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Northwestern Theatre in November

“Little Women” musical, NT Live’s “A Streetcar Named Desire,” “Skylight” at Wirtz Center

EVANSTON, Ill. --- The final two performances of “The Laramie Project” (Oct. 24-Nov. 2), a documentary-style drama set in Wyoming that recounts the brutal murder of an openly gay college student, and the heart-warming Broadway musical adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women” (Nov. 7-23) are among the pre-Thanksgiving stage productions on Northwestern University’s Evanston campus.

Open to the public, both shows are part of Northwestern’s 34th Mainstage season of plays and musicals presented by the Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts -- formerly known as the Theatre and Interpretation Center at Northwestern University.

For the fourth year, the Wirtz Center is presenting the National Theatre Live (NT Live) broadcast as part of the Stage on Screen series offering audiences the best of British theatre filmed live on stage from the United Kingdom.  “A Streetcar Named Desire” by Tennessee Williams, directed by Benedict Andrews and starring Gillian Anderson will be broadcast on Nov. 4, and David Hare’s “Skylight,” directed by Stephen Daldry, and starring Bill Nighy and Carey Mulligan, will be transmitted on Nov. 18. Single tickets to all National Theatre Live broadcasts are on sale now through the Wirtz Center Box Office at 847-491-7282 or online.

The Wirtz Center’s 2014-15 season features award-winning directors and playwrights, acclaimed alumnae and faculty, groundbreaking plays and musicals and the annual The Waa-Mu Show. The season reflects on the evolving definitions of family and community and invites audiences to embrace the circumstances that unite and strengthen us. For more information and to order tickets, visit www.communication.northwestern.edu/wirtz/season.php.

The 2014-15 season productions will be held, as noted, in venues on the University’s Evanston campus, including the Josephine Louis Theater, 20 Arts Circle Drive; Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive; Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson Drive; or the Hal and Martha Hyer Wallis Theater, 1949 Campus Drive.

The seven-play subscription for $28 to $148 represents a 20 percent savings off single-ticket prices. Single tickets for all seven Mainstage productions are on sale now. Where applicable, ticket discounts are available for groups of eight or more. Subscriptions and single tickets can be purchased by phone through the Wirtz Center Box Office at 847-491-7282 or online at wirtz.northwestern.edu.

The following events are open to the public and will take place on Northwestern’s Evanston campus, as noted.

NOVEMBER 2014 MAINSTAGE PRODUCTIONS AND EVENTS

• “The Laramie Project,” by Moises Kaufman and the members of Tectonic Theater Project, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24; 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25; 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 26; 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30; 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31; 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2, Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston. Beginning in 1998, members of Tectonic Theater Project made six trips to Laramie, Wyoming, over the course of a year-and-a-half in the aftermath of the beating and during the trial of the two young men accused of killing Matthew Shepard, an openly gay college student. During their visits, Tectonic members conducted more than 200 interviews with the people of the small western city, some directly connected to the case. The breadth of the community’s reactions to the crime is crafted into a theatrical collage that explores the depths to which humanity can sink and the heights of compassion of which we are capable. Directed by Northwestern faculty member Rives Collins (“The Hundred Dresses,” “The Bluest Eye”), a new generation of actors will bring to life a living mosaic of one community’s response to a tragedy that became a catalyst of cultural and social change in America.

Talkback discussions will follow all Barber Theater performances: Joined by the cast and moderated by the production’s dramaturg Grace Kessler Overbeke, guest respondents will include: Friday, Oct. 24, Tracy Baim, editor-in-chief of The Windy City Times and Susan Burk of the Matthew Shepard Foundation; Saturday, Oct. 25, Damon Hainline, a marriage equality and LGBT activist; Sunday, Oct. 26, Jack Doppelt, professor of journalism, Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing; Thursday, Oct. 30, Bill Farmer, teacher and Gay/Straight Student Alliance Advisor at Evanston Township High School; Friday, Oct. 31, Timothy S. Stevens, Northwestern University chaplain and Father Kevin Feeney, chaplain and director of Sheil Catholic Center; Saturday, Nov. 1, University Police Sgt. Haydee Martinez; and Sunday, Nov. 2, Harvey Young, associate chair of theatre, Northwestern University. Tickets are $25 for the general public; 
$22 for seniors over 62, Northwestern faculty and staff members, and educators; 
and $10 for full-time students (at the door) or 
$5 for Northwestern students (advance purchase only.)

