LOGAN – The Theatre Arts Department at Utah State University has selected a series of relatively recent plays to be performed during the upcoming 2024-2025 academic year.

The first production of the new season will be a comic update on the classic tales by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle entitled Ms. Holmes & Ms. Watson – Apt. 2B by playwright Kate Hamill.

Hamill is well-known for writing innovative, contemporary adaptations of classic novels for the stage. The award-winning playwright’s previous efforts have included versions of Jane Austin’s Sense and Sensibility, Emma and Pride and Prejudice; William Thackeray’s Vanity Fair; Bram Stoker’s Dracula; and Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women.

The Hamill play brings Ms. Joan Watson into modern-day London, where she teams up with Ms. Sherlock Holmes on a most intriguing and dangerous case. The irreverent, darkly comic update of those detectives promises to be a fast-paced romp that re-examines them through a feminist lens.

Ms. Holmes & Ms. Watson – Apt. 2B will be performed in the Caine Lyric Theatre in downtown Logan from Oct. 4 to 12.

The next offering from the USU thespians will be the Utah premiere of the new musical Between the Lines, adapted by playwright Timothy Allen McDonald and Jodi Picoult from her novel of the same name.

The musical centers on 17-year-old Delilah McPhee, who has just moved to a new school. While still coping with the stress of her parent’s divorce, she incurs the social stigma of injuring the most popular girl in her class. To top it all off, Delilah also falls in love with a fictional character in a book.

But is he really fictitious?

With music and lyrics by Elyssa Samsel and Kate Anderson, Between the Lines will be performed Nov. 15 to 23 in the Morgan Theatre in the Chase Fine Arts Center on the USU campus.

The USU Theatre Arts Department will start the New Year by staging The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by playwright Simon Stephens.

Adapted from a novel by Mark Haddon, the drama concerns a mystery surrounding the death of a neighbor’s dog that is investigated by young autistic boy with a complicated relationship with his parents and a mentor at school.

Critics praised Stephens’ script for its ability to convey its protagonist’s point-of-view. In London, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time won seven Olivier Awards. Here in the U.S., the play won the Tony Award in 2013 for best new play.

At Utah State, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time will be presented at the Morgan Theatre from Feb. 7 to 15, 2025.

The theatrical season at USU will close will a production of Or, by playwright Liz Duffy Adams.

In Adams’ mind, England in the 1660s looks a lot like America in the 1960s, with a growing counter-culture of free love, cross-dressing and pastoral lyricism. So the playwright crafted a neo-Restoration comedy with a female spy trying to change her life by writing a play in a single night.

Adams’ central character is Aphra Behn, who worked as a foreign agent in real-life. She was also first woman to work in literature and secure a place successful enough to remain unmarried and enjoy a rather notorious lifestyle. Neglected until the 20th Century, Adams brings Behn back to life on the cusp of her first literary success.

Her efforts are complicated, however, by interruptions from an old flame (double-agent William Scott), a royal suitor (King Charles II) and a new love (actress Nell Gwynne).

During the debut of Or, in 2009, critics called Adams an “… artist of playful and highly literate imagination, radical instincts and sardonic humor.”

Or, will be staged in the Black Box Theatre in the Chase Fine Arts Center on the USU campus from April 11 to 19, 2025.

The Caine Lyric Theatre is located at 30 West Center Street in downtown Logan.

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