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Season's 'Balancing Acts' theme reflects the times

Although the plays are not overtly political, the theme for Augustana's 2012-2013 theatre season, "Balancing Acts," reflects American society's divisions.

"We are living in a time when our country is deeply divided. Political parties seem to be further apart than ever before, and extreme viewpoints on both sides of the political spectrum threaten to pull us apart even further," said Jeff Coussens, professor and chair of the theatre arts department. "In such uncertain times, we often feel as though we are walking on a tightrope where one wrong move could have dire consequences."

"All of the plays in the season are somehow reflective of our country's current instabilities." 

All performances are in the Potter Theatre within the Bergendoff Hall of Fine Arts, 3701 7th Ave., Rock Island. Tickets  are $11 for the public, and $9 for senior citizens, students, Augustana faculty and staff.

Season tickets are available by contacting the Augustana Ticket Office at (309) 794-7306. Tickets for the entire season are $24 for the public, and $20 for senior citizens, students, Augustana faculty and staff. Tickets may be ordered at

Max Frisch

The Arsonists by Max Frisch 

Fridays and Saturdays, Oct. 12, 13, 19 and 20, at 7:30 p.m.
Sundays, Oct. 14 and 21 at 1:30 p.m.

Jeff Coussens, director

The Biedermanns lead a quiet, secure and comfortable upper middle class life. Despite the fact that the town in which they reside is reeling from a series of arson attacks, Mr. Biedermann believes his success in business, his intelligence and his own good nature will protect them from any harm. But a simple knock at the door starts a series of events that will inevitably lead to Biedermann's eventual tragic downfall. This dark comedy enjoyed a successful 2007 revival by London's Royal Court Theatre starring the wildly popular stage and screen actor, Benedict Cumberbatch. Alistair Beaton's new, modern translation proves The Arsonists to be as timely and relevant as it was when written by Max Frisch in 1953.

Bust of Euripides

The Bock-Eye by Tommy Smith, Commissioned Adaptation of The Bachhae by Euripides 

Fridays and Saturdays, Jan. 25 and 26 and Feb. 1 and 2, at 7:30 p.m.
Sundays, Jan. 27 and Feb. 3, at 1:30 p.m.
Saffron Henke, guest director

The Bacchae is the vivid and violent tale of Dionysus' punishment of the house of Cadmus, the family of his mortal mother who fails to worship him as a deity. This production brings the return of Saffron Henke, the director of Augustana's popular and acclaimed 2011 production of Mary Zimmerman's Metamorphoses. Ms. Henke is a much-in-demand director whose work has been produced across the country, as well as an active actor, performing both on screen and in more than 60 stage productions.

Eric Bogosian

subUrbia by Eric Bogosian

Fridays and Saturdays, April 26 and 27 and May 3 and 4 at 7:30 p.m.
Sundays, April 28 and May 5 at 1:30 p.m.
Jennifer Popple, director
Recommended for high school and older

Bored by their meaningless existences, frustrated by the lack of opportunities and bitterly angry at a society they feel has let them down, five 20-something friends spend most evenings loitering in the parking lot of the local convenience store where they pass the time drinking, arguing and harassing the frightened store owners. But this night offers hope of being different as they await the return of another friend who has found fame and escape as a rock musician. Written by award-winning novelist, actor and playwright Eric Bogosian, this play offers a bleak view of the dark side of the lives of young people in subUrbia.