Miller’s residency is co-sponsored by the Northeastern Center for the Arts and the Bossak-Heilbron Charitable Foundation. Rooted and Body Maps are free and open to the public.

In October, audiences will experience a wild and immersive post-apocalyptic future in Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play, where a group of survivors gather around a fire to recount the plot of “The Simpsons” in a world without electricity. As decades pass, the cartoon becomes the new religion-entertainment in this celebration of storytelling and human resilience. The New York Times said of Mr. Burns: “When was the last time you met a new play that was so smart it made your head spin? Get ready to reel.” Written by Anne Washburn, it has been one of the most professionally produced plays nationally in recent years. This production, directed by Guest Artist A. Nora Long, will run from October 19-28 in a site-specific “secret” outdoor location on campus, as well as the Studio Theatre (the audience will move to a new location for each Act). It marks the first time in its history that the Theatre Department will perform outdoors. Tickets are $8-$15.

November brings a comic, poetic, and slightly surreal look at the universe of a small American town in Middletown by Will Eno. As a friendship develops between longtime resident John and new arrival Mary, the lives of the inhabitants of Middletown intersect in strange and poignant ways on a journey that takes them from the local library to outer space and points between. “Delicate, moving, piercing, tart, funny, gorgeous. Mr. Eno’s gift may be unmatched among writers of his generation,” writes The New York Times. The production runs November 9-19 in the Studio Theatre. Tickets are $8-$15.

In the spring semester, senior Pablo Hernandez Basulto will direct The Exception and the Rule by Bertolt Brecht, a modern parable that follows the journey of an unscrupulous entrepreneur and his mistreated servant across a vast desert to a city where the merchant hopes to acquire massive new wealth. A misunderstanding results in murder, but who is responsible — the oppressor or the oppressed? The Exception and the Rule runs from February 14–18 in the Ryder Theatre Lab and is free and open to the public.

Closely following is The Glass Menagerie, one of the most famous and beloved plays of the 20th century, running February 20–25 in the Studio Theatre. This autobiographical masterpiece by Tennessee Williams poetically captures the allure of illusion, the danger of memory, and the timeless fragility of love. It will be directed by Department Chair Scott Edmiston, who has directed acclaimed productions of William’s work including Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Five by Tenn, earning him Elliot Norton Awards. Tickets are $8-$15.

Experience the dawning of the Age of Aquarius in the classic 1960s rock music happening in all its gleaming, streaming, beaded, braided, bangled, tangled, spangled glory. This groundbreaking “tribal musical” let the sun shine in on political oppression, racial inequality, and the countercultural movement. HAIR, written by Gerome Ragni, James Rado, and Galt MacDermot and directed by Janet Bobcean, will run from March 22–April 1 in the Studio Theatre. Tickets are $8-$15.

Closing the season will be the princess saves herself in this one, a premiere devised by Northeastern Students and directed by Dani Snyder-Young. Inspired by the poetry of Amanda Lovelace, students will devise a theatrical event honoring female heroes from myths, fairy tales, and popular culture, and explore how their stories intertwine with the experiences of women on Northeastern’s campus. It is free and open to the public: April 12-14.

Tickets can be purchased at mytickets.northeastern.edu. This year, the Department of Theatre is offering discounted season subscriptions – students, faculty, and staff can attend the four ticketed performances for the price of three. Performance dates, prices and information can be found at: https://camd.northeastern.edu/theatre/productions/tickets-audience-information/

The Theatre at NU 2017-18 Season

  • Rooted: September 28
  • Body Maps: September 30
  • Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play: October 19-28
  • Middletown: November 9-19
  • The Exception and the Rule: February 14-18
  • The Glass Menagerie: February 20-25
  • HAIR: March 22-April 1
  • the princess saves herself in this one: April 12-14