University of Southern Indiana

The Repertory Project season announced

The Repertory Project season announced

11/2/2008 | University Communications
New Harmony Theatre and University of Southern Indiana Theatre continue their nationally-acclaimed Repertory Project in 2008 with productions of William Shakespeare’s beloved romantic comedy, Much Ado About Nothing, and Clifford Odets’ stirring Depression-era drama, Waiting for Lefty. The Repertory Project season begins November 6 and runs through November 23 at the Mallette Studio Theatre on the University of Southern Indiana campus.

According to Lenny Leibowitz, artistic director of New Harmony Theatre and assistant professor of theatre at USI, “The Repertory Project will continue its mission of presenting two plays of substance and beauty in the classic theatre model of rotating repertory, featuring a company of professional Equity actors and USI's top theatre students. The national theatre community has taken note of this unique program.” The Equity acting company features Broadway and Rep Project veteran Phillip Clark, New Harmony Theatre veteran Eileen Ward, and newcomers Estes Tarver and Jerome Bethea. Over 40 USI students, including actors, musicians, designers, technicians, and theatre managers are participating in the 2008 Repertory Project.

Leibowitz said, “Much Ado About Nothing, a comic and poignant meditation on the risks and rewards of romantic love, is one of Shakespeare’s most beloved plays. At once sunny and soulful, it celebrates the little lies that bring the deeper truth to light. In the merry war of wit between Beatrice and Benedick, Shakespeare found his ideal lovers. Their courtship stands mount to all the ages.”

Clifford Odets’ Waiting for Lefty remains a seminal exponent of American social realism. The play unfolds during a heated labor meeting moving toward strike. Radical and rousing, this Depression-era drama is infused with the energy of social protest and the desperation of the common man struggling to defy the corporate machine. Elliot Wasserman, chair of the Department of Performing Arts, directs. Along with the acting company, he is developing a Living Newspaper to be performed as a prologue to the play. The Living Newspaper features stories taken from newspapers of the time performed by members of the company.

In addition to Leibowitz and Wasserman, the artistic team for The Repertory Project includes USI students Paige Scott as musical director, Brandon Sears as choreographer, and Amelia Dalto as assistant choreographer; USI Department of Performing Arts faculty members Doug Hubbell as scenic designer for Waiting for Lefty, Craig A. Young as scenic designer for Much Ado About Nothing and as lighting designer for both productions, and Shan Jensen as costume designer; USI alumnus Robert Dagit as sound designer; and Equity member Michele Fugate as production stage manager.

The Repertory Project is supported by the USI Foundation, the Office of Academic Affairs, the Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana, the Indiana Arts Commission, New Harmony Theatre, and the College of Liberal Arts.

Performances for The Repertory Project are as follows:

Waiting for Lefty will play at 7:30 p.m. November 6, 7, 15, and 20 and 2 p.m. November 16. Much Ado About Nothing will play at 7:30 p.m. November 8, 13, 14, 21, and 22 and at 2:30 p.m. November 9, 15, and 23.

Tickets for Repertory Project productions range from $8 to $18, with discounts for purchasing tickets to both productions. For more information about The Repertory Project, contact the box office toll free at 1-877-NHT-SHOW (648-7469), or visit

Amy Estes
USI Theatre/New Harmony Theatre
812/465-7110 or

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