Southern Arena Theatre, the summer repertory company at The University
of Southern Mississippi, has announced its 28th season-one that boasts
productions of comedy, comedy and more comedy. Frank Kuhn, chair of
the Department of Theatre and Dance, characterized the season as "a
potpourri of perfect summer entertainment."
opens July 9 in the Gilbert F. Hartwig Theatre with actor/comedian
Steve Martin's "Picasso at the Lapin Agile." When Albert
Einstein and Pablo Picasso meet in a Paris bar, they become instant
rivals, battling wits about painting, probability, lust, and the
future of the world. Winner of the 1995 Outer Critics Circle Awards
for Best Off-Broadway Play and Best Playwright, this clever comic
hit bursts at the seams with social commentary, hilarious chance
meetings, and an array of fascinating characters--topped off by
Martin's ferocious wit.
assistant professor of theatre at Southern Miss and director of
the fall 2003 production of "Cabaret," will direct this
production featured by the repertory will be Larry Shue's "The
Nerd," a classic tale about a houseguest who never leaves.
SAT patrons will remember Shue's "The Foreigner"-- a hit
during the 2003 season.
architect Willum Cubbert is visited by a fellow ex-GI--whom he has
never met--who saved his life after being seriously wounded in Vietnam.
Although he owes a debt of gratitude to Rick Steadman, Willum soon
learns that his guest is a hopeless "nerd," a bumbling
oaf with no social sense, little intelligence, and even less tact,
but Willum cannot bring himself to ask Rick to leave.
R. B. Hill,
retired professor of theatre at Southern Miss and veteran SAT director,
returns to direct the production.
The third show
in the summer rotation is a cheerful musical revue that draws its
inspiration from the Emmy award-winning 1970s Saturday morning cartoon
educational commercials "Schoolhouse Rock." Written by
Scott Ferguson, Kyle Hall and George Keating, with music and lyrics
by Lynn Ahrens, Bob Dorough, Dave Frishberg, Kathy Mandryk, George
Newall and Tom Yohe, "Schoolhouse Rock Live" brings back
such cool tunes as "I'm Just a Bill," "Conjunction
Function," and "Sufferin' Till Suffrage!"
Hayes, who teaches acting classes at Southern Miss, will direct
In 2003, SAT
presented a successful children's show on four mornings during the
last week of productions in July. Kuhn said the company will produce
yet another children's show, "Tale Trackers," written
by the same author, Lorraine Thompson, and again directed by Andrew
Elliott, a graduate directing student. The production will run Thursday
through Saturday mornings at 10 a.m. during the week of July 28-31.
the delights of last season was the enormous success of the children's
show," Kuhn noted. "It was a joy to introduce children
to the fun of theatre, and, although it is not part of our rotating
three-show repertory, in many ways it is one of the most important
things we can do."
explains that this show is targeted for children ranging in age
from four to 10. Like the 2003 production, the play offers a delightful
and engaging bridge between storytelling and dramatic enactment.
The SAT season
extends from July 9 through August 5, and the three plays run in
repertory-meaning all three productions are presented throughout
the season on consecutive nights.
a great exercise for our student actors and technicians to be working
on different shows on successive nights," said Stephen Judd,
associate professor of theatre at Southern Miss. "For stage
actors, shifting gears from one character to another in less than
24 hours is a great test of skill and focus. For designers and technicians,
the planning and implementation of turnarounds at the end of each
evening from one show to another is great training in preparation,
logistics, and maximizing time."
also means convenience for SAT patrons. "A large part of the
fun for many patrons is to see the same actors work in two or three
very different roles over three consecutive nights," Kuhn said.
"We have found that other patrons prefer to go on the same
night of the week for three consecutive weeks to see all the shows
of SAT productions start at 7:30 p.m., with 2 p.m. matinees July
17 and 31 for "Schoolhouse Rock Live," and July 25 for
"Picasso at the Lapin Agile," in the Gilbert F. Hartwig
Theatre. Individual show tickets for the three plays in repertory
are $10 for regular admission, $8 for senior citizens and Southern
Miss faculty and staff, and $6 for students. Tickets for "Tale
Trackers" are $5 each.
including all three productions, are $25 for regular admission,
$20 for senior citizens and Southern Miss faculty and staff, and
$15 for students. Tickets go on sale June 21 to the public. Donors
to Southern Arena Theatre may order their tickets now. Information
on becoming a donor is available by calling (601) 266-4994.
call the Southern Miss Ticket Office at (601) 266-5418 or 800-844-8425
or order online at www.usm.edu/tickets.
Tickets may be purchased at the theatre box office one hour prior
to curtain time for each performance.