Anderson Theatre Announces 2011-12 Season

Posted on August 29th, 2011 by

Christian DeMarais '11 as Anderson Theatre's Hamlet

As the year-long Sesquicentennial Celebration begins at Gustavus Adolphus College, the Department of Theatre & Dance announces its 80th season of performances for 2011-2012. The season includes On Ego in conjunction with the College’s annual Nobel Conference; the Sondheim musical Assassins; two dance concerts featuring works by guest choreographers, faculty and students; two senior honors projects and concludes with Dan LeFranc’s Origin Story.

The 2011-12 season is one that examines the concept of self; how we view ourselves and our place in society, and, as importantly, how that view of self is presented to those around us and how they are affected by it.

On Ego, Oct. 4, 7-9, a collaboration between neuropsychologist Paul Broks and theatre director and writer Mick Gordon, opens in Anderson Theatre on Tuesday, Oct. 4. In the play, Broks and Gordon investigate how the brain creates a sense of self. On Ego is a poetic snapshot of the science of the mind, and a startling expose of the illusion of self and is particularly fitting for this fall’s Nobel Conference: “The Brain and Being Human.” The writers take the audience on a journey into the notion of identity, memory, neurological delusion and the fragile nature of love. The cast includes special guest artist, Professor Emeritus Rob Gardner.

Fem Gånger Gud or Five Times God, Nov. 11-13, is a senior honors project in translation and direction by Ethan Bjelland ’12. What does it really mean to be Swedish?  The young, award-winning Swedish writer, novelist, and playwright, Jonas Hassen Khemiri, born of a Swedish mother and a Tunisian father, continually challenges the concept of the blonde, blue-eyed, Swedish three crowns and presents a new reality in Sweden as immigrants seek to find a place in our global society. With this first-ever English translation of the play, Gustavus Theatre major Ethan Bjelland ’12 brings us this witty, provocative play as part of our celebration of our Swedish heritage during the Gustavus Sesquicentennial.

The annual Choreographers Gallery, Nov. 17-20, is always innovative, unique and eclectic, and features selected work by some of our most gifted student choreographers.

Director Cory Hinkle brings the Devised Theatre Showcase to the Anderson Theatre stage Dec. 9-11. After a semester of writing, improvising and devising in the spirit of the Wooster Group, SITI Company and Theatre de Complicité, the Devised Theater Showcase is a final performance inspired by the dreams, loves, hates, politics and obsessions of a small company of Gustavus students, and fashioned into a play by the performers.

The musical Assassins, with music by Stephen Sondheim, lyrics by John Weidman and directed by Henry MacCarthy, hits the stage Feb. 17-18 and 24-26, 2012. Bold, original, surreal, disturbing, thought-provoking and alarmingly funny, Assassins is one the most controversial musicals ever written as it explores the history of presidential assassinations in the United States and the men and women behind each plot. Assassins includes choreography by Renee Guittar ’12 as part of her senior honors project.

The spring concert by the Gustavus Dance Company, Something Like Flight, is scheduled for March 16-18. As part of the sesquicentennial celebration, the award-winning Gustavus Dance Company will feature dance alumni in a new work created by Michele Rusinko, and a premiere by alumna and guest choreographer Ashleigh Penrod.  Other highlights include the performance of Gridlock, choreographed by Heather Klopchin, company member in Stuart Pimsler Dance and Theatre.  Additional featured work includes choreography by Gustavus faculty Sarah Hauss, Jeffrey Peterson, Melissa Rolnick and selected student pieces.

Glass, April 20-22, a senior honors project in physical theatre created by Benjamin Kolis ’12, is a movement-based piece that seeks to blur the lines between dance and theatre. By including elements of both disciplines, Glass creates an effective and entertaining physicalization of human behavior and the beauty of unplanned yet everyday performance. The performers draw strongly on their own experiences and strengths, uncovering the quiet beauty of normal scenes but adjusting the context in which that beauty is performed and viewed.

In comic book terminology, an “origin story” is an account of how a character gains superpowers and the circumstances under which the character becomes a superhero or supervillan. In Origin Story, May 3-6, playwright Dan LeFranc and director Cory Hinkle, bring the “graphic novel” to the stage. The play begins in the town of Nowheresville, where an older couple has been brutally murdered and a comic book, illustrated by the mysterious Pronoun, may be the only clue to solving the crime. Two teenagers try to piece together a series of events leading to the murders, but as the story unfolds, it appears that the strange powers of Pronoun’s origin story begin to take hold. A tale told in the energetic style of a graphic novel, Origin Story is a new play about learning to use art as a weapon against the curse of being different.

Tickets will be available online at three weeks prior to the opening performance. Reserved seat tickets are $9 for adults and $6 for seniors and students. Gustavus staff and students are entitled to one ticket each at no charge with a Gustavus ID. Tickets not sold in advance, will be available at the door one hour prior to showtime.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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