Staged readings of “THE LARAMIE PROJECT: TEN YEARS LATER” written by Moises Kaufman, Leigh Fondakowski, Greg Pierotti, Andy Paris and Stephen Belber, 2 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 1; 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2. Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive. On Sept. 12, 2008, 10 years after the completion of the original production of “The Laramie Project,” five members of Tectonic Theater Project returned to Laramie, Wyoming, to try to understand the long-term effect of the murder of Matthew Shepard. What they found was a town wrestling with its legacy and its difficult place in history. In addition to revisiting the community members whose words riveted audiences around the world in the original play, this time the company also spoke with the two murderers, Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson, as well as Matthew's mother, Judy Shepard. “THE LARAMIE PROJECT: TEN YEARS LATER” asks the question, \"How does society write its own history?\" The staged readings of this play are free and open to the public. Reservations are not required.

“NOT ALONE” EXHIBITION

• “Not Alone: The Power of Response” traveling exhibition, Oct. 24 though Nov. 2, in the Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive. With a focus of simplicity and clarity, “Not Alone: The Power of Response” is a new visual project comprised of original letters from people affected by the loss of Matthew Shepard. The letters are addressed to Shepard’s parents Judy and Dennis Shepard and are curated into three guided themes: “Empathy,” featuring notes of sympathy and compassion for the Shepard family; “Responsibility,” focusing on those who felt the right to teach tolerance; and “Action,” a tribute to those who found hope and inspired change in their own communities because of Shepard’s story. The exhibition was created by Ford’s Theatre Society, Washington, D.C., and Split Rock Studios, Minn., as part of The Lincoln Legacy Project, Fall 2013. Curated by Heather Hoagland, the exhibit is organized by and provided courtesy of the Matthew Shepard Foundation. Note: The exhibit can be viewed a half-hour prior to the start of each performance as well as during special open exhibit hours, which are noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25; from noon to 4 p.m. Thursday Oct. 30; and following the 2 p.m. performances on Saturday, Nov. 1 and Sunday, Nov. 2 until 6 p.m.

• “Little Women: The Broadway Musical,” 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 7; 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 8; 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 9; 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13; 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14; 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15; 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 16; 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 20; 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 21; 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 23, Josephine Louis Theater, 20 Arts Circle Drive, Northwestern University’s Evanston campus. With her father away at war, the indomitable Jo March tucks herself away in the attic and begins writing a coming-of-age story while drawing inspiration from her loving mother and three memorable sisters. Directed by Northwestern faculty emeritus, Dominic Missimi (“The Waa Mu Show,” “Rent”); Louisa May Alcott’s famous novel is reimagined in this lush musical featuring a powerful score soaring with the sounds of personal discovery, tragedy and hope – the sounds of a young America finding its voice and one family’s astonishing journey to love and acceptance. Book by Allan Knee, lyrics by Mindi Dickstein and music by Jason Howland 
from the novel by Alcott. Talkback discussions with the cast will follow the Friday, Nov. 7 opening night; Sunday, Nov. 9 matinee; and Thursday, Nov. 13 evening performances. Single tickets are $30 for the general public; 
$27 for seniors over 62 and Northwestern faculty and staff and educators; $10 for full-time students (at the door) or $5 for Northwestern students (advance purchase only).

WIRTZ CENTER STAGE ON SCREEN

• National Theatre Live, “A Streetcar Named Desire” by Tennessee Williams and directed by Benedict Andrews, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 4, Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston campus. The fastest-selling production in the Young Vic’s history, Tennessee Williams’ timeless masterpiece, “A Streetcar Named Desire” stars Gillian Anderson as Blanche DuBois. As Blanche’s fragile world crumbles, she turns to her sister Stella (Vanessa Kirby) for solace -- but her downward spiral brings her face to face with her brother-in-law, the brutal, unforgiving Stanley Kowalski (Ben Foster). Visionary director Benedict Andrews returns to the Young Vic following his Critics’ Circle Award-winning “Three Sisters.” Watch a Video Teaser. Tickets are $20 for the general public; $16 for Northwestern faculty and staff (in-person or phone orders only); or $10 for full-time students with valid IDs.

National Theatre Live,” David Hare’s “Skylight,” directed by Stephen Daldry, and starring Bill Nighy and Carey Mulligan, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18, Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston campus. On a bitterly cold London evening, schoolteacher Kyra Hollis (Mulligan) receives an unexpected visit from her former lover, Tom Sergeant (Nighy), a successful and charismatic restaurateur whose wife has recently died. As the evening progresses, the two attempt to rekindle their once passionate relationship only to find themselves locked in a dangerous battle of opposing ideologies and mutual desires. Watch a Video Teaser. Tickets are $20 for the general public; $16 for Northwestern faculty and staff (in-person or phone orders only); or $10 for full-time students with valid IDs.

CONSTRUCTION ALERT

A three-year construction project underway on the southeast end of the Northwestern University campus has closed Arts Circle Drive to traffic. Free parking for evening and weekend events remains available, but the project impacts handicapped parking and patrons requiring special access to Evanston campus theaters. For the most current information on the construction project and drop-off locations for patrons requiring special access to our theaters, visit wirtz.northwestern.edu.

Topics: Theatre

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