Heather Anderson
School of the Arts

University Theatre announces 2014-15 season

Wed, 08/20/2014

LAWRENCE — With shows such as "A Raisin in the Sun" and "The Marriage of Figaro," University Theatre has announced a 2014-15 performance lineup that will entertain, educate and provoke as well as demonstrate the importance of educational theatre for the community.

The nine shows range from comedies and dramas to musicals and operas, including classic and contemporary works that provide a look at life’s common and extraordinary challenges and joys.

Theatre Lawrence and the KU School of Music will collaborate on “A Raisin in the Sun” and “The Marriage of Figaro” respectively. Tickets for the full lineup will begin Monday, Aug. 25.

“The University Theatre has a distinctive place within our artistically rich community. It is the training ground for the next generation of theatre, film and television artists,” said Dennis Christilles, artistic director of University Theatre. “We regularly offer the work of young artists who are at the height of their training.”

The 2014-2015 season:

“Electra” by Sophocles
Adapted & directed by Dennis Christilles
Sept. 6
“Electra” follows the title character's quest with the help of her brother, Orestes, to avenge the death of their father at the hands of their mother and her lover. This production will be performed in both English and Greek. It was created as part of the 2014 KU Summer Theatre in Greece program and was performed in the ancient theatre of Oiniades. Following the performance, the cast members will host a talk to share their experiences in Greece.

“Proof” by David Auburn
Directed by Amanda Boyle
October 3, 4, 5*, 7, 8, 9, 2014
“Proof” is a Pulitzer Prize-winning play about the nature of genius and the value of trust.

“Tovarich” by Jacques Deval, translated by Robert E. Sherwood
Directed by John Staniunas
Oct. 17, 18, 19*, 24, 25, 26*
“Tovarich” is a comedy that follows the plight of a Russian grand duchess and her charming husband living in exile in Paris. It is a sophisticated and farcical comedy of manners, disguise and revelation.

“The Big Meal” by Dan LeFranc
Directed by Peter Zazzali
Nov. 14, 15, 16*, 21, 22, 23*, 2014
Set in numerous unspecified restaurants in America, “The Big Meal” tells the expansive story of five generations of a modern family through one unending metaphoric meal. It is a theatrically innovative rendering of the universality of the American family.

“The Last Cyclist” by Karel Švenk, adapted by Naomi Patz
Directed by Rachel Blackburn & Gina Sandi-Diaz
Dec. 5, 6, 7*, 9, 10, 11
“The Last Cyclist” is a play within a play in which the inmates of a concentration camp rehearse an allegorical and darkly comic story in which bicyclists become a target for annihilation.

Black Box Productions
Projects & Directors TBA
Feb. 13, 14, 15*, 17, 18, 19, 2015
Now in its fifth year, Black Box Productions put the reins in the hands of the students. It’s their opportunity to direct, cast, rehearse and perform with a limited rehearsal schedule and budget.

“A Raisin in the Sun” by Lorraine Hansbury
Directed by Nicole Hodges Persley
Feb. 27, 28, and March 1*, 6, 7, 8*, 2015
“A Raisin in the Sun” is, according to The New York Times, “The play that changed American theater forever.” It is unflinching in its vision of what happens to people whose dreams are constantly deferred. “A Raisin in the Sun” will be performed in conjunction with Theatre Lawrence’s “Clybourne Park” by Bruce Norris.

“Flora, the Red Menace”
Book by David Thompson, music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb
Directed by John Staniunas
April 10, 11, 12*, 14, 15, 16, 2015
“Flora, the Red Menace” was the first musical collaboration of the celebrated songwriting team behind later hits “Chicago” and “Cabaret.” Set against the Bohemian world of artists and activists in Depression-era New York, Flora tells of an optimistic and high-spirited young woman whose love life is complicated by the Communist Party.

“The Marriage of Figaro”
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte
Director TBA
April 24, 26*, 30, May, 2, 2015
Produced in cooperation with the School of Music and featuring the KU Symphony Orchestra under the direction of David Neely. Like a great Shakespeare comedy, “The Marriage of Figaro” employs fully dimensional characters to poke fun at the human condition. The plot is filled with love, sex, betrayal, remorse and class warfare.

Unless noted, all performances are at 7:30 p.m. or *2:30 p.m. matinees.

For more information on the University Theatre, visit or follow KU Theatre on Twitter at @KU Theatre.

Matt Menzenski, a graduate student in Slavic languages & literatures, took this photo during President Obama’s speech at KU Thursday. Menzenski says he was struck by how relaxed the president was in his delivery. He missed a chance to hear former President Bill Clinton speak in his hometown in 2004, but finally got to see a sitting president this week at KU. “The opportunity to hear the president speak is just one of many great opportunities I've had at KU. So many interesting talks and events happen here all the time. I try to attend at least one a week-- it's never hard to find something interesting to go to.” Tags: University of Kansas College of Liberal Arts and Sciences KU School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures KU Dept of Slavic Languages - Friends & Alumni Barack Obama The White House #exploreKU #POTUSatKU

#KUfacts : There are 30+ tenant companies in the Bioscience & Technology Business Center at KU. #growKS
Explore KU: The Bells of Mount Oread KU’s Campanile, a 120-foot-tall timepiece that tolls automatically on the hour and quarter-hour, not only sounded in the 2015 New Year at midnight with 12 mighty gongs, but also regularly rings up memories for many Jayhawks – the 277 faculty and students who gave their lives during World War II, the graduates who walk through its doors at commencement, and aspiring students who have strolled through the Lawrence campus. (See For nearly 60 years, KU’s 53-bell carillon has been tolling the sounds of peace and serenity across Mount Oread since it was installed in June 1955 inside the landmark World War II Memorial Campanile, which was dedicated in 1951. (See The carillon is also a four-octave musical instrument, which is played with a giant keyboard and foot pedals. University Carillonneur Elizabeth Egber-Berghout (, associate professor of carillon and organ, climbs 77 steps up a spiral staircase in the bell tower to perform recitals several times a month.

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