Temple Theaters announces 2006-07 season
A Tony Award-winning epic musical, an August Wilson theatrical masterpiece, a classic Oscar Wilde comedy, a contemporary character-driven comic mystery, and a searing drama in which religion and politics collide highlight the Temple Theaters 2006-2007 season.
Opening the season Sept. 28–30 in Tomlinson Theater, Philadelphia Young Playwrights ’06 presents workshop productions of the winning plays written by area high-school students and directed by theater professionals. All performances are free and no tickets are required.
Acclaimed as one of the great American musicals, Ragtime intertwines the tales of three diverse families against the panoramic backdrop of the nation teetering on the brink of a new century, teeming with turbulence and possibility, hope and despair, prejudice and the pursuit of the American dream. Terrence McNally’s adaptation of E.L. Doctorow’s landmark novel with music by Stephen Flaherty and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, directed by guest artist Peter Reynolds, takes the Tomlinson Theater stage Oct. 25–Nov. 4 in an exciting interdisciplinary collaboration between Temple Theaters, the Temple University department of film/media arts, and with the participation of students from the Boyer College of Music and Dance.
Our Lady of 121st Street reunites a motley crew of misfits mourning the death of a beloved nun — whose body has mysteriously disappeared from the Ortiz Funeral Home! Directed by Douglas C. Wager, artistic director for Temple Theaters, this tender yet hilarious comedy and its author, playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis, garnered critical acclaim in the New York Times when it opened off-Broadway in 2003: “A scorching and dark new comedy ... Mr. Guirgis has one of the finest imaginations for dialogue to come along in years.” It runs in the Randall Theater Nov. 16–Dec. 2.
Oscar Wilde’s deliciously satiric masterpiece The Importance of Being Earnest will be presented in Randall Theater Feb. 7–17. Considered by many to be the funniest play in the English language, it boasts memorable characters and sparkling wit in a romantic farce that turns on mistaken identity, Victorian manners and the sheer brilliance of the playwright. Theater professor Dan Kern will direct.
Seventeenth century France provides the backdrop for The Devils, John Whiting’s theatrical adaptation of the Aldous Huxley book The Devils of Loudon. A tale of demonic possession, this haunting drama mixes mass religious and sexual hysteria in a provocative evening of theater. Based on real-life events, its contemporary overtones become clear as it chronicles the revenge of a spurned prioress determined to bring down a worldly priest who has a secret attraction for the ladies. Third-year M.F.A. directing candidate David O’Connor will direct the March 15–24 run in Tomlinson Theater.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom began the late August Wilson’s 10-play cycle chronicling the 20th century African-American experience. This brilliantly observed character study, set in Chicago in the 1920s, reveals a soulful struggle for dignity and emancipation in a world of de facto social and racial oppression. The New York Times called Ma Rainey "Searing ... funny, salty, carnal and lyrical.... Wilson has lighted a dramatic fuse that snakes and hisses through several anguished eras of American life.” It takes the stage in Randall Theater April 11–21 with theater professor Charles Dumas directing.
"From the musical sweep of Ragtime to the wailing blues of August Wilson's Ma Rainey; from the mordantly funny characters of Our Lady of 121st Street to the gleeful heights of social intercourse in The Importance of Being Earnest, on down to the roiling, epic thrall of The Devils, our ’06–’07 season promises a bold, artistically rewarding experience,” said Douglas C. Wager, artistic director for Temple Theaters.
THE TEMPLE THEATERS 2006-2007 SEASON
Performances are presented in the Tomlinson and Randall theaters in the Temple Theaters complex, 13th and Norris streets, on Temple’s Main Campus.
September 28–30, 2006
Philadelphia Young Playwrights ’06
Coordinator: David Ingram
October 25–November 4, 2006
Ragtime: The Musical
Book by Terrence McNally, based on the novel by E.L. Doctorow
Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens
Music by Stephen Flaherty
Directed by Peter Reynolds
November 16–December 2, 2006
(No performances during Thanksgiving Break, Nov. 22–27)
Our Lady of 121st Street
By Stephen Adly Guirgis
Directed by Douglas C. Wager
February 7–17, 2007
The Importance of Being Earnest
By Oscar Wilde
Directed by Dan Kern
March 15–24, 2007
By John Whiting, based on Aldous Huxley’s book The Devils of Loudon
Directed by David O’Connor
April 11–21, 2007
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
By August Wilson
Directed by Charles Dumas
NEW THIS YEAR FOR SUBSCRIBERS — A FREE EVENT!
Theater 326 One-Act Play Festival
Instructor: Donna Snow
Dates: April 25–27, 4–10 p.m.; April 29, 1–10 p.m.
Twenty-four performances in four days of eight different contemporary one-act plays, which are chosen, cast, rehearsed and minimally produced by the students registered in Theater 326, “Acting Emphasis Thesis.” In this class, the focus is on the actor’s process, which enables students to experiment with the technique they have learned during their undergraduate experience at Temple, and to hone their craft and free their talent in front of a live audience. It all adds up to an engaging experience — come to see one play — you’ll be tempted to stay for all!
(The plays will be chosen by the end of February 2007 — please refer to www.temple.edu/theater for the schedule.)
Season subscription (general admission) for five plays is $70; single tickets are $20. Seniors, students, and Temple employees and alumni can save as much as 45 percent from single ticket prices and pay only $55 for a discount season subscription.
Single tickets are $15. Temple students are free with TUid and copy of current roster.
For more information about season subscriptions or to request a brochure, call the Temple Theaters Information Line at 215-204-1122, or visit us on the Web at www.temple.edu/theater. Season subscriptions may be purchased at the Liacouras Center Box Office, 1776 N. Broad St., weekdays 10 a.m.–5 p.m. (Season subscriptions are not available for online purchase.)
Special second Wednesday Diamond Club dinner series
Feed your dual appetites for fine dining and the arts with a theme-based dinner researched and created by the staff at the Diamond Club, followed by an evening of theater. Sample the cuisine from the era of each of this season’s plays: For Ragtime, get a taste of the dawn of the American 20th century; experience contemporary dining New York City-style with Our Lady of 121st Street; Victorian English victuals will accompany The Importance of Being Earnest; 17th century French cuisine is on the menu for The Devils; and it’s off to Chicago during the 1920s for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
Indulge your imagination and dine like J.P. Morgan (Ragtime) or Lady Bracknell (The Importance of Being Earnest) before seeing these characters and their worlds come alive onstage.
When you order your subscriptions from the 06–07 brochure, call the Diamond Club at 215-204-4469 to make reservations for dinner (approx $15 per person). If you have not received a brochure in inter-office mail, call 215-204-1122 to request one.
Plan to arrive at the Diamond Club, located in the lower level of Mitten Hall, between 5 p.m. and 5:30 pm. Curtain is at 7 p.m.
The Diamond Club Dinner Series 2006–07
(All performances Wednesdays at 7 p.m.) Call the Diamond Club at 215-204-4469 to make reservations for dinner.
Nov. 1: Ragtime
• Acorn squash bisque
• Goat cheese, apricot and sage stuffed chicken breast served with roasted autumn vegetables and wild mushroom risotto cake
• Cranberry and white chocolate bread pudding
Nov. 29: Our Lady of 121st Street
Feb. 14: The Importance of Being Earnest
March 21: The Devils
April 18: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
By Harriet Goodheart