The University of Alabama

Musicals, Dramas, Dance and the Devil to Highlight UA Theatrical Season

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Across the ocean, along the Mississippi, south to the Gulf of Mexico, over to France and Norway and down into hell itself — The University of Alabama’s theatre and dance department will take audiences on many exciting journeys during the 2010-2011 theatrical season.

The season will take audiences on a trip through time and space as they begin in the underworld, with James Forsyth’s “Screwtape,” and end up traveling down Roger Miller and William Hauptman’s “Big River.”

Stops along the way include Alabama’s Gulf Coast in the Tennessee Williams classic “The Rose Tattoo” and the great oceans inhabited by Ahab’s fiercest adversary with the world premiere of  “Moby-Dick,”  an adaptation by Dr. Steve Burch, a member of the faculty. The trip will also break free from the bounds of Earth with soaring performances with the award-winning dance program at UA presenting four more concerts this season.

To provide more flexibility in making season selections, the department of theatre and dance is also publicizing additional performances for most of the season’s productions.

All theatre productions in the Gallaway and Allan Bales theatres will open on Monday evenings instead of Tuesdays (the past practice) and run through the following Sunday afternoon. Although the dance concerts will continue to run Tuesday through Friday this fall, the spring concert runs will go from Tuesday through Saturday with an added Saturday matinee performance for each of the spring concerts.

The season is as follows:

“Screwtape” by James Forsyth

Monday, Sept. 20-Sunday, Sept. 26, Allan Bales Theatre.

“Screwtape” is a play by James Forsyth, based on the book “The Screwtape Letters” by C.S. Lewis. Screwtape, a senior devil from hell, has been assigned to observe and guide a junior fiend. The junior fiend, his nephew Wormwood, is sent on his first assignment: to seize the soul of Mike, a young engineer trying to make his way in the world. Screwtape’s advice to Wormwood is devastatingly perceptive of human foibles: Despite the love of a wonderful young girl, our young engineer is in terrible danger. A devilish dramatic contest with high-level meaning, thrashed out in terms of brilliant low-level comedy, “Screwtape” presents a nail-biting close decision and, in a dazzling resolution, some lessons about hell, heaven, religion and humanity.

Dance Alabama! Fall and Spring Concerts

Tuesday, Sept. 28-Friday, Oct 1, Morgan Auditorium

Tuesday, Feb. 15 -Saturday, Feb.19, Morgan Auditorium

Now in its 11th season, Dance Alabama! continues its tradition of presenting diverse and inspirational dance to the community. From hip hop and modern to ballet and musical comedy, UA dance students take to the stage with awe-inspiring choreography and performances.Trained and mentored by the renowned UA dance program faculty, these dancers and choreographers inspire and captivate audiences of all ages in their celebration of life, energy and passion.

“An Enemy of the People” by Henrik Ibsen, adapted by Christopher Hampton

Monday, Oct. 4-Sunday, Oct. 10, Gallaway Theatre

Henrik Ibsen’s classic play “An Enemy of the People,” adapted by Christopher Hampton, takes center stage illustrating the universal themes of man versus the masses. Dr. Thomas Stockmann, of a popular coastal town, discovers the local waters contaminated and seeks to remedy it.  But as tourists continue to become sick, he encounters resistance with his brother, the town’s Mayor, and the local townspeople, who fear the doctor’s exposure will financially cripple the town. Stockmann, ultimately, must face the violent crowds, and his own fears, by standing alone for the greater good … one brave man’s struggle to speak up and do the right thing against intolerance, corruption and the irrational.

“The Bourgeois Gentleman,” a musical play by Molière, English adaptation by Rod McLucas, music and lyrics by Raphael Crystal (regional premiere)

Monday, Oct. 18-Sunday, Oct. 24, Allan Bales Theatre

Jourdain wants to blend in with society’s upper class and capture the heart of the glamorous Marquise. Only a few things stand in his way …  his wife, his daughter, his devious servants and his own buffoonery. A musical play by Molière, with English adaptation by Rod McLucas and music and lyrics by UA professor Raphael Crystal, this raucous 17th century comedy, and regional premiere event, will leave audiences in stitches as Jourdain discovers money only goes so far and tutors can only do so much. Will Jourdain finally become a gentleman, will he seize the Marquise’s love, or will he be exposed with each misstep and his own foolishness?

Alabama Repertory Dance Theatre Fall and Spring Concerts

Tuesday, Nov. 9-Friday, Nov. 12, Morgan Auditorium

Tuesday, March 29- Saturday, April 2, Morgan Auditorium

Choreographed by the award-winning team that make up UA’s outstanding dance faculty, Alabama Repertory Dance Theatre brings to life the many diverse dance styles now seen in concert halls throughout the world.  The music, spirit and rhythms of ethnic, pop and traditional American fare are performed by a roster of talented and gifted UA students. Whether the company is performing a full-length production or a collection of vignettes, the Alabama Repertory Dance Theatre communicates the essence, ideas, and emotions of storytelling, with ground-breaking results, to a growing audience.

