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U.Va. Drama Department Announces 2007-2008 Season

Aug. 23, 2007 -- The University of Virginia's Department of Drama today announced its 2007-2008 season, which features six shows ranging from the serious to the silly and covering timeless classics, exciting new material and nearly everything in between.

The season will include:

• Two of the theater world’s most famed works, Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler
• Alfred Jarry’s supremely satirical “power play” Ubu Roi
• The David Mamet adaptation of Harley Granville Barker’s The Voysey Inheritance
• Jason Robert Brown’s musical journey Songs for a New World
• Drama Department associate professor Doug Grissom’s tale of a fractured family tree, So Careless.

This year, full season subscriptions will be re-introduced, covering the shows in both the Culbreth and the Helms Theatres. As in recent years, subscriptions covering only the Culbreth Theatre shows are also available. New this year, a special 15% discount for University of Virginia faculty and staff is available and may be applied to season tickets as well as individual productions.

On Tuesday, Sept. 4, season subscriptions will go on sale to the public. Full Season subscriptions are available for $73 adult, $63 senior and U.Va. faculty/ staff, $50 student; Culbreth-Only Season subscriptions are available for $38 adult, $33 senior and U.Va. faculty/ staff, $26 student. Subscriptions may be ordered by calling the Drama Box Office at 434-924-3376 or by visiting Culbreth Theatre Monday through Friday between the hours of 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. Tickets for each individual production will go on sale approximately two weeks prior to the opening date.

The season kicks off on Sept. 27 with Ubu Roi. The play’s 1896 premiere caused a near riot as audiences reacted to the silly and savage tale of ambition gone truly wild.  Ubu’s brutal and brief rise to power is full of hearty laughs and lasting lessons on power, politics, manipulation and more.  It’s an evening of theater that is all about breaking conventions and challenging audiences to recognize that harsh reality and utter ridiculousness, especially in today’s world, are never as far apart as they seem.

Ubu Roi , by Alfred Jarry and translated by David Ball, will be directed by Betsy Tucker, and will be presented at the Helms Theatre from Sept. 27-29 and from Oct. 2-6.  Individual ticket sales will begin on Monday, Sept. 17.

Hedda Gabler will give audiences a chance to revisit, or discover, one of the most enduring, fascinating and perplexing characters in theater history. Though written in 1890, the famed title character is a modern woman for any age.  Facing a life of being pulled down by the weight of her very own choices, Hedda sets out on a brutal attempt to regain control of her world.  For more than a century now, her actions, the reasons behind them and the tragedies bring, have had audiences talking long after the curtain falls.

Hedda Gabler, by Henrik Ibsen and translated by Doug Hughes, will be directed by Richard Warner, and will be presented at the Helms Theatre from Oct. 25-27, 30 and 31 and Nov. 1-3.  Individual ticket sales will begin on Wednesday, Oct. 10.

Twelfth Night starts with a shipwreck and mixes in mistaken identity, foolish pomposity, gender-reversal and a hilariously unconventional love triangle to create a perfectly Shakespearean stew.  Hailed by many as The Bard’s greatest comedy, Twelfth Night is an evening of carefully controlled theatrical chaos in which deceits are unveiled, truths are revealed, laughs are unleashed and a future is foreshadowed to have as much potential as it does portent.  From timeless declarations of love (“If music be the food of love, play on”) to barbed tongue blasts (“Many a good hanging prevents a bad marriage”), this is a play that tackles the complexities of the human heart from virtually every side of the equation.

Twelfth Night, directed by Theresa M. Davis, will be presented at Culbreth Theatre on Nov. 29, 30 and Dec. 1 and 5-8.  Individual ticket sales will begin Wednesday, Oct. 10.

Tony Award-winning composer Jason Robert Brown’s Songs For a New World features a collection of genre-hopping and soul-stirring tunes that encourage a whole new generation to discover the power of musical theater.  Each character comes together at “that moment,” that undeniable turning point where one must hit a wall or make a stand. The scenarios range from the whimsical (Mrs. Santa Claus contemplating finally breaking the bonds of her marriage) to the powerful (a Columbus crewmate standing on the bow and looking toward the new world).  The unique combination of stories and characters makes us think about our own forks in the road and appeals to the explorer in us all.

Songs For a New World, music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown, will be directed by Doug Schneider, and will be presented at Culbreth Theatre on Feb. 14-16 and 20-23, 2008.  Individual ticket sales will begin Monday, Jan. 28.

Family ties are frayed, stretched and obliterated in U.Va. Drama Associate Professor Doug Grissom’s So Careless. It is a tale of three women wounded in different ways by their individual and collective pasts.  Hester, in her late twenties, seems to have given up in her battle to control her life and is a literal prisoner in her own house and world.  Rebellious and rudderless teen sister Berkeley has reappeared from another in a series of escapist jaunts, ratcheting up the tension level as only she can do.  Meanwhile, their mother, Meg, tries valiantly to keep a peace that has long since been shattered. When a childhood friend reappears in an alleged attempt to pull Hester out of her darkness, she unleashes memories and long-held truths that reveal the most vulnerable roots of a fractured and fascinating family tree.

So Careless, directed by Marianne Kubik, will be presented at the Helms Theatre from March 20-22 and 25-29, 2008.  Individual ticket sales will begin Monday, Jan. 28.

The Voysey Inheritance tells the story of Edward Voysey, who finds his world turned upside down by his father’s criminal mismanagement of the family business and misappropriation of client funds.  He discovers that a sort of situational morality has taken over the family and finds his core beliefs and principles challenged like never before.  Especially set against the backdrop of today’s corporate scandal-scarred world, this is a timeless glimpse into our most basic, and troubling human instincts.

The Voysey Inheritance, by Harley Granville-Barker and adapted by David Mamet, will be directed by Robert Chapel, and will be presented at Culbreth Theatre from April 17-19 and 23-26, 2008. Individual ticket sales will begin Monday, Feb. 25.

All performances will begin at 8 p.m.

The new Arts Parking Garage is scheduled for completion by Spring 2008, and will feature parking conveniently located next to the theatres.  Until that time, construction has closed the lots flanking Culbreth Road and Culbreth Road itself. Free parking is available in the Mad Bowl lot adjacent to the Peyton House and the Madison Hall lot. Free spaces may also be found on University Way, University Avenue or McCormick Road. Parking for an hourly rate is available at the Central Grounds Garage.  You may purchase a short-term parking pass for the Emmet/Ivy Garage by contacting U.Va. Parking and Transportation at 434-924-7231.  Please allow extra time to park and walk to the theatre.

For more information on the 2007-2008 U.Va. Drama Department season, visit

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