Divergent Voices Theme of 2017-2018 Department of Theatre Season

graphic grid of theatre posters

In a time where debate may be equivalent to yelling, where respect means only similar points of view, where we all seem to only agree on disagreement, theatre must do what it was created to do: offer an outlet for “Divergent Voices.”

With the theme “Divergent Voices,” the MSU Department of Theatre 2017-2018 season will offer chances to examine topics, characters, and stories from differing perspectives, as well as a chance for debate about contrasting interpretations, exploration of characters dissimilar to ourselves, and productions that allow audiences to embrace disagreement related to theatrical experiences.

The season is devoted to compelling stories with varying points of view to illuminate the similarities and differences – offering a platform for “Divergent Voices.”

2017-2018 Season Schedule

We Foxes

we foxes poster

Dates: September 22-24, 2017
Location: Pasant Theatre

Set in 1945 Missouri, this Southern Gothic musical tells the story of Willa, a tough, unmannered orphan adopted by the wife of the sheriff, and the bloody domestic war that ensues between them when Willa uncovers the secrets lurking beneath the floorboards. Book, music, and lyrics are by Ryan Scott Oliver. This is the fourth annual imáGen event, which will showcase Broadway stars, local high school students and MSU Musical Theatre and Dance students in performance on the same stage as part of the Musical Theatre Immersion Program at MSU, a new collaborative venture with the MSUFCU Institute for Arts & Creativity at Wharton Center and the MSU College of Arts & Letters’ Department of Theatre.

The Great Gatsby

great gatsby poster

Dates: October 13-22, 2017
Location: Pasant Theatre
Director: Deric McNish

In the extravagance and decadence of the Roaring Twenties, when thoughtless millionaires ruled with impunity, the mysterious Gatsby describes Daisy, his one obsession: “Her voice is full of money.” Based on the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald and adapted for the stage by Simon Levy, passion and greed infect the American dream in this adaptation, where Fitzgerald’s voice remains fresh as we watch the rich escape consequences and the power of money to corrupt.

Haunted Aud

haunted aud poster

Dates: October 28-31, 2017
Location: MSU Auditorium Building

Are you brave enough to commingle with the tormented souls trapped within the Auditorium? Enter if you dare! The Department of Theatre presents the ninth annual Haunted Aud, a fundraiser for student initiatives that will scare you to death. The annual production entertains while helping to prepare students for future careers in the theatre. The event raises money for the MSU stART program, which provides grants to senior MSU Theatre students to enable them to travel to popular acting destinations, such as New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.               

The Misanthrope

The misanthrope poster

Dates: November 10-12 and 14-19, 2017
Location: Arena Theatre
Director: Directed by Dan Smith

Written by Molière and adapted by Constance Congdon, this French classic is a comedy of manners about friendship and love in a world of absolute power enforced through surveillance. Appalled by the current conventions of the hypocritical society that surrounds him, the self-righteous Alceste vows to speak with nothing but total honest. While his friends and rivals wield wit for sport and use compliments as commerce, Alceste’s dissenting voice seeks truth at all costs.

Freshman Showcase: Giants Have Us In Their Books & Other Works

Giants have us in their books & other works

Dates: November 30-December 3, 2017
Location: Studio Theatre
Director: Dionne O’Dell

Written by Jose Rivera, this is an opportunity for the new voices in MSU’s Department of Theatre to shine. Rivera’s collection of short, fantastical “children’s plays for adults” is infused with magical realism and metaphor, exploring diverse perspectives and divergent realities. Rivera will be a guest on campus in the spring of 2018, and the Department of Theatre is pleased to include his provocative work in their 2017-2018 season.

Thus With a Kiss I Die

Thus with a kiss i die poster

Dates: February 16-25, 2018
Location: Fairchild Theatre
Director: Rob Roznowski

Conceived by Rob Roznowski, this immersive theatre piece follows the days and hours leading up to a murder that takes place during a performance of Romeo and Juliet at a small southern university. The audience seeks clues to identify the victim and murderer as they follow the numerous characters through the nooks and crannies of the Auditorium. Each audience member’s experience is unique in this experimental piece that diverges from traditional theatrical forms.

Dog Act

Dog Act poster

Dates: March 16-25, 2018
Location: Arena Theatre
Director: Christina Traister

Written by Liz Duffy Adams, this capstone thesis production featuring the 2018 MFA Acting candidates follows the traveling performer Zetta Stone, her companion Dog, and her diverse theatre troupe in this post-apocalyptic vaudeville as they journey through the wilderness of the former Northeast United States, heading toward a gig in China. Will they find where they need to go? Will their voices be heard? Will they survive the journey?

American Idiot

American idiot poster

Dates: April 13-22, 2018
Location: Pasant Theatre
Director and Choreographer: Brad Willcuts
Musical Director: Dave Wendelberger

A rallying cry for 21st century American youth, this Rock Opera, written byBillie Joe Armstrong and Michael Mayer with lyrics by Armstrong and Green Day, examines the boundaries and diverging voices of love and rage, patriotism and anarchy and the personal vs. the political. This Tony award-winning musical with Grammy Award-winning music explodes onto the stage as a high-octane exploration of what it means to be young and different in suburban America.