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The Campus Players at Southwestern College are back for their 92nd season. This year is sure to be historic, with the opening of the newly renovated multi-million dollar Richardson Performing Arts Center. Each show is scheduled to take place in the new space, which opens in October. A wide variety of larger-than-life theatre has been chosen for this season, and ensures there is something for everyone to enjoy.
“Every year it is important for our students to have an extensive exposure to the theatre of the world, so we do new scripts, contemporary, classics, tragedies, musicals, comedies, and more,” said Roger Moon, associate professor of theatre at Southwestern. “We also want our audience to have quality and variety.”
“The Skin of Our Teeth” by the legendary Thornton Wilder will be the Homecoming show, and the first show to ever be performed in the new Richardson Performing Arts Center. According to Moon, this show was selected because it is a crazy, brilliant, fun show. Coincidently, “The Skin of Our Teeth” was also the first Homecoming show ever performed in Richardson Hall after it was destroyed by a fire and renovated the first time. The theme of the play is to learn, rebuild, and never give up hope, which could not be more appropriate than after the fire occurred. It was also performed at SC in 1969 and 1995.
“College students don’t realize that when they were three or four years old, we were performing it here,” said Moon, who will be directing the show.
Written in the midst of World War II, the script aimed to give great hope through war, financial troubles, and lack of resources, in an abstract way.
“When the show was written in 1942, it was extraordinarily ahead of its time and audiences found it confusing in ways that audiences are ready for today,” said Moon.
“The Skin of Our Teeth” will be presented on Thursday, Oct. 6, at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 7, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 9, at 3 p.m.
Campus Player’s second major event of the season will be “Is He Dead?” by Mark Twain, and adapted by David Ives. “Is He Dead?” is a hilarious script, according to Allyson Moon, associate professor of theatre at Southwestern, which received very favorable reviews during its run on Broadway.
“It’s a play by Mark Twain, so different from his other literature, that has been updated by, what I think, is one of the funniest playwrights of our time, David Ives,” said Allyson Moon, who will be directing “Is He Dead?”
The play is the story of a young painter of genius, who must fake his own death to achieve fame and fortune and marry the girl of his dreams. In the course of the adventure, he is forced to pass himself off as his own sister. “Is He Dead?” is a show full of laughs, twists, and turns.
“For the students, it’s going to be an opportunity to work in the world of farce,” said Moon, “and for the community, it’s going to be an opportunity to laugh at silly characters in impossible situations.”
“Is He Dead?” will be presented Nov. 18, 19, and 20 in Richardson Performing Arts Center.
As tradition, A.M. Buckton’s “Eagerheart” will be presented in December. “Eagerheart” has been SC’s annual Christmas play for decades. The play will show Dec. 4 and 7.
Henrik Ibsen’s classic drama “Hedda Gabler” is scheduled for Feb. 23, 24, and 25, and sure to be a powerful show. Taking place in-the-round on the Richardson stage, it will be a unique opportunity for audiences to experience a theatrical production. Campus Player’s chose this piece to enhance the variety of the season. It is a contemporary script about a woman’s deep need to create within the world.
“It’s an incredible, complex piece showing the struggle of women trying to find their place in a man’s world,” said Roger Moon, director of “Hedda Gabler.” “We haven’t done it here, so it’ll be new to a lot of our audience.”
“Children of Eden” will be a dinner theatre production and is scheduled to be performed April 12-15. It is a story of parents and children, based on the book of Genesis.
“It is a musical that is about the lessons that we learn as human beings as we continue to have the responsibility for this planet and for each other,” says director Allyson Moon.
The production will provide students with the challenge of playing larger than life characters, with almost non-stop music.
“Story telling that is done in song and action, and demands a high degree of creativity from everyone involved,” said Moon.
Campus Players are also on giving an opportunity for young actors in the community to be involved in Children of Eden.
“It helps us tell the story of parents and children more effectively if it is a multi-generational cast,” said Moon.
The season also includes several nights of student directed plays. Advance tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for youth. For reservations or more information, call 229-6272 or 221-7720.
“We hope the community, alumni, and friends will come make history with us this year at Southwestern College,” says Roger Moon.