University of Virginia Department of Drama Announces 2010-11 Season

August 26, 2010
August 26, 2010 — Love, family, power, deception and danger will take their places on the stages of the Culbreth and Helms theatres this year when the University of Virginia Drama Department presents its 2010-11 season.

The season, which will be split into "The MainStage Series" at Culbreth Theatre and "The RecentWorks Series" at the Helms, will begin on Oct. 24 with Tennessee Williams' "The Glass Menagerie."

Rounding out The MainStage Series will be:

•    Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
•    "The Beaux' Stratagem," an 18th-century comedy by George Farquhar, later adapted by Thornton Wilder and Ken Ludwig
•    Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Evita"

The RecentWorks Series will include:

•    "By the Bog of Cats," a haunting and imaginative retelling of the Greek tragedy "Medea" by Marina Carr
•    "dark play, or stories for boys," which illuminates the dangers of the Internet age

"Each year when we look at planning a season, we look to create a balance between revisiting and re-imagining classics and showcasing the extraordinary work of some of today's top playwrights," said Tom Bloom, associate professor and chairman of the drama department. "This season, we have done this by creating these dual series that give audiences a chance to experience the best of both of these worlds and us the chance to take full advantage of the two distinct spaces we have here at the University.

"In these two series we are able to cover material and address themes that span centuries yet remain entirely relevant. These include fascinating explorations of broken family ties in the 'Medea'-inspired 'By the Bog of Cats' and, of course, in 'The Glass Menagerie;' the pitfalls and pratfalls on the road to love in 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' and 'The Beaux' Stratagem;' the perils of power in 'Evita' and the all-too-timely threats that lie only a few mouse clicks away for all of us in Carlos Murillo's 'dark play, or stories for boys.'"

The new RecentWorks Series aims to offer recent plays by new playwrights. This season's series will bring to Grounds an actress and a playwright associated with the two plays; this year's guests are Olwen Fouéré, the actress who originated the leading role in "By the Bog of Cats" at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, and Carlos Murillo, who wrote "dark play, or stories for boys." 

Subscription packages for 2010-11 include tickets to all four Culbreth Theatre MainStage productions, and are $51 ($29 for students, and $44 for seniors and U.Va. faculty, staff and members of the U.Va. Alumni Association).

Season subscriptions allow patrons the most flexible and inexpensive option for securing seats and dates. Subscribers will receive priority access to seat reservations and fee-free ticket exchanges and replacements. In addition, returning subscribers will receive priority access to tickets and seats.

Subscription renewals are now available online at Existing subscribers should have received an access code in the mail. Anyone needing a new code should e-mail

In-person and phone renewals begin Aug. 30. Patrons may call 434-924-3376 on weekdays from noon until 5 p.m., or may visit the U.Va. Arts Box Office, located in the lobby of the Culbreth Theatre building.

Beginning Sept. 6, new subscribers can order their 2010-11 MainStage season subscriptions online, in person or by phone.

A $3.50 processing fee applies to all Internet, phone and mail orders.

The MainStage Series in the Culbreth

• Few plays in the history of American theater have continued to fascinate and intrigue audiences like Tennessee Williams' masterpiece, "The Glass Menagerie." Director Richard Warner will lead his cast in revisiting and rediscovering this quietly devastating family portrait, seen through the eyes of lead character Tom Wingfield, who is torn between duty to his broken family and the call of a wide-open world. It's a delicate and powerful look at life through the prism of lost hope and failed expectations.

"The Glass Menagerie," will be presented from Oct. 7-9 and Oct. 13-16 at 8 p.m. Tickets will go on sale Sept. 13.

• Shakespeare wrote, "The course of true love never did run smooth." Never did he prove it more poetically, or hilariously, than in "A Midsummer Night's Dream." A look at the foibles of the heart and the infinite possibilities of the imagination, this beloved comedy is filled with mismatched lovers, whimsical fairies and fabulous fools.

"A Midsummer Night's Dream," directed by Brendon Fox, will be presented from Dec. 1-4 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 4 and 5 at 2 p.m. Tickets go on sale Sept. 13.

• "The Beaux' Stratagem," written by George Farquhar and adapted by Thornton Wilder and Ken Ludwig, is proof of what can happen when love gets in the way of a carefully concocted caper. It follows the exploits of a pair of part-time Romeos who try to lie and charm their ways into the hearts of some of the richest heiresses in the English countryside. Along the way, obstacles and laughs pile up in equal measure as the two are transformed into unlikely heroes.

"The Beaux' Stratagem," directed by Betsy Tucker, will be presented from Feb. 17-19 and Feb. 23-26 at 8 p.m. Tickets go on sale Jan. 31.

• Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's "Evita" created a worldwide musical sensation with its story of a woman who captured the imagination of the world with beauty, strength, power, presence and a single name. "Evita" combines politics, power and passion with an iconic and stirring score.

"Evita," directed by Robert Chapel, will be presented from April 21-22 and April 27-30, at 8 p.m., and on April 30 at 2 p.m. Tickets go on sale Jan. 31.

The RecentWorks Series in the Helms

• Marina Carr's "By the Bog of Cats" is a haunting and powerful retelling of the Greek tragedy "Medea," featuring greed, abandonment, betrayal, love and sacrifice. Trading the Greek countryside for the dark, dense and mysterious bogs of Ireland, the play spotlights Hester Swane, a daughter of Irish gypsies who battles to hold on to what she feels is rightfully hers, inching all the while toward an inevitable and explosive fate.

"By the Bog of Cats," directed by Marianne Kubik, will be presented from Oct. 21-23 and Oct. 26-30 at 8 p.m. Tickets will go on sale Sept. 13.

• Carlos Murillo's "dark play, or stories for boys," illuminates the dangers found in the darkest corners of the Internet and of the human mind. This cautionary tale focuses on the tragic consequences of abusing online anonymity as a high school student's ruse to embarrass an unwitting, lovestruck teen boy turns into a diabolical plot that blurs all lines between the virtual world and reality, with tragic consequences for both parties.

"dark play, or stories for boys," directed by Marianne Kubik, will be presented from March 23-26 at 8 p.m. Tickets will go on sale on Jan. 31.

Free parking for all U.Va. Drama performances is available at the Culbreth Road Parking Garage, located alongside the theaters.