OBU Theatre will take patrons through "A Season of Schemes" during the 2015-16 theatre season. The season will feature productions of "The Music Man," "Oedipus the King" and "Emma."
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Dr. Jeffrey Wells, associate professor of theatre and chair of the Division of Communication Arts, has high expectations for the season and believes audiences are in for some special performances. "The common denominator of OBU Theatre's 2015 'Season of Schemes' is that each play's main character is a schemer of sorts," he said. "Their schemes provide the conflict, entertainment value and ultimately the idea or message of the play. It is our hope that audiences will find the intrigue of each of these works through the strategies employed by each protagonist."
"The Music Man," by Meredith Willson, will be directed by Wells, with musical direction by Dr. Peter Purin, assistant professor of music theory. "The Music Man" tells the story of a fast-talking salesman, Harold Hill, who swindles the whole town and gets his heart stolen by the town librarian at the same time. The show will run Oct. 29, 30, Nov. 5 and 7 at 7:30 p.m. There will also be matinee performances Oct. 31, Nov. 1 and 8 at 2:30 p.m. All shows will be performed in Craig-Dorland Theatre. The performance is appropriate for the whole family.
Wells is ecstatic to bring "The Music Man" to the stage at OBU. "I am exceptionally excited about this production. I believe our audiences will see some exciting new production elements as well as cameo appearances by some beloved OBU and community folks. This production is sure to entertain and enlighten audiences of all ages as a story about how mercy can change a heart."
"Oedipus the King," by Sophocles and translated by Stephen Berg and Diskin Clay, will be directed by Jennifer Ezell. In the dramatic world of Sophocles' "Oedipus the King," everything happens on a grand scale, from feats of heroism to the greatest of mistakes. When Oedipus learns that an unsolved murder has caused the plague ravaging his city, he pledges to exile the killer - only to find that old prophecies hold a devastating truth. The show will run March 4-5 at 7:30 p.m., and matinee performances March 5-6 at 2:30 p.m. in the Craig-Dorland Theatre. The production will be most enjoyed by those 15 years-of-age and up.
"It is great to bring this timeless classic to the Craig-Dorland stage for the first time," Wells said. "It could be argued that this piece of dramatic literature has had greater influence on Western culture than any other Greek tragedy. While not necessarily appropriate for the youngest members of the Shawnee community, this production is sure to spark lively academic conversation."
Jon Jerry's adaptation of "Emma," the final play of the season, will be directed by Wells. In this crisp, dynamic retelling of Jane Austen's novel, matchmaker Emma Woodhouse has just moved on to her newest "project" - a sweet but modest girl, Harriet Smith. Yet, as Emma becomes entangled in the romantic lives of her friends and acquaintances, she falls in love with the least likely of bachelors in this lighthearted tale of gossip, matrimony and misunderstanding. The show will run April 21-23 at 7:30 p.m. and April 23-24 at 2:30 p.m. in Sarkeys Black Box Theater. "Emma" will be most enjoyed by audiences 12 and up.
"Emma marks the inaugural production in the newly remodeled Sarkeys Black Box Theater," Wells said. "OBU Theatre students are excited to produce this piece because of its wit, but more so because of the challenge of style and accent work it affords. I am looking forward to directing this piece because it is fun and makes several social statements."
Tickets are currently available online for all three productions at okbu.edu/theatre. The box office will open two weeks prior to each show in Sarkeys Telecommunication Center's main office or at (404) 585-4350. Season tickets are available to adults for $30 and students for $12 and can be purchased through the box office. Tickets are $13 for adults and $5 for students for "The Music Man," and $11 for adults and $5 for students for "Oedipus the King" and "Emma."