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Upcoming Beloit College theatre season about “real people in real situations”

Friday, September 23, 2011

MEDIA CONTACT: Hilary Dickinson at dickinsonh@beloit.edu or 608-363-2849

From innocent people sent to death row to generations of a family engaging in a place we all recognize – the dining room, the upcoming Beloit College theatre season is about “real people in real situations,” according to Amy Sarno, associate professor of theatre arts.

Here’s a look at what the season has to offer:

The Exonerated: Oct. 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 2011 at 8 p.m. in Kresge Theatre

Five men and one woman are each starting over.  Sunny teaches yoga.  David struggles with his addictions.  Robert and Georgia have just gotten married.  Kerry and Sandra are expecting a baby any moment.  Delbert’s writing poetry and Gary’s harvesting another crop of organic produce.  All of these individuals understand justice and freedom in a way very few of us really ever will.  Each of these individuals received the death penalty for crimes they didn’t commit.  Each one traded in his or her dreams for an orange jumpsuit.  All of them spent years waiting to die.  And every single one was cleared by DNA evidence.  None of them can believe what they survived and not a single one of these people has given up on life or hope.  All of these people are real.  All of their stories true.  This is a riveting play about the biggest decision any jury can make.

Visiting Scholar Talk: Thursday, Oct. 13 from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. in the South Lounge of the World Affairs Center

The role of the artist in times of war will be the topic of a talk given by Dijana Milosevic, the artistic director of the Dah Teatar and Research Center located in Belgrade, Serbia. Milosevic will speak about her experiences creating theatre and performance in times of social and political upheaval.

The Dining Room: Nov. 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19 at 8 p.m. in Neese Theatre

In a world of drive-through windows, smart phones at the table and dinner in front of the TV, The Dining Room celebrates a forgotten gathering place.  Rather than the scenery changing around the characters, the dining room itself becomes the centerpiece of the play.  Through comic and serious vignettes, the play spans decades and generations of the room’s colorful inhabitants.  Among them are a father teaching his son the proper way to treat a lady, two teenage girls sneaking gin from their parents’ liquor cabinet, and two lovers discussing their affair as they chaperone a children’s birthday party.  Come to our table and feast on scenes of family, joy, sorrow, and the shared community that binds us together.

Pretty Theft: Feb. 23, 24, 25 and March 1, 2, 3 at 8 p.m. in Kresge Theatre

Allegra feels stuck in place.  It’s the summer before college and she has a dying father, a clueless boyfriend and a part time job at a group home.  Her most meaningful relationship is with an autistic savant obsessed with ballerinas and fixing mechanical devices. When her new friend Suzy invites her on a rebellious road trip, Allegra gladly accepts.  But instead of leaving her troubles behind, she falls into the trap of a smooth talking master criminal.  With minimal ballet training and a history of missteps, will Allegra be able to dance her way out of this one?

The Sugar Wife: April 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28 at 8 p.m. in Neese Theatre

“No one writes their name on me.  Never again,” confides Sarah Worth, former American slave to her Irish host, Hannah Tewkley.  The Tewkleys are prosperous Quakers in 1850s Dublin.  They’ve made their fortune in the tea and sugar trade and now use their wealth to support abolition in America.  Mr. and Mrs. Tewkley are leaders in the Dublin Quaker meeting and while sponsoring a speaking tour of a former slave turned activist, Hannah Tewkley begins to question her own charitable work:  are good works truly in someone else’s best interests?  Or, is good work really an attempt to find a new slave to free?  These questions rock the Tewkleys’ faith, marriage, and self-perceptions as they witness their actions reflected back to them through the relationship between Sarah and her white lover, Alfred.  A searing story of power, passion, and pride that confronts how doing good sometimes does little good.

To order tickets, call the box office at 608-363-2755 from 12:30 – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Tickets may also be purchased by 7:45 p.m. on show nights. The box office opens at 7 p.m.

For more information about these plays and ticket information, visit: http://www.beloit.edu/theatre/tickets/