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SU Department of Drama announces 2008-09 season

May 14, 2008

Patrick Finlon
315 443 2636

Patrick Finlon

The six-play 2008-09 season of the Department of Drama in Syracuse University's College of Visual and Performing Arts will feature "Steel Pier" by John Kander and Fred Ebb; "The Rimers of Eldritch" by Lanford Wilson; "Godspell," with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz; "The Way of the World" by William Congreve; "Boy Gets Girl" by Rebecca Gilman; and "The World Goes 'Round," featuring songs by Kander and Ebb.

Six-play season subscriptions can be purchased in person at the Syracuse Stage Box Office or by calling (315) 443-3275. The price of a season subscription is $90. The price of a season subscription for seniors (65+) and students is $80. There is a $5 processing and handling fee for all subscription orders. One Wednesday night performance of each play offers a "Pay What You Can Night" for SU students with I.D., available at the door.

Completing his first year as producing artistic director for the SU Department of Drama and Syracuse Stage, Timothy Bond is impressed by the students' work. "The spirit and enthusiasm that students bring to the productions are thrilling to watch and clearly a result of exemplary training at one of the country's foremost departments of drama," he says.

"Our next season of plays offers our acting and musical theater students many opportunities to showcase their skills as performing artists, as well as their passion for the theater," says Ann Clarke, dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. "Behind the scenes, our faculty directors, student designers and stage managers will ensure that our audiences are treated to exceptional, memorable productions."

SU Department of Drama 2008-09 season:

"Steel Pier"
Book by David Thompson
Music and Lyrics by John Kander and Fred Ebb
Conceived by Scott Ellis, Susan Stroman and David Thompson
Directed by David Wanstreet
Oct. 3-12

When the Great Depression hit the United States in the 1930s, many Americans did anything they could to keep from going under. The Steel Pier Marathon Dance emerged around this time, offering performers not only the opportunity to win food, housing and money, but also a chance to break into show business. Set in 1933 at the Atlantic City amusement park, this 1997 Tony-nominated Broadway production is credited to well-known collaborators Kander and Ebb, who previously teamed up to create "Cabaret" and the revival of "Chicago." Bill Kelly, an adventurous pilot, falls out of the sky and into the arms of Rita Racine, a dancer and the wife of evil Steel Pier manager Mick Hamilton. Entertainment and plenty of razzle-dazzle dancing ensue when Rita and Bill pair up for the marathon.

"The Rimers of Eldritch"
By Lanford Wilson
Directed by Gerardine Clark
Nov. 14-23

A serious crime has been committed in the tiny Midwestern town of Eldritch. Rumors fly, townspeople mingle and secrets are exposed. With a mosaic of eccentric characters and an anti-chronological plot, solving the murder mystery turns into a giant puzzle -- will anyone ever find out what really happened?

Conceived and originally directed by John-Michael Tebelak
Music and new lyrics by Stephen Schwartz
Directed by Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj
Choreographed by Anthony Salatino
Nov. 25-Dec. 28
A collaboration with Syracuse Stage

This energetic musical based on the gospel of St. Matthew is a celebration of worldwide community, filled with popular hit songs and irresistible goodwill. From the United Nations to India to China to Darfur to Syracuse, prepare ye the way of hope, brotherhood and sisterhood as the time for tolerance and inclusiveness draws nearer "Day by Day." A groundbreaking musical in its time, this colorful update features world dance-inspired choreography and multimedia projections.

"The Way of the World"
By William Congreve
Directed by Malcolm Ingram
Feb. 6-15, 2009

Three hundred years ago, love, jealousy, revenge and greed made the world go around. Today, not much has changed when it comes to matters of money and sex. It's just the way of the world, as William Congreve proves in his 1700 Restoration piece that's more of a soap opera than a play. At the heart of the production are young lovers Millamant and Mirabell, whose marriage everyone in society opposes. Set in the rich salons of upper-class English society, this witty show highlights the foolish and often malicious tactics employed in issues of romance, marriage and social conventions. Can young love prevail in the end?

"Boy Gets Girl"
By Rebecca Gilman
Directed by Marie Kemp
March 20-29

Successful magazine writer Theresa is a New Yorker focused more on her career than on her personal life. Her friends persuade her to go on a blind date with Tony, a seemingly nice guy who works with computer software. After two dates, Theresa puts a halt to the dating, letting Tony politely know that it just isn't going to work. But suddenly Theresa starts getting bouquets of flowers every day at work, and her voicemail inbox is maxed out. What seemed to be innocent flattery quickly escalates into a terrifying stalker situation. First produced at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, Rebecca Gilman's story of a woman's worst nightmare will leave audiences thinking.

"The World Goes 'Round"
Conceived by David Thompson, Jacques Deval and Susan Stroman
Lyrics by Fred Ebb
Music by John Kander
Co-directed by Kim Hale and Nathan Hurwitz
April 24-May 9

Life -- with its glories, indignities, hopes and quiet dreams -- is the subject of this stunning revue of the beloved songs of John Kander and Fred Ebb. It features unforgettable gems from throughout their incredible career in theater, film and television, spotlighting songs from "Cabaret," "Chicago," "New York, New York," "Funny Lady," "Kiss of the Spiderwoman" and more. Filled with humor, romance, drama, nonstop melody and brassy, insightful lyrics, "The World Goes `Round" is a thrilling celebration of life and the fighting spirit that keeps us all going.

Over the decades, a symbiotic relationship between the SU Department of Drama and Syracuse Stage has evolved to create one of the most integrated of the 18 such relationships in the country. Only four of these programs focus on professional actor training for undergraduate students, and of these, SU has the largest.

Bond sees the unique relationship with Syracuse Stage as an integral component of the program at SU. "Moving forward, my hope is to continue to strengthen what constitutes a `training hospital' environment, giving the students more opportunities to gain professional experience while they are here working toward a degree. Syracuse University has been wonderful in its support of this relationship, a unique draw for students and theater professionals alike."

Already there are multiple points of crossover. These include the use of students as understudies on Syracuse Stage productions; an annual co-production between the Department of Drama and Syracuse Stage of a large musical each year; the use of Stage staff as adjunct professors and lecturers in the department; the use at times of faculty as designers, performers and directors for Stage; and the use of drama majors in conjunction with professional actors and faculty in public readings of new plays.

In addition, SU Drama and Syracuse Stage share a box office, front-of-house staff, administrative support and production shops that create the scenic, costume, lighting and sound designs for all Department of Drama and Syracuse Stage productions.

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