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NKU SOTA Announces 2019-20 Theatre + Dance Season

NKU_SOTA logo

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, KY – Northern Kentucky University’s School of the Arts Theatre + Dance Program is excited to announce its 2019-20 academic season. An exact schedule of performances will be released July 2019.                                                                                                                            

THE AFRICAN COMPANY PRESENTS RICHARD III
By Carlyle Brown
Sept. 26–Oct. 6, 2019
NKU Corbett Theatre

In 1820’s Manhattan, William Henry Brown, a free black American, organizes a production of Shakespeare’s Richard III for a predominantly black audience. When the booking of a famous English actor to play Richard III by a rival theatre company threatens to close their production, his African Grove Theatre Company is forced to reflect on their lives – performing jobs of servitude by day and their artistry by night. Drawn to the stage because of their ability to create art out of their own experiences, the company members must determine if their artistry is worth risking it all. Based on a true story, The African Company Presents Richard III carries a timeless message of negotiating racial consciousness in theatre that still resonates today.

THREE SISTERS
By Anton Chekhov
Oct. 17-27, 2019
NKU Stauss Theatre

As the Prozorov sisters and their brother yearn for a return to adventure-filled life in Moscow, the pastoral setting of their new lives brings change and reflection on love, marriage, and career. In a prophetic hinting of the coming Bolshevik Revolution, the playwright weaves a memorable tale about the rise of the working class and social change in Russia. Considered one of Anton Chekhov’s greatest plays, Three Sisters is packed with action and emotion, and explores the aching desire of dreams and the often cold realities that come to pass.

FREAKY FRIDAY
Book by Bridget Carpenter
Music by Tom Kitt
Lyrics by Brian Yorkey
Nov. 14-24, 2019
NKU Corbett Theatre

When an overworked mother and her teenage daughter magically swap bodies, they have just one day to put things right again. By spending a day in each other’s shoes, Katherine and Ellie come to appreciate one another’s struggles, learn self-acceptance, and realize the immeasurable love and mutual respect that bond a mother and daughter. Freaky Friday, a new musical based on the celebrated novel by Mary Rodgers and the hit Disney films, is a heartfelt, comedic, and unexpectedly emotional update on an American classic.

H.M.S. PINAFORE
By W.S. Gilbert & Arthur Sullivan
Feb. 21–March 1, 2020
NKU Corbett Theatre

The gentlemanly Captain Corcoran has a daughter, Josephine, who is in love with a lowly but gallant sailor named Ralph Rackstraw. Meanwhile, the Captain’s former nanny, Little Buttercup, falls in love with him, but he hesitates to reciprocate due to his higher social rank. The whole situation is turned on its head when Little Buttercup reveals a game-changing secret she has kept for decades. H.M.S. Pinafore is filled with robust sailors, star-crossed lovers, and crazy comical antics sure to tickle your funny bone and lift your heart.

BURIED CHILD
by Sam Shepard
March 26–April 5, 2020
NKU Stauss Theatre

Deep in the American Heartland, life seems to have mysteriously come to a stop. Grappling with the disillusionment of American Mythology a family seeks to hide their past, only to become trapped by it. The surprise arrival of an estranged grandson and a mysterious finding in the field ignites the characters like fireworks on the Fourth of July. Alternately funny and darkly macabre,Buried Child weaves a twisted family drama of epic proportions.

MAMMA MIA!
Music and Lyrics by Björn Ulvaeus & Benny Andersson
Book by Catherine Johnson
April 24–May 3, 2020
NKU Corbett Theatre

On the eve of Sophie’s wedding, her quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother’s past back to the Greek island they last visited 20 years ago. But which one is her real father? The story-telling magic of ABBA’s timeless songs propels this enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship, creating an unforgettable show that is guaranteed to have you singing and dancing!

SEASON EXTRAS

First Year Show
Nov. 29–Dec. 1, 2019
NKU Stauss Theatre

This production shows off our talented freshman and transfer students. Title will be announced in September 2019.

Dance ‘20
March 20-23, 2020
NKU Corbett Theatre

Featuring a company of our best young dance artists, along with new and innovative works created by faculty, guest artists, and nationally renowned choreographers, Dance ‘20 has something for everyone – theatre dance, contemporary and classical ballet, tap, modern, jazz, and world dance.

For more information, call the NKU School of the Arts Box Office at (859) 572-5464 or visit nku.edu/sotatickets. Tickets will go on sale Sept. 2019.

