UT will take its first production, Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” on the road to the Valentine Theatre in downtown Toledo. The next two productions, to be held on Main Campus, will be Sophocles’ “King Oedipus” as translated by W.B. Yeats, and the thrice Tony-nominated “In the Next Room” from Sarah Ruhl.
“Every production this season is a top-notch work. We are extremely pleased with the season we have to present. The directors are excited. The students are engaged,” said James Hill, professor and chair of theatre and film. “There is a special energy around this season, especially because this will be our first season as a department within the new College of Visual and Performing Arts.”
One of Shakespeare’s best-known comedies, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” will be directed by Cornel Gabara, assistant professor of theatre. As the play opens, elaborate preparations for a royal wedding stir the hearts and minds of all in the duke’s court, but Gabara said that the story is really presented from the perspective of Nick Bottom, a lowly court servant, who sleeps and dreams of fairies, romantic intrigue and a reversal of his own misfortune. His hopes and dreams — and scheming — bring the play to life.
All performances of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” will be held at the Valentine Theatre, 410 Adams St., Toledo. The opening night performance will be Friday, Nov. 4, at 7:30 p.m. There also will be a performance Saturday, Nov. 5, at 7:30 p.m. The Sunday, Nov. 6, performance will be at 2 p.m.
In addition, the University will present two daytime matinees prior to opening night for schools and groups at special discounted rates. They will be held Thursday and Friday, Nov. 3 and 4, at 9:30 a.m. Groups must reserve seats in advance.
“King Oedipus,” the classic Greek tragedy from Sophocles, will be directed by Dr. Edmund B. Lingan, assistant professor of theatre. Oedipus is a tortured man who unwittingly fulfills an oracle’s prophecy that he would kill his father and marry his mother. Lingan said he is inspired by the translation he will use from the Irish poet Yeats.
“There are a number of translations you can use which are all quite good. But with Yeats, the writing is so much better,” Lingan said. “His choice of words is lyrical and beautifully put. He doesn’t change the meaning; he presents the text in a way where the meaning is so much clearer, the characters much more vibrant and alive. And as a result, I think the effect on the audience will be pronounced. They will have a much greater experience of the play than they might otherwise have had.”
Performances of “King Oedipus” will be presented in the Center for Performing Arts Center Theatre Friday through Sunday, Feb. 17-19, and Wednesday through Sunday, Feb. 22–26. Performances for schools and groups will be offered Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 21-22. Special matinee group rates apply, but the seats must be reserved in advance.
Completing the season will be the Tony-nominated 2010 comedy from Sarah Ruhl, “In the Next Room (The Vibrator Play),” to be directed by Theatre Lecturer Irene Alby. The play is a funny, provocative and entertaining story that takes a poke at the Victorian era, during which doctors utilized a radical new invention for the treatment of female hysteria — the vibrator.
The play will be presented Friday through Sunday, April 13-15, and Wednesday through Sunday, April 18-22.
Tickets for “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the Valentine Theatre are $20 for premium seats, $15 for floor seats and $10 for balcony/loge.
Seats for “King Oedipus” and “In the Next Room (The Vibrator Play)” in the UT Center for Performing Arts Center Theatre are $13 for general admission; $11 for faculty, staff, alumni and seniors; and $7 for students.
Now through Friday, Sept. 16, early bird discounts on season tickets and season flex passes offer significant savings on tickets. Season tickets, season flex passes and group ticket discounts are available online at utoledo.edu/boxoffice, by phone at 419.530.2375 and at the Center for Performing Arts Box Office.
For information about daytime matinees, visit utoledo.edu/cvpa/theatrefilm or call 419.530.2452.