All performances in the USI Performance Center unless otherwise indicated.
2017 - 2018 Season
October 12-15, 2017
By Naomi Iizuka
Directed by Eric Altheide
Separated from his mother, a young refugee called Anon journeys through the United States, encountering a wide variety of people -- some kind, some dangerous and cruel -- as he searches for his family. From a sinister one-eyed butcher to beguiling barflies to a sweatshop, Anon must navigate through a chaotic, ever-changing landscape in this entrancing adaptation of Homer's Odyssey.
Italian American Reconciliation
February 15-18, 2018
By John Patrick Shanley
Directed by Elliot Wasserman
Huey Maximilian Bonfigliano has a problem: While he is safely divorced from his shrewish first wife, Janice, who shot his dog and even took a bead on him, he feels he cannot regain his "manhood" until he woos and wins her one more time—if only to put his broken marriage behind him once and for all. He enlists the aid of his lifelong buddy, Aldo Scalicki, a confirmed bachelor who tries, without apparent success, to convince Huey that he would be better off sticking with his new lady friend, Teresa, a usually placid young waitress whose indignation flares when she learns what Huey is up to. In a moonlit balcony scene Aldo pleads his lovesick friend's case and, to his astonishment, Janice capitulates—although not for long. However we do learn that her earlier abuse of Huey was intended to make him "act like a man" which, at last, he does. And, more than that, he (and the audience) become aware that, in the final essence, "the greatest—and only—success is to be able to love"—a truth which emerges delightfully from the heartwarming, wonderfully antic and always imaginatively conceived action of the play.
Standing on My Knees
March 22-24, 2018
By John Olive
Directed by USI Performing Arts student Isabelle Rogers
Catherine, a young and promising poet affected with schizophrenia, returns home after a stay in the hospital. She struggles to pursue her art, but the very intensity of thought that this demands brings on her attacks and the imaginary voices that bedevil her. At a party she meets Robert, a young stockbroker, and as their relationship deepens she relies ever more heavily on Thorazine pills to maintain a semblance of normalcy. Ironically, while the pills block her "voices" they also stifle her creative impulses and the talent that has brought her the most joy. Trying to handle both her relationship with Robert and her needs as an artist she cuts down on her medication, but as her illness becomes apparent Robert backs away. In the end Catherine, in a shattering scene, scatters the pills on the floor, and faces the inevitable truth that she can be only one person.
**This is a student designed and led production. It will be held in the Mallette Studio Theatre, which is located in the lower level of the Liberal Arts Center.
Into the Woods
April 19-22, 2018
Book by James Lapine
Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Directed by Eric Altheide
James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim take everyone's favorite storybook characters and bring them together for a timeless, yet relevant, piece... and a rare modern classic. The Tony Award-winning book and score are both enchanting and touching.
The story follows a Baker and his wife, who wish to have a child; Cinderella, who wishes to attend the King's Festival; and Jack, who wishes his cow would give milk. When the Baker and his wife learn that they cannot have a child because of a Witch's curse, the two set off on a journey to break the curse. Everyone's wish is granted, but the consequences of their actions return to haunt them later with disastrous results.
The Repertory Project
November 16-19, 2017
By Thornton Wilder
Directed by Guest Director Ron Himes
A landmark in American drama, Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Our Town tells the story of a small town, Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire, in order to tell us the story of every town, the whole world over. Narrated by the “Stage Manager”, we follow the Gibbs and Webb families, residents of Grover’s Corners, through twelve years of life changes. Through the young lovers Emily and George, their strong and loving parents, and the many other Grover’s Corners’ locals, Wilder delivers universal truths about what it means to be human. With humor, wit, and exceptionally powerful storytelling, Our Town offers a unique opportunity for audience members to make precisely that realization.