Theatre turns to audience for season schedule
August 31, 2010Tweet
University theater-goers have made their voices heard - and the word to describe their selections for the Theatre Department’s 2010-11 season is “classic.”
The “audience choice” mainstage season will kick off Oct. 15, with the Tennessee Williams classic drama A Streetcar Named Desire. The popular musical Little Shop of Horrors follows on Nov. 12. The spring semester features the classic farce Noises Off! on March 4 and Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar on April 29.
“These were the top choices by our audience,” said Anne Brady, a Department of Theatre associate professor who will direct Streetcar. “We also thought that the productions worked well together to make an interesting and exciting season.”
Brady credited Jill Tominosky, Theatre Department marketing and promotions coordinator, with the idea for “audience choice” season. The department distributed surveys to theater-goers last spring asking them what they would like to see on the Watters Theater and Anderson Center stages. Online surveys were also conducted in the spring.
“I was thrilled that Streetcar was one of the top picks because it’s a play I’ve always wanted to do and I love Tennessee Williams,” Brady said.
The other selections proved equally exciting for the department, Brady said.
Noises Off! (to be directed by professor Tom Kremer) gives the Theatre Department a chance to offer a farce, while Little Shop (which will feature guest director Dennis Courtney) is a production the set designers look forward to. Julius Caesar is a favorite of director and visiting assistant professor Michael Toomey, a member of Shakespeare and Co in Lenox, Mass.
“It’s something Michael has wanted to for a long time and a show the department has wanted to do,” said Brady, who added that the production will also appeal to high school students who are reading the play and Shakespeare teachers at the University. “To get the opportunity to present Caesar is thrilling.”
The audience-friendly season will also include “talkbacks” that will be held after an additional Sunday matinee. Audience members will be able to discuss and learn more about the production from the director and cast.
“We’ve been wanting to have talkbacks with the audience for a long time,” Brady said. “This is entertainment, but it can also be educational. It’s an opportunity for the audience to ask questions about the play. And the actors may ask them questions. Members of the audience will be able to talk about their impressions, so it’s not just information coming from our side.”
Brady said that while she expects each director will determine how a production’s “talkback” proceeds, she is hoping to include participation from community members and guests from other departments.
“We’re looking forward to the variety (of the season),” Brady said. “We hope the students, faculty, staff and everyone at the University will want to take part in the season.”
Tickets for A Streetcar Named Desire, Noises Off! and Julius Caesar are $14, general admission; $12, faculty, staff and senior citizens; and $8, students. Tickets for Little Shop of Horrors are $18, general admission; $16, faculty, staff and senior citizens; and $10, students. Season subscriptions are $54, general admission; $48, faculty, staff and senior citizens; and $30, students.
For more on performance details, go to http://theatre.binghamton.edu. For more ticket information, call 607-777-ARTS.