• Time Stands Still September 25-28, October 2-4

    Pulitzer Prize winner, Donald Margulies' play, Time Stands Still, takes place against a backdrop of the war in Iraq. Photojournalist Sarah Goodwin returns home to Brooklyn, New York, to her foreign correspondent partner, James, in order to recover from injuries inflicted by a roadside bomb while following the conflict.

     

    As Sarah regains her health, they debate whether or not they will return to cover the action. She is addicted to the adrenaline rush of documenting the atrocities of war. He has had enough. Sarah nevertheless has time to think about much more than the dangers of her high-stakes career. At a deeper level of introspection, she also faces its ambiguities, with its required dispassionate observation of horrific events and her need to control the depth of her reactions by freezing such events in an instant of time. She is eventually faced with the prospects of living a more conventional life, far from the thrill of battle.

     

    At the center of Time Stands Still is a love story. Conflict, growth and change. It is about the choices and compromises we all make—in relationships, in work, and even in war—and how the decisions of the past create the present and how emotional connections in the moment define the range of alternatives for the future.

     

    Show Times: 7:30pm Thurs-Sat, 2:00pm Sun & 2nd Sat                    

     

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  • Marat/Sade October 23-26, 30-November 1

    It is July 13, 1808, fifteen years after the French Revolution has ended, and the inmates of the Charenton lunatic asylum are producing a play that retells the story of the assassination of the revolutionary figure, Jean-Paul Marat. It is being performed for the stuffed wigs of the Napoleon court to prove the value of the treatment they receive. The play is directed by the infamous Marquis de Sade.

     

    The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat As Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of The Marquis de Sade, or, as it is most commonly known, Marat/Sade is an extraordinary piece of innovative theatre based on two historical truths: de Sade was confined in the lunatic asylum of Charenton, where he staged plays; and the revolutionary Jean-Paul Marat was stabbed in a bathtub by Charlotte Corday at the height of the Terror during the French Revolution.

     

    However, this play-within-a-play is not historical drama, but rather a visually terrifying argument over the essential nature of man and whether revolutions or insane asylums can truly accomplish anything.

     

    “It’s hard to imagine anything more intellectually invigorating or brilliantly dramatized than this dramatic free-for-all. The play is intoxicated with its ideas…Marat/Sade is everything theater should be—engaging, committed, unpredictable, the perfect fusion of action and argument.” – Lawrence Bommer, Chicago Reader.

     

    Show Times: 7:30pm Thurs-Sat, 2:00pm Sun & 2nd Sat

     

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  • Got Broadway Rhythm, Everybody Dance November 20-23

    The world’s most recognizable plays and performances have all seen their turn on Broadway. From Singin’ in the Rain to Grease, from tap to swing, the dances of Broadway have entertained for generations, and now they are coming to the stage at NIU.

     

    The renowned dance program at NIU recreates some of the most memorable dance scenes from the greatest shows in Broadway history, including “Hand Jive,” from Grease, an excerpt from Ain’t Misbehavin’, “Can Can” and “Cake Walk” from the operetta, The Merry Widow. As the show is as much a showcase of talent as it is a celebration of the bright lights of Broadway, the stage will blaze with entertainment.

     

     

    Show Times: 7:30pm Thurs-Sat, 2:00pm Sun

     

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  • A Skull in Connemara January 29-February 1, February 5-7

    Irish playwright Martin McDonagh wrote A Skull in Connemara in 1997. The play takes place in a small, rural town in Ireland. The parish priest hires Mick Dowd to be a gravedigger for one week every autumn. Mick disinters bodies of the dead after they have rested for seven years in order to make room for the newly deceased in the church’s small grave yard. However, this year, Mick is supposed to dig up the he bones of his wife, Oona, who died seven years ago in a mysterious car crash. Along with her remains, the rumors are resurrected and recirculated through the town that her death was foul play and that Mick was involved.