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James Dean, Role-Play Games Headline NKU’s Play Festival

NKU_Yes Festival 18 logoHIGHLAND HEIGHTS, KY – Northern Kentucky University’s School of the Arts Theatre and Dance Program has selected three plays that will receive their world-premiere productions this April in the 19th Biennial Year-End Series (Y.E.S.) Festival. Fast Young Beautiful by Ethan Warren and Initiative by Jacob York were selected as the winning playwrights of over 300 script submissions. As an added bonus, The Black Boy in Pink written by NKU BFA Playwriting major, Isaiah Reaves, will receive a lightly-staged production in the studio theatre. Performances will take place April 4-14, 2019 at the NKU Fine Arts Center.

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Ethan Warren.

FAST YOUNG BEAUTIFUL
By Ethan Warren
Directed by Nicole Perrone
Corbett Theatre

New to Hollywood, a naive young actor named Dennis is cast in the new James Dean film, and though he’s at first unimpressed with his idiosyncratic co-star, he’s soon seduced by Dean’s mysterious talent. Dean agrees to mentor Dennis, but as they co-star in two films across the spring and summer of 1955, both find themselves struggling to understand what it means to be a great actor, and a good man, before they lose their chance to be either.

Ethan Warren’s first play, Why Are You Nowhere?, received the Playwright’s Award for Staged Reading at the 2016 Midtown International Theatre Festival, as well as the Inkslinger Award from Southeastern Louisiana University, where it had its premiere production in Feb. 2017. His play Hot Dog Christmas was commissioned as part of The Boston Project, the new works initiative at SpeakEasy Stage Company, and his short works have been published in the Stage It! 10-Minute play anthology, and the journal Furious Gazelle. He is also the writer/director of the independent feature film West of Her (2018), and an editor for the film journal Bright Wall/Dark Room.

NKU_Jacob-York

Jacob York.

INITIATIVE
By Jacob York
Directed by Mike King
Stauss Theatre

Playing a pen and paper role-playing game may not be your idea of a good time but, for Dave and his friends, it’s a lifeline. Dave has a particularly aggressive form of cancer and the only way he’ll experience all the memories he counted on having is through his friends creating them around him at the gaming table. A play about friends and the lengths you’ll go for them, Initiative examines stories and why we tell them. And what unexpected demons can lie within.

Jacob York’s writing credits include Homers (World Premiere – Georgia Ensemble Theatre, Roswell, GA), Initiative (Semi-finalist, Playfest at Orlando Shakespeare Festival), Adultery for Beginners (Semi-finalist, Humanitas New Voices Program), lead writer for Middle School The Musical and The Real Tweenagers of Atlanta (World Premiere – Alliance Theatre, Atlanta, GA), and head writer for The Know Better Effect. In addition to writing, Jacob is known as an actor on stage (Shakespeare in Love at Nashville Repertory Theatre; Women in Jeopardy! at Merrimack Repertory Theatre; Macbeth at Atlanta Shakespeare Company), on screen (Turn: Washington’s Spies on AMC; Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell on Adult Swim), and as an audiobook narrator (To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo; Certain, Dark Things by M.J. Pack).

NKU_Isaiah-Reaves

Isaiah Reaves.

THE BLACK BOY IN PINK
By Isaiah Reaves
Directed by Brian Robertson
The Henry Konstantinow Studio Theatre 

The Black Boy in Pink is a bold new work by a young provocative playwright set in his hometown of Cincinnati. The year is 1959. Wyatt Frost is a young black man who has been forced to make hard choices to survive. Flickering across his fuzzy RCA Victor television set comes the possibility of a different existence. As his life becomes entangled with the legacy of a picturesque local wealthy family, will Wyatt be able to choose the life he has always wanted? Will he be able to color pink his otherwise black and white existence?

Isaiah Reaves is a dramatist and actor based in Cincinnati, OH. Reaves began writing at the age of eleven. At fifteen years old, his play Wyatt’s Bed received a reading at the Tony Award-winning Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. Since then, his full-length plays have been staged at The Cincinnati Fringe Festival, where his production of The Blackface Project was named a CityBeat Critic’s Pick in 2018. His work has also been produced as part of the Know Theatre of Cincinnati’s Serials and Underground series, as well as in the One Minute Play Festival, Northern Kentucky University, and the Clifton Performance Theatre. Reaves has received training from the College-Conservatory of Music’s Summer Playwriting Workshop and is currently a junior BFA candidate at Northern Kentucky University, where he is the Ken Jones Playwriting Scholarship recipient.

Tickets will go on sale January 28, 2019 at noon. Single tickets are $15 general admission or 2-show package for $25. Student tickets are $10 or 2-show package for $15. The Black Boy in Pink will have free admission, but reservations are required due to limited seating. Please visit the YES Festival website at nku.edu/yesfestival for more information.

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