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2017-18 theatre season at Augustana

Stop Kiss

7:30 p.m. Aug. 31, Sept. 1-2
1:30 p.m. Sept. 3

The Augustana theatre season begins with "Stop Kiss," a 1998 play by Diana Son directed by Audrey Johnsen.

Two women walking through New York City's West Village very late at night share their first kiss and are attacked by a bystander. One woman is badly injured and falls into a coma.The play explores the depths of emotion and compassion, as well as relationships, as various friends try to help the woman recover.

The story is told out of chronological order: alternating scenes before and after the assault, which is not shown onstage.

"This story of a charmingly unfocused radio traffic reporter and her friendship with a schoolteacher from St. Louis, is also a gentle, affectionate work, with a blithe sense of comedy that brings to mind early episodes of ''The Mary Tyler Moore Show.'' The breezy comic spirit doesn't trivialize the play's underlying gravity."

— Ben Brantley, New York Times

Amelia Earhart

1:30 p.m. Sept. 23
1:30 p.m. Sept. 24;
Special school showing Sept. 22

"Amelia Earhart" tells the story of the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, who disappeared over the Pacific Ocean in 1937.

The play uses headlines, remembrances, flashbacks and introspective monologues by Earhart against the backdrop of music, styles and politics of the 1930s and 40s.

The play is by Kathryn Schultz Miller, an award-winning writer of many plays for young audiences. Directed by Jackie Wynes McCall '98.

The Madwoman of Chaillot

7:30 p.m. Oct. 13, 14, 20, 21
1:30 p.m. Oct. 15, 22.

An eccentric woman in Paris and her allies struggle against evil men who seek only wealth and power. The play by French dramatist Jean Giraudoux was written in 1943 and first performed in 1945.

The play is set in the Chaillot district of Paris, where Countess Aurelia, the harmless "madwoman" sees the world as happy and beautiful until learning about plans to ruin Paris to drill for oil. She gets the help of her fellow outcasts and madwomen in her fight.

The New York Drama Critics' Circle hailed an early production as "pure gold, with no base metal" and having "an enveloping and irresistible humor."

Directed by Jeff Coussens.

La Divina: The Last Interview of Maria Callas

7:30 p.m., Dec. 8-9

"La Divina: The Last Interview of Maria Callas" is one-woman show written and performed by Shelley Cooper. It is inspired by the life and work of the dramatic 20th century opera singer Maria Callas.

Performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8 and 9 in the Brunner Theatre Center Black Box.

The show runs 60 minutes, and contains stories of Callas' life and iconic arias that Callas is known for singing.

In the Next Room, or the vibrator play

7:30 p.m. Jan. 26, 27, Feb. 2, 3
1:30 p.m. Jan. 28, Feb. 4.

This Pulitzer Prize finalist is set in the 1880s and based on the historical fact that doctors once used vibrators to treat "hysterical" women. "In the Next Room" involves a doctor and his wife (a new mother) and how the "therapy" affects their entire household.

Other themes include Victorian ignorance of female sexual desire, motherhood, breastfeeding, and jealousy. The comedy by Sarah Ruhl was nominated for three 2010 Tony Awards. (Wikipedia) The playwright's parents grew up in Davenport but this is the first time the play has been performed in the Quad Cities. (Hear an interview with Ruhl by WVIK.)

Directed by Jennifer Popple.

Beauty and the Beast Junior

Feb. 23- March 4

Penguin Project Quad Cities will present the classic story of Belle, a young woman in a country town, and the Beast, a prince trapped under a spell. Music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, and book by Linda Woolverten.

Children with developmental disabilitie participate in the Penguin Project, performing a modified version of a well-known Broadway musical each year.

Circle Mirror Transformation

7:30 p.m. March 9-10
1:30 p.m. March 11

"Circle Mirror Transformation" is a play about adult drama classes at a community center in Vermont in which students reveal themselves.The play by Annie Baker received the Obie Award for Best New American Play in 2010.

The play will be produced by students in the THEA 350 play production class. This weekly student seminar group works under faculty supervision to produce an annual studio theatre production. Students collaborate on every aspect of the production process, culminating in the public performance.

The Drowsy Chaperone

7:30 p.m. April 27, 28, May 4, 5
1:30 p.m. April 29, May 6

Winner of five Tony Awards, including Best Book and Best Original Score, "The Drowsy Chaperone" is a parody of American musical comedy of the 1920s.

The story concerns a middle-aged, asocial musical theatre fan; as he plays the record of his favorite musical, the (fictional) 1928 hit "The Drowsy Chaperone," the show comes to life onstage while he comments on the music, story, and actors. (Wikipedia)

The show will be directed by Shelley Cooper and Michelle Crouch, Augustana assistant professor of music. Music and lyrics by Lisa lambert and Greg Morrison, book by Bob Martin and Don McKellar.

Accidental Death of an Anarchist

7:30 p.m. April 12, 13, 14
1:30 p.m. April 15

"Accidental Death of an Anarchist" is the most internationally recognized play by Dario Fo, recipient of the 1997 Nobel Prize in Literature. Considered a classic of 20th-century theater, it has been performed in more than 40 countries.

The play is a farce based on the real-life events surrounding Italian railwayman and anarchist Giuseppe Pinelli, who fell – or was thrown – to his death from the fourth floor window of a Milan police station in 1969. Pinelli was accused of bombing a bank but was cleared of the charge. The events of the play, however, are fictional. (Wikipedia)

Directed by Keenan Odenkirk.

Quad Cities Playwrights Festival

May 12

This annual showcase of 10 minute plays features new works by area playwrights high school age and up.

Beginner's Luck

"Beginner’s Luck" starts here Aug. 3-12

Mississippi Bend Players will premiere the comedy "Beginner’s Luck," written by Emmy Award nominee and Golden Girls producer P.J. Lasker Aug. 3-12.

'The Glass Menagerie' coming up July 13-15, 20-22

The Mississippi Bend Players will present the Tennessee Williams' classic "The Glass Menagerie" July 13-15 and 20-22. The 1944 play, which catapulted Williams to fame, is the story of officer, dreamer and poet Tom Wingfield, who reminisces about working in a warehouse and living  with his overbearing mother and shy sister . 

'Big River'

Mississippi Bend Players kick off with 'Big River'

The Mississippi Bend Players, led by Broadway director and Augustana alumnus Phil McKinley, will kick off their second season with the musical "Big River: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn."

Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens

This celebration of lives lost to AIDS is told in free verse monologues with a blues, jazz and rock score. It is designed to include the community in a theatrical response to the AIDS crisis.