     

    “McDonagh’s writing is pitiless but compassionate; he casts a cold, hard but understanding eye on relationships made of mistrust, hesitation, resentment and malevolence.” – The Sunday Times

     

    Show Times: 7:30pm Thurs-Sat, 2:00pm Sun & 2nd Sat

     

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  • Awake and Sing! February 19-22, 26-28

    Awake and Sing! was premiered by the legendary Group Theatre on Broadway in 1935. It is noteworthy as the first-ever Broadway show that focused entirely on an ethnic minority family. Widely considered to be Odets’ finest work, it is the story of the Berger’s, three generations of a lower-middle-class, immigrant Jewish family living in a Bronx, New York, apartment, in 1933. The family of grandparents, parents and children has come to America believing in the promise of making a better world for each of its members, but with the exceedingly unfortunate timing of having done so during the darkest years of the Great Depression.

     

    Struggling with the opposing values of financial success as defined by the American Dream, and desperately trying to avoid defining their lives by the dollar, the Bergers’ confrontation with the extreme economic hardships is both starkly dramatic and unavoidably, richly comedic.

     

    Giving a voice to the voiceless and the disenfranchised, Odets’ Awake and Sing! is a true to life depiction of a working-class family during the Depression, under conditions which are beyond its control. Odets explores the travails, hopes and personal courage as they strive for what they believe to be right and important to long term survival.

     

    Show Times: 7:30pm Thurs-Sat, 2:00pm Sun & 2nd Sat

     

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  • Red Noses March 26-29, April 9-11

    Red Noses is a darkly comedic take on one of the most devastating events of human history. It is the mid-fourteenth century in Europe, when the Bubonic Plague, or the Black Death, was at its height. A monk of the Medieval Church embarks on a desperate and sacred crusade to serve God’s will and ease man’s suffering in the face of a pandemic which has no source, no cure and no escape. He eventually finds his weapon against chaos in laughter, and recruits a band of misfit performers in order to provide happiness, distraction, hope and dignity to the millions of people that face imminent death.

     

    Although British playwright and satirist Peter Barnes presents a cheerfully nasty portrait of the Church, he really lets no one off the hook--every character is simultaneously tragic and ridiculous, whether historical or imaginary. Barnes’s view of the world is one where humor is necessary for psychological survival and catharis.

     

    “Cynicism is undercut by naiveté, naiveté by horror, horror by sentiment, sentiment by stupid jokes, stupid jokes by love, love by cynicism. Barnes’ style amounts to a perpetual, Brechtian game of ‘Paper/Scissors/Stone.’ Red Noses has a playfulness that can be interchangeably vulgar, garrulous, or silly, showcasing writer Peter Barnes’ extremely fertile and literate imagination.” – Anthony Adler, Chicagoreader.com.

     

    Show Times: 7:30pm Thurs-Sat, 2:00pm Sun & 2nd Sat

     

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  • Spring 2015 Dance Concert April 23-26

    Made possible in part by an NIU Foundation grant, the highlight of the Spring 2015 Dance Concert will be a special work set on NIU dance program students by choreographers from the prestigious Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, two of the most recognizable names in the world of modern dance.

     

    Now in its thirtieth year, the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company was born out of an eleven-year collaboration between Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane (1948–1988). During this time, they redefined the duet form and foreshadowed issues of identity, form and social commentary that would change the face of American dance. The Company has performed worldwide in over 200 cities in 40 countries on every major continent and is recognized as one of the most innovative and powerful forces in the dance-theatre world.

     

    The dance concert will present many other facets of dance expression, including ballet and jazz, featuring current students, faculty, guest artists and alumni and will be produced with live music in collaboration with students from the NIU School of Music. The Spring 2015 Dance Concert showcases the versatility of the nationally recognized dance training program that has placed School of Theatre and Dance students in professional companies and venues throughout the United States since 1979.

     

    Show Times: 7:30pm Thurs-Sat, 2:00pm Sun

     

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