LOGAN – After a year of dark stages and virtual presentations due to the coronavirus, the Theatre Arts Department at Utah State University has announced a full schedule of shows for its 2021-2022 season.
The first main stage production of the season will be Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare in mid-October, following an unusual digital showcase by the department’s light and projection design students.
“Julius Caesar is going to involve every single one of our student actors,” according to Richie Call, associate professor of acting. “So we decided not to put up a show in September that would compete for casting.
“Instead, (Professor) Bruce Duerden is using that production slot as a way for his light and design students to essentially put on a cool light show. The idea is to show off things they learned over the past year that don’t always make it into the shows we produce.”
That technical show, entitled Introspection, will use a poem written by one of its designers as its source material. It will be presented at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 1 and 2 at the Caine Lyric Theatre in downtown Logan.
The next USU presentation will be the Bard’s 1599 dramatization of the assassination of Julius Caesar and its aftermath on Oct. 19 to 23 in the Morgan Theatre on the university’s campus.
Julius Caesar is one of Shakespeare’s best-known works and is favored by directors for its flexibility in terms of time setting and costuming. That versatility was perhaps best demonstrated by a 1937 stage production directed by Orson Welles that drew parallels to the growing threat of European fascism in that era.
Julius Caesar will be directed by USU professor Michael Shipley.
Next on the USU schedule will be Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, a 2016 feminist drama penned by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon.
The play is a sequel to Jane Austin’s novel “Pride and Prejudice” focusing on the efforts of Mary, the middle Bennet sister, to define herself in a male-dominated society.
Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley will be directed by Tarah Flanagan and staged Dec. 2 to 8 in the Morgan Theatre.
Early in spring semester, The Moors will be directed by Paul Mitri, the chairman of the USU Theatre Arts Department.
Written by Jen Silverman, The Moors is a dark comedy that spoofs the blurry line between eccentricity and madness when a pair of isolated sisters have too much time and imagination on their hands.
The play will be staged Feb. 11 to 18 at the Caine Lyric Theatre.
In early March, Professor Matt Omasta will direct Getting Near to Baby by Y. York.
Based on the award-winning young adult novel by Audrey Couloumbis, Getting Near to Baby is a drama about two sisters coming to terms with the death of a sibling.
Getting Near to Baby will be staged Mar. 2 to 4 in the Morgan Theatre.
The USU theater season will finally close out with a production of the Dolly Parton musical 9 to 5.
That show is based on the familiar 1980 film of the same name, with additional music and lyrics by Parton and a script by Patricia Resnick.
9 to 5 will be directed by Valarie Rochelle and be staged April 15 to 23 in the Morgan Theatre.
The USU Theatre Arts Department will also host three events in its play reading series during the 2021-2022 academic year.
The first of those events will be a reading of Women by Chiara Atik, a comedy that puts a contemporary spin on the March sisters from Little Women.
That reading is scheduled in the Black Box Theatre on the USU campus on Oct. 29 and 30.
The subject matter of the remaining two play reading events will be announced at a later date