“The Rose Tattoo” by Tennessee Williams

Monday, Nov. 15-Sunday, Nov. 21, Gallaway Theatre

Written by Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright (and Columbus, Miss. native) Tennessee Williams, this light-hearted drama chronicles three years in the life of Serafina. Characterized by her boastful pride, Serafina has a major preoccupation with Rosario, her handsome husband, and his virility. But the drama weaves tragedy into comedy as she must face a series of complications, including Rosario’s death, her daughter Rosa’s coming of age and Rosa’s infatuation with Jack, a local sailor. A story of love, hate, pain and solitude, The Rose Tattoo takes audiences on a joyful, yet passionate, ride as the protective Serafina must learn to function emotionally again and ultimately face her own tragic flaw, the need to learn humility. Note: there is no Saturday performance of “The Rose Tattoo.” An additional performance will be Sunday evening.

“Flora, The Red Menace,” Book by David Thompson, Music & Lyrics by John Kander & Fred Ebb

Monday, Feb. 14-Sunday, Feb. 20, Allan Bales Theatre

With a book by David Thompson and music and lyrics by John Kander and Fred Ebb, “Flora, The Red Menace” is the story of Flora Mezaros, a headstrong-wanna-be graphic artist struggling to find work during the Great Depression. Yet even faced with such difficulty, she manages to bring a sense of optimism to her life by surrounding herself with artists and creating a safe-haven for a ragtag group of artists, musicians and performers. That is, until she falls in love with a Harry, another artist and young communist, and gets caught up in a political struggle she never expected. Despite a predatory communist matriarch, a conspiring secretary and a determined jazz dancing duo, Flora must decide between two ideals in order to find happiness. Exploring big ideas about society, this little gem of a musical is guaranteed to restore your sense of hope in the face of great odds.

“Moby-Dick” by Steve Burch (World Premiere)

Monday, Feb. 21- Sunday, Feb. 27, Gallaway Theatre

A stage adaptation by UA professor Dr. Steve Burch of the classic American novel published in 1851 by Herman Melville, “Moby-Dick” tells the story of the Pequod, a whaling ship run by Capt. Ahab, Quaker whaling captain turned vengeance seeker. Moby-Dick, a white sperm whale of tremendous size and ferocity, took Ahab’s previous whaling boat and his leg … now the obsessed captain is driven by a monomaniacal desire to kill the beast, even risking his entire crew’s lives to satisfy his terrifying hatred. Become enthralled in this world premiere event as you uncover themes of obsession, religion, revenge and irony, in one of America’s greatest masterpieces.

“The Baby Dance” by Jane Anderson

Monday, April 11- Sunday, April 17, Allan Bales Theatre

Regret, loss and shame are the emotions felt by Wanda and Al, a down on their luck couple expecting their fifth child.Wanda knows she and her husband don’t have the means to care for the child. Rachel and Richard have the means to care for a child; however they are unable to conceive due to medical reasons.Wanda and Al notice an ad on adoption placed in a newspaper by Rachel and Richard and decide to take them up on the offer. In attempting to execute this contract, these four desperate souls clash over money and pre-natal care, exposing parental issues and jeopardizing the baby’s fate.

“Big River” Book by William Hauptman, Music & Lyrics by Roger Miller

Monday, April 18 – Sunday, April 24, Gallaway Theatre

The adventures of America’s own Huckleberry Finn takes center stage in this adaption of Mark Twain’s timeless classic. With music and lyrics by award-winning country artist Roger Miller and a book by William Hauptman, join us as we travel down the mighty Mississippi as the irrepressible Huck helps his friend Jim, a slave, escape to freedom at the mouth of the Ohio River. Hilarious, suspenseful and heartwarming, follow Huck’s journey as your favorite Twain characters come to life, including the Widow Douglas, the uproarious King and Duke, the sinister Pap Finn, the lovely Mary Jane Wilkes and Huck’s partner in crime, Tom Sawyer. A rousing, high-spirited show that will set your hands to clapping and your feet to stomping as you embark on a voyage of greed, racism, love and understanding in this brilliant theatrical celebration of pure Americana.

Evening performances begin promptly at 7:30 p.m.; matinées are at 2 p.m.Tickets range from $10 to $18. Subscription packages and groups rates are available. Additional ticket information is available by contacting the department of theatre and dance Box Office at 205/48-3400 or by visiting the website at www.theatre.ua.edu.

For additional media information or questions, contact the department of theatre and dance Theatre Management Office at 205/348-3844 or by e-mail at theatre.dance@ua.edu.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.