The USC School of Dramatic Arts raises the curtain tonight on the 2014-15 season, with more than 20 productions to be presented on stage over the next eight months.
From the poetic Pulitzer Prize winner Anna in the Tropics to the high-octane 1950s musical Grease to William Shakespeare’s timeless As You Like It, this season’s ambitious schedule includes a list of award-winning plays, a three-play repertory featuring the school’s graduate actors, new works by student playwrights and more.
“This diverse range of plays embodies an integral part of our curriculum, which provides our student artists a learning experience that is both challenging and thought-provoking,” said Dean Madeline Puzo.
Each year, the school fully mounts more than 20 productions that demonstrate the talents of the dramatic art students through their work as actors, designers, stage managers and technical directors.
This season’s productions include:
To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday
By Michael Brady – Directed by Cameron Watson
Scene Dock Theatre – Oct. 2-5
On the eve of his late wife’s birthday, a young widower remains a captive of his grief and spends his evenings with her ghost. In this tale of love and loss, the once-dynamic college professor is forced to make a choice: Rejoin the world of the living or lose all that is most precious to him.
By Sarah Kane Directed by Paul Backer
McClintock Theatre – Oct. 2-5
Sarah Kane’s drama follows the journey of a woman in the throes of a psychological ordeal.
Dark of the Moon
By Howard Richardson and William Berney – Directed by John DeMita
Bing Theatre – Oct. 9-12
A mythical tale of witches and ill-fated love in the Great Smoky Mountains. Infused with folk songs, the story interweaves romance, superstition and betrayal.
The Dream of the Burning Boy
By David West Read – Directed by Edward Edwards
Scene Dock Theatre – Oct. 23-26
A high school overachiever suddenly dies, exposing a secret that could destroy those left behind.
By William Inge – Directed by Robert Bailey
McClintock Theatre – Oct. 30-Nov. 2
An unpolished young stranger comes to town in Inge’s revision of his Pulitzer Prize-winning Picnic.
Cat Among the Pigeons
By Georges Feydeau – Translated by John Mortimer – Directed by Michael Keenan
Bing Theatre – Nov. 6-9
Treacherous lovers, wealthy heiresses and a Spanish general are tossed together in a whirlwind of greed, lies and love. The high-spirited comedy is considered one of the best ever written by the king of French farce.
Anna in the Tropics
By Nilo Cruz – Directed by Denise Blasor
McClintock Theatre – Nov. 20-23
This Pulitzer Prize-winning play captures 1929 Florida, where cigars were still rolled by hand and “lectors” were employed to educate and entertain the workers.
The American Clock
By Arthur Miller – Directed by Cameron Watson
Scene Dock Theatre – Nov. 20-23
Miller’s saga, set during the early years of the Great Depression, is the study of a tortured time in American history and of the indomitable spirit of the people who survived in the face of adversity.
By Anton Chekhov – Translated by Paul Schmidt – Directed by Kate Burton
Scene Dock Theatre – Feb. 7-March 7, 2015
Hailed as one of Chekhov’s master works, the drama unfolds in the Russian countryside, where a discontented group of artists are intertwined in unrequited affection and longing. This production is part of the USC School of Dramatic Arts’ annual Master of Fine Arts in Acting Spring Repertory.
The Servant of Two Masters
By Carlo Goldoni – Translated by Sylvie Drake – Directed by Andrew J. Robinson
Scene Dock Theatre – Feb. 7-March 8, 2015
Trickster Truffaldino signs on to serve two masters in the hope of double wages (and double meals) in this madcap farce. This production is part of the USC School of Dramatic Arts’ annual Master of Fine Arts in Acting Spring Repertory.
By Oliver Mayer – Translated and adapted from the play Bodas de Sangre by Federico García Lorca – Directed by David Bridel
Scene Dock Theatre – Feb. 14-March 5, 2015
Set in present-day Mexico, the play is Associate Professor Oliver Mayer’s new adaptation of Lorca’s tale of murder and revenge. This production is part of the USC School of Dramatic Arts’ annual Master of Fine Arts in Acting Spring Repertory.
By Peter Barnes – Directed by Stephanie Shroyer
McClintock Theatre – Feb. 26-March 1, 2015
In 14th-century France, at the height of the Great Plague, a priest assembles a ragtag band of performers to spread joy in the midst of the devastation.
As You Like It
By William Shakespeare
Bing Theatre – March 5-8, 2015
All the world’s a stage in the Forest of Arden where lovers become entangled in a beguiling game of love, lust and mistaken identity.
The Way of the World
By William Congreve – Directed by John DeMita
Scene Dock Theatre – April 2-5, 2015
Mirabell wants to marry Millamant, but to keep her fortune intact he must outwit her relatives who are bent on keeping them apart in this comedy of intrigue and infidelity.
Book, Music and Lyrics by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey – Directed by Jeff Maynard
Bing Theatre – April 2-12, 2015
The school’s annual spring musical takes theatergoers back to Rydell High, circa 1959, for show-stopping numbers from the T-Birds and Pink Ladies.
The Waiting Room
By Lisa Loomer – Directed by Larissa Kokernot
McClintock Theatre – April 9-12, 2015
Loomer’s dark comedy about the timeless quest for beauty focuses on three women from different centuries who meet in a doctor’s waiting room.
New Works Festival Year 2
Massman Theatre – April 10-26, 2015
A workshop of plays featuring diverse new works by the USC School of Dramatic Arts’ second-year MFA Dramatic Writing students.
What We’re Up Against
Directed by Jack Rowe
McClintock Theatre – April 23-26, 2015
A play spotlighting the talents of sophomores in the Bachelor of Fine Arts.
Crumbs From the Table of Joy
By Lynn Nottage – Directed by Gregg T. Daniel
Scene Dock Theatre – April 23-26, 2015
A 17-year-old girl’s world turns upside down when her father moves the family to Brooklyn in the late 1950s.
New Works Festival Year 3
The Carrie Hamilton Theatre at The Pasadena Playhouse
May 26-30, 2015