University Theater marks 50 years, announces 2013-14 season

University Theater

University Theater’s 50th season opens next month with a variety of performances, from a world premiere play to a new take on Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night.”

Youngstown State University Theater celebrates its 50th season this year with a variety of productions, including the world premiere of a an original drama, a new take on a Shakespearean classic, two one-act plays, two one-act operas, the annual dance ensemble, and a musical commemoration of a half century of University Theater.

The season, presented by the Department of Theater and Dance and the Donald P. Pipino Performing Arts Series, begins in October and runs through April on the YSU campus.

Season subscriptions for adults are $40, and are available for purchase now by calling the University Theater Box Office at 330-941-3105 or emailing Discounts are also available for members of the YSU Alumni Society, Penguin Club and Regional Chamber; YSU Faculty and staff and retirees; and non-YSU students. Most University Theater performances are free for YSU students.

“We are excited about opening with a world premiere in October and then in November celebrating our last fifty years through musical commemoration,” said Scott Irelan, chair of the Department of Theater and Dance. “The spring promises to continue our celebration with Shakespeare and the always well-received Dance Ensemble performances.”

The 2013-2014 season marks the 50th consecutive year of University Theater’s existence as a co-curricular theater-producing agency on the YSU campus. Co-curricular implies that the productions are linked to the education of students in the various academic programs of the university. YSU is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Theatre. NAST, founded in 1965, is an organization of schools, conservatories, colleges and universities, and has approximately 170 accredited institutional members. It establishes national standards for undergraduate and graduate degrees and other credentials. Institutional membership is gained only through the peer review process of accreditation.

Featured this season:

October 18, 19, 25 and 26 at 7:30 p.m., and October 20 and 27 at 2 p.m.
Tribunal, by local playwright Mark Milo Kessler, world premiere, in Spotlight Theater in Bliss Hall. The play explores Hannelore Schneider’s struggle to flee Nuremberg for a Nazi refuge in South America, driving her into an unlikely alliance with a translator for the landmark Nuremberg Trial.

Nov. 8, 9, 15 and 16 at 7:30 p.m., and Nov. 10 and 17 at 2 p.m.
Celebrating 50 Years Of University Theater: A Musical Commemoration in Ford Theater in Bliss Hall. The production celebrates University Theater’s established past while showcasing an exciting future with a collection of scenes and songs drawn from the last 50 years of University Theater seasons.

Dec. 6, 7:30 p.m.
Holiday Cabaret, presented by Penguin Playhouse and Alpha Psi Omega, in Spotlight Theater, featuring wintertime fare for all ages.

Feb. 28, March 1, 7, 8 at 7:30 p.m., and March 2 and 9 at 2 p.m.
Twelfth Night In 2014, a newly devised production based on works by William Shakespeare, in Spotlight Theater. The production is a hysterical re-imagining of Twelfth Night, one of Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies.

March 28 and 29 at 7:30 p.m. and March 30 at 2 p.m.
Alpha Psi Omega presents Crazy Like Love: An Evening of Two One Act Plays in Spotlight Theater. Gendermat by Mark Dunn includes four actors who step in and out of the roles of Carrie/Cary and Frances/Francis to create the story of four relationship breakups. The New Mrs. Jones by James Armstrong tells the story of an engaged couple who, before they can live happily ever after, will have to survive a dinner party with the man’s mother.

April 10, 11 and 12, 7:30 p.m.
YSU Dance Ensemble performs its 24th annual concert in Ford Theater. The production is under the direction of Christine Cobb, professor of Dance at YSU. The concert features choreographed works by visiting artists, students and faculty.

April  24, 25 and 26 at 7:30 p.m. and April 27 at 2 p.m.
The Donald P. Pipino Performing Arts Series presents a Gilbert & Sullivan double bill with two one-act operas in Ford Theater. Trial By Jury is a comic opera about a jilted bride who exchanges “I do” for “I sue!” as she takes her faithless fiancé to court. Cox And Box focuses on a landlord who comes up with a novel solution to the housing shortage and a way to double his rental income.