The University of Rhode Island Theatre selections for its 2014-2015 season offers something for everyone. The award-winning department is committed to providing audiences with a unique theatrical experience.
The semester starts with the fresh comedy, Seminar by Theresa Rebeck and ends with the music and puppetry in the new musical Avenue Q by Jeff Whitty. In the spring semester, URI Theatre will present Arthur Miller's award-winning All My Sons that exposes the fragility of the American Dream. The semester will end on comedic note with Shakespeare's much loved As You Like It.
The productions take place in J Studio and the Robert E. Will Theatre of the Fine Arts Center, 105 Upper College Road, Kingston campus.
October - Seminar: This edgy, contemporary, comedic play written by Theresa Rebeck involves four young post-graduate aspiring writers who hire a well-known writing guru to critique their work. They get much more than they bargained for as his powerful persona disrupts their well being in many unexpected ways. This sexy, witty and entertaining play, set primarily in an upscale apartment on Manhattan’s upper West Side, explores the world of art and commerce in one exciting intermission-less act, as it affects the two young men and two young women going into that world. Rebeck is a widely produced playwright and television writer whose plays include Dead Accounts, Mauritius and Spike Heels. Seminar played on Broadway in 2011-2012 and was nominated for a 2012 Drama League Award for Distinguished Production of a Play and as Best Play by the Outer Critics Circle. This will be the show's Rhode Island premiere. J Studio, October 9-11 & October 16-18, 2014 at 7:30 p.m., October 12 & 19, 2014 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $20 General, $15 Seniors, URI Faculty/Staff, $12 Students.
November - Avenue Q: Winner of the Tony Triple Crown for Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book, Avenue Q is part flesh, part felt and packed with heart. From the book by Jeff Whitty, Lyrics by Jeff Marx & Robert Lopez, this musical is a laugh-out-loud production. It tells the timeless story of a recent college grad namedPrinceton who moves into a shabby New York apartment out on Avenue Q. There he meets Kate (the girl next door), Rod (the Republican), Trekkie (the internet sexpert), Lucy (certainly not the girl next door) and other colorful types who help Princeton finally discover his purpose in life. The show includes a cast of three human characters and eleven puppet characters who interact as if human while animated by unconcealed puppeteers. Ben Brantley of the New York Times called it "savvy, sassy and eminently likable...a breakthrough musical." Robert E. Will Theatre, Nov 14-16 & 21-23, 7:30 p.m., Nov 17 & 24, 2013, 3 p.m. Tickets: $20 General, $15 Seniors, URI Faculty/Staff, $12 Students.
February - All My Sons: One of America's greatest playwrights Arthur Miller set All My Sons in a mid-western community soon after World War II. Inspired by a true story, he was intent on exposing the fragility of the American Dream. Miller explores the destructive power of greed and misguided love as demonstrated byJoe Keller, the loving, shortsighted family patriarch. The original 1947 Broadway production won the Drama Critics' Circle Award and two Tony Awards. All My Sonsshines among Miller's greatest plays-- Death of a Salesman, The Crucible and A View From the Bridge. With its true and tender romance, its father-son conflict and its sense of impending catastrophe, this story takes hold of our hearts and our imaginations and doesn't let go for a moment. Robert E. Will Theatre, February 19-21 & February 26-28, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.,, February 22 & March 1, 2015 at 3 p.m. Tickets: $20 General, $15 Seniors, URI Faculty/Staff, $12 Students.
April - As You Like It: A pastoral comedy, this play was published in Shakespeare's First Folio in 1623. It follows its heroine Rosalind as she flees persecution in her uncle’s court, accompanied by her cousin Celia and Touchstone the court jester, to find safety and, eventually, love in the Forest of Arden. The play remains a favorite among audiences and has been adapted for radio, film, and musical theatre. J Studio, April 16-18 & April 23-25, 2015 at 7:30 p.m., April 19 & 26, 2015 at 3 p.m., $20 General, $15 Seniors, URI Faculty/Staff, $12 Students
Tickets can be purchased online at web.uri.edu/theatre. For reservations, call the URI Theatre Box Office at 401.874.5843. For group rate information, call 401.874.2712. For mailing list or additional questions, call 401.874.5921 or 5922. URI’s Theatre Department encourages volunteers to help with its programs. Call 401.874.5922 for more information and to get involved.