Xavier University Theatre Launches 2018-19 Season with Regional Premiere of MR. BURNS, A POST-ELECTRIC PLAY


Kelsey Schwarber, Aiden Dalton, Nora Weisz, Andrew Leonard and Matthew Wilkinson. Photo by by Jonathan Gibson.

(CINCINNATI, AUG. 29, 2018) — Xavier University Theatre will open its 2018-19 season with the regional premiere of Anne Washburn’s critically-acclaimed dark comedy MR. BURNS, A POST-ELECTRIC PLAY, which runs Sept. 7 to 9 in Xavier’s Gallagher Student Theatre. A
tribute to live theatre, the power of storytelling and the enduring legacy of Bart Simpson,
MR. BURNS is an animated exploration of how stories change over time as the pop culture icons of one era evolve into the mythology of another.

Following the collapse of civilization, a collection of survivors begins to gather and regroup. Without electricity or other distractions, they share campfire stories, using their collective memory to piece together the plot from the “Cape Feare” episode of TV’s The Simpsons. Seven years later, this and similar tales have become the live entertainment of a post-apocalyptic society desperately trying to hold onto the past in order to make sense of its future.

MR. BURNS was named one of the best 25 American plays of the last 25 years by The New York Times, which called the script “brilliant” and guaranteed to “leave you dizzy with the scope and dazzle of its ideas.” The Xavier cast features Aiden Dalton (Sam), Cassie Delicath (Jenny), Andrew Leonard (Matt), Gigi Relic (Edna), Kelsey Schwarber (Maria), Cat Sholtis (Quincy), Nora Weisz (Colleen) and Matt Wilkinson (Gibson).

The show is helmed by Xavier’s Director of Theatre Stephen Skiles. Other creative team
members include Scot Buzza (music director); Joe Beumer (set and lighting designer); Jessica Pitcairn (costume designer); Steven Stapleton (sound designer); Lydia Reagan (props designer); Annie Mayer and Rachael Petranek (choreographers); and Joe Leonard (technical director). The stage manager is Emi Suarez. Assistant stage managers are Trever McKenzie and Carly Mulert.

Performances for MR. BURNS will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 7; 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 8; and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 9. Reservations for the show and all other productions in this year’s season are available now through the Xavier University Theatre Box Office. Tickets are $18 for adults and $13 for students, as well as Xavier faculty and staff. Limited seating is available. To purchase tickets, visit www.xavier.edu/theatretickets or call 513-745-3939.

Announcing the 2018-19 Season

MR. BURNS is the first in Xavier University Theatre’s nine-show season. The lineup includes an eclectic mix of premieres, a new adaptation by a Xavier University alumnus directed by the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park’s former Producing Artistic Director and the reunion of a performer with the show that earned her a Tony Award nomination. The schedule features:

Music and lyrics by Mark Hollmann; Book and lyrics by Greg Kotis
Directed by Stephen Skiles
Oct. 19 – 21, 2018

In a Gotham-like city, a terrible water shortage has led to a government-enforced ban on private toilets. From among the people, a hero will rise as the founder of a revolution intended to lead them all to freedom! Winner of three Tony Awards, URINETOWN is a hilarious satire of capitalism, bureaucracy, corporate greed and even musical theatre itself.

By Bert V. Royal
Directed by Xavier student Hannah Sgambellone
Nov. 16 – 18, 2018

DOG SEES GOD is a haunting and hopeful play that pushes teen angst to its limits. Following the loss of his beloved dog, CB finds himself questioning the existence of an afterlife, until a chance meeting with a bullied fellow student sets into motion a friendship with life-changing ramifications.

By Sophocles
Translated and adapted by Xavier alumnus Griff Bludworth
Directed by former Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park Producing Artistic Director Ed Stern
Nov. 30 – Dec. 2, 2018

A new take on Sophocles’ tragedy, ANTIGONE (BORN AGAINST.) blurs the lines between
adaptation and translation while placing contemporary issues of oppression front and center. Classical figures become recognizably human in this clash between justice and discrimination that is at once timeless and horrifically timely.

By William Shakespeare
Directed by Craig Wesley Divino
Feb. 8 – 10, 2019

Shakespeare’s most popular romance, ROMEO AND JULIET are theatre’s original star-crossed lovers, two teens from feuding families whose forbidden love sparks tragic results.

Music by Tom Kitt; Book and Lyrics by Brian Yorkey
Directed by Stephen Skiles
Feb. 22 – 24, 2019

Winner of three Tony Awards and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize, NEXT TO NORMAL follows the
typical American suburban family whose lives are anything but normal. The musical takes audiences into their complex world of crisis and mental illness with love, sympathy and heart.

By Eve Ensler
Directed by Xavier student Ellie Conniff
March 2, 2019

Built from hundreds of interviews with women of all ages, races and backgrounds, this Obie Award-winning play introduces a wildly divergent gathering of female voices for a powerful and empowering discussion about sexuality, relationships and feminism.

By Liba Vaynberg
Directed by Amelia Pedlow
March 22 – 24, 2019

In the first year of implementation of a new honor code at a small private school in California, little has changed for Charlotte, George and Karen, who sit around the teacher’s lounge and gossip about their colleagues. But, when the lines between friends and lovers — as well as teachers and students — starts to blur, everyone must decide what’s real and reportable and what isn’t. Xavier University Theatre commissioned the world premiere of this compelling story.

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim; Book by George Furth
Directed by Pamela Myers
April 12 – 14, 2019

The season concludes with Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s look at the challenges and rewards of contemporary relationships, COMPANY. From theatre’s most renowned composer, COMPANY is widely regarded as a trailblazer of the dark-comedy, modern-musical genre and was the winner of seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The show will be directed by Tony Award nominee Pamela Myers, who made her Broadway debut as Marta in the show’s original cast.

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