SIUC Theater Department Announces Exciting 2011-2012 Season

In Carbondale, Illinois, everything comes to life in the fall. One great example is the Southern Illinois University-Carbondale (SIUC) Theater Department, which has announced its 2011-2012 season. It’s going to be spectacular, with two musicals, two major plays, one special performance and several free performances.

In McLeod Theater, in the Communications Building on the SIUC campus, the four major performances for this year are: Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie, September 29-October 2; Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, December 7-11; two one-act operas in one show: The Tragedy of Carmen (a ninety-minute adaptation of Bizet’s well-known opera), and Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury, February 10-12; and the world premiere of Billy Budd, an adaptation of Herman Melville’s novel of the same title, April 26-29.

Tickets for White Christmas are $25 for adults, $10 for students. The other three shows are $16 for adults, $6 for students.

A special performance of Crave, a play by Sarah Kane, will be presented in the more intimate C. H. Moe Theater, also in the SIUC Communications Building, March 22-25. The subject matter of Crave is “the search for love and the pain it can bring,”–a theme for any age. Tickets for Sarah Kane’s play are $12 adults, $6 students.

Tickets for these shows can be purchased online at, by phone at (618) 453-6000, or at McLeod Theater or Shryock Auditorium on the SIUC campus, Monday through Friday from 12:00 noon to 5:00 pm, and also at McLeod one hour before each performance.

All evening shows are at 7:30 pm, matinées at 2:00 pm.

The SIUC Theater Department’s 2011-2012 lineup is an exciting one:

The Glass Menagerie, a classic by American genius Tennessee Williams, is a moving and poetic piece of theater.

White Christmas, based on the 1954 movie with Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Danny Kaye and Vera Ellen, is sure to be a sellout. Songs by Irving Berlin–“Sisters,” “It’s Cold Outside,” and of course, “White Christmas,” make this the perfect holiday show.

I don’t know what the condensed version of The Tragedy of Carmen will include, but we’re all familiar with “The Toreador Song” and other beautiful music from Bizet’s Carmen. We’ll probably hear our favorites.

Trail by Jury, a comic opera by Gilbert and Sullivan and paired with the above, is only forty minutes long. I’m sure that forty minutes will seem like five minutes as we enjoy the lyrical melodies and clever lyrics that Gilbert and Sullivan are famous for.

About Billy Budd I know nothing except that the author of Moby Dick wrote the novel, and the accomplished David Rush, a member of the SIUC Theater Department faculty, has written this adaptation.

And there are free shows as well. (This is definitely one of the perks of living in a college town like Carbondale: free entertainment, minutes away.)

On Saturday, September 24 at 7:30 pm, the SIUC Theater Department will present its New Faces 2011, in the C. H. Moe Theater in the SIUC Communications Building. The new faces are new theater majors doing scenes and songs. It’s a yearly event. You never know what you’ll get at a show like this, and you can count on some fresh and interesting performances.

The same holds true for the New Plays: 4 One-Nighters, on four Wednesdays at the Moe (as it is known at SIUC). The first play, scheduled for Wednesday, October 5, at 7:30 pm, is Risata, Sciocco . . . Risata! by Thomas Michael Campbell. One Wednesday, November 2, Log In, by Will Couer, will be performed.

The last two Wednesday performances in this series, on February 1, 2012, and April 4, 2012, are To Be Announced. Dates and times are subject to change.

Season tickets for the McLeod Theater plays are available. As the leaves begin to fall, and the weather turns colder, think theater at SIU Carbondale. It’s something to look forward to.

Source: 2011-2012 brochure, SIUC Department of Theater, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL 62901

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