U.Va. Drama Department Announces 2011-2012 Season

September 19, 2011

September 19, 2011  — The University of Virginia Drama Department's 2011-12 season spans centuries and genres and touches on issues ranging from the danger of prejudice to the power of love.

The season will feature three productions at Culbreth Theatre and a pair of productions at the Helms, including one by U.Va. fourth-year student Matthew Minnicino. Productions are:

•    The Tony Award-winning musical "Parade"
•    "Troy Is Burning" by Matthew Minnicino
•    Caryl Churchill's "Vinegar Tom"
•    George Brant's "Elephant's Graveyard"
•    William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet"

"Many of the plays in this year's season are connected by themes of justice and injustice," said Tom Bloom, associate professor and drama department chair in the College of Arts & Sciences.

"In 'Parade,' the justice system is manipulated by prejudice and hysteria. You see the extremes we can go to by taking justice into our own hands in 'Elephant's Graveyard.' The injustices faced by women back in the 17th century are still present today in 'Vinegar Tom.' Then you have a tongue-in-cheek look at the fables and foibles of war in 'Troy Is Burning.'" Finally, "Romeo and Juliet" is about the unjust unraveling of romantic love, he said.

Season subscriptions are $60 for adults, $35 for students, $55 for seniors and U.Va. faculty, staff and alumni association members.

Subscriptions allow the most flexible and inexpensive option for securing seats at preferred performances. Subscribers receive not only priority access to seat reservations, but also fee-free ticket exchanges and replacements.

To purchase a subscription, visit the Arts Box Office website, call 434-924-3376, or come to the box in the lobby of the Culbreth Theatre weekdays from noon until 5 p.m.

Single tickets will go on sale Sept. 19 and can also be ordered online, in person or by phone.

Single ticket prices for "Troy Is Burning," "Vinegar Tom," "Elephant's Graveyard" and "Romeo and Juliet" are $14 for adults, $12 for seniors and U.Va. faculty, staff and alumni association members and $8 for students.

Ticket prices for "Parade" are $16 for adults, $12 for seniors and U.Va. faculty, staff and alumni association members and $10 for students.

A $3.75 processing fee applies to all online and phone orders.

Free parking is available at the Culbreth Road Parking Garage, near the theaters. For information, visit here.

"Parade," by playwright Alfred Uhry ("Driving Miss Daisy") and composer Jason Robert Brown, is based on the true story of Leo Frank, a Jewish man convicted of murdering young Atlanta factory worker Mary Phagan in 1913. Directed by Robert Chapel, Oct. 6-8 and 12-15 at 8 p.m. in the Culbreth Theatre.

U.Va. fourth-year playwright Matthew Minnicino launches a thousand quips in "Troy Is Burning," a satiric retelling of one of mythology's longest and bloodiest conflicts. From the deadliest damsel of them all, Helen of Troy, to the hapless heroes who battled endlessly in her name, Minnicino creates a world where gods and generals collude and collide along a journey that challenges us to see love and war in new ways. Directed by Richard Warner, Nov. 30-Dec. 3 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 3-4 at 2 p.m. in the Helms Theatre.

Against the backdrop of 17th century witch trials, British playwright Caryl Churchill's "Vinegar Tom" highlights the ongoing struggles for acceptance and equality faced by women, even today. Directed by John Vreeke, Feb. 16-18 and 21-25, at 8 p.m. in the Helms Theatre.

"Elephant's Graveyard," based on history's only recorded lynching of an elephant, takes a 360-degree look at what happened when a Tennessee town took justice in its own hands after a circus elephant killed one of its handlers. Part of the Drama Department's RecentWorks series, each performance will be accompanied by special discussions and events. Directed by Richard Warner, March 21-24, at 8 p.m. in the Culbreth Theatre.

"Romeo and Juliet" is perhaps the most famous love story ever told, 400 years after Shakespeare put ink-dipped pen to paper. Directed by Brantley M. Dunaway, April 19-21 and 25-28 at 8 p.m. and April 29 at 2 p.m. in the Culbreth Theatre.

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