Thursday, September 11, 2014
Penn State Centre Stage will present six powerhouse productions in its 2014–15 mainstage season.
The season opens with Theresa Rebeck’s O Beautiful, October 7–18, in the Playhouse Theatre. Directed by Dan Carter, O Beautiful is a theatrically inventive union of contemporary American life and the history that got us to this politically polarized age. [This show includes political, social, and religious content that some may find challenging.]
"We are incredibly excited to bring O Beautiful and Centre Stage's entire 2014–15 line-up to the community," said Dan Carter, director of O Beautiful and artistic director of Penn State Centre Stage. "One of the purposes of religion, and I believe, theatre, is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. The 2014–15 season is an example of the latter, as it aspires to jolt audiences into thinking and feeling about a number of issues in a new way; to consider their own beliefs; and to contemplate how they respond to the beliefs of others, staying true to themselves while respecting differences in an increasingly uncivil society."
From November 4–18, Centre Stage will present the multiple Tony Award-winning Spring Awakening at the Pavilion Theatre, with music by Duncan Sheik, and book and lyrics by Steven Sater. Directed by Cary Libkin, Spring Awakening is an electrifying fusion of morality, sexuality, and rock-and-roll music that explores the journey from adolescence to adulthood with poignancy and passion. [This show includes partial nudity, profanity, and mature subject matter that may be objectionable to some audience members.]
The fall season concludes with Stephen Adly Guigis’ The Motherf**ker with the Hat, November 17–December 6, directed by Steve Broadnax at the Downtown Theatre Center. Set in modern-day New York City, The Motherf**ker with the Hat is a dark and turbulent comedy about addiction, relationships, and ultimately love. [This show includes profanity and mature subject matter that may be objectionable to some audience members.]
The spring season opens with Avenue Q, February 18–28, 2015, at the Playhouse Theatre. With music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, and book by Jeff Whitty, Avenue Q is the winner of the Tony Triple Crown for Best Musical, Best Score, and Best Book. Directed by Courtney Young, Avenue Q is a laugh-out-loud musical that tells a story of the trials and tribulations of a recent college graduate and his neighbors (and puppets) who live all the way out on Avenue Q. [This show may not be appropriate for children, as it deals with mature themes including sex, drinking, and searching the Internet for pornography.]
Dogfight, a musical based on a 1991 film of the same name, will run April 1–11, 2015, at the Downtown Theatre Center. With music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, and book by Peter Duchan, Dogfight tells a tender and brutal tale of young people meeting in a situation certain to end in heartbreak. Following three young Marines on the eve of their deployment to Vietnam in 1963, the show focuses on Corporal Eddie Birdlace and Rose, an ungainly but hopeful waitress he recruits in a callous competition with his buddies. Rose, however, changes the way the game is played in an unexpected story of innocence, compassion, and new love.
Centre Stage will finish its 2014–15 season with William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, April 21–23, 2015 (dates subject to change). Presented on the steps of Old Main, this production will be directed by Bill Kelly and set in a contemporary African nation (“Rome”) in order to draw parallels between modern African dictatorships and Shakespeare’s Roman Republic of 44 BC under the dictatorship of Julius Caesar. The idea that a dictator is pulled down by “honorable men,” only to plunge the nation into a bloody civil war, is the common thread in several African states and is essentially the same idea that drives Julius Caesar.
For additional show information, visit www.theatre.psu.edu. Tickets are available at Penn State Tickets Downtown, Eisenhower Box Office, Bryce Jordan Center, or by calling (814) 863-0255 or 1 (800) ARTS-TIX. Save 10 percent when you buy tickets to four or more shows.
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Penn State Centre Stage is the professional arm of the Penn State School of Theatre and serves as a training program for emerging theatre professionals. One of Centre Stage's unique attributes is that it creates collaborations between established industry professionals and theatre students from Penn State and other colleges and universities. Each Centre Stage production is created from conception to completion at Penn State using skills mastered and taught by its acclaimed theatre faculty. As a result, Penn State is one of the top-ranked universities in the country for its theatre training programs.