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  • Welcome to the 2011-2012 Academic Year!

    Welcome to the 2011-2012!  If you are new to us, we say welcome.  If you are not new to us, we say welcome back.

    We have several new things happening this year.  One of the most exciting is the new ticketing system which will allow us to sell tickets over the internet.  If you are a credit card holder, you can get online and get your tickets to most of our shows.  the web address for the site is www.murraystatetickets.com.

    Mark Borum and Kristina Whitehair are currently performing and cruising in the Caribbean and in Greece.  Chrishell Stause currently portrays the role of “Amanda Dillon” on the daytime drama All My Children as well as other roles in TV productions.  W. Earl Brown has been seen in There’s Something About Mary and the HBO smash hit Deadwood.  Jilon VanOver was recently in an episode of CSI: Los Angles.  Charles Edward Hall has the great recurring role of “Santa Claus” at Radio City Music Hall each year.  Courtney Cunningham was filmed in the reality show Bridal Boot Camp and has performed on cruise ships for the last three years. 

    Daryl Phillipy has come on board as our new acting teacher.  Daryl's MFA in Acting is from Southern Mississippi University.  His BS is from Middle Tennessee State University.  He is teaching acting courses, an intro to theatre course, and voice.  His acting approach is Meisner based.  We welcome Daryl to the Department.

    Our productions this year can be found on our ticketing page, but here is some information about the season as well.

    Eleemosynary

    By Lee Blessing

    Sensitive and probing, this masterful play examines the subtle and often perilous relationship between three remarkable women: a young girl, her mother, and her grandmother. "…a play and a production of a caliber rarely seen on the stage…the language is elegant, witty and carefully wrought." —Philadelphia City Paper. "…an engrossing 95-minute entry—alternately funny and poignant…" —Variety. "It is a wonderful job of playwriting." —Minneapolis Star and Tribune. "…a funny, perceptive and eloquently written play…" —St. Paul Pioneer Press and Dispatch.

    THE STORY: Staged with utmost simplicity, the play probes into the delicate relationship of three singular women: the grandmother, Dorothea, her brilliant daughter, Artie, and Artie's daughter, Echo.  As the play begins, Dorothea has suffered a stroke, and Echo has reestablished contact with her mother.  But, in the end, both Artie and Echo come to accept their mutual need and summon the courage to try, at last, to build a life together.

    September 22-27 @ 7:30pm

    Actor’s Studio Theatre, Wilson Hall 310B

    Orpheus in the Underworld

    Book and Lyrics by Hector Crémieux and Ludovic Halévy. Music by Jacques Offenbach.

    The first of Offenbach's outrageously funny 'send-ups' of Greek mythology, this is an unashamed version of the classic legend of Orpheus's pursuit of his wife Eurydice, who is carried off to Hades by Pluto - much to the annoyance of Jupiter. A highly disrespectful romp, it involves nymphs, shepherds, gods and goddesses, with the fun reaching its climax in the riotous revels of the celebrated "Can-Can". A lively and highly enjoyable show for both performers and audience, with many world-famous tunes.

    November 17-19 @ 7:30pm

    November 20 @ 2:30pm

    Robert E. Johnson Theatre

    This show is produced jointly by the Department of Music and the Department of Theatre. 

    Suddenly Last Summer

    By Tennessee Williams

    "Startling proof of what a man can do with words…this brief, withering play is a superb achievement." —The New York Times

    This dark and gritty play introduces us to Catharine Holly, a young woman who seems to go insane after her cousin Sebastian dies on a trip to Europe under mysterious circumstances. Sebastian's mother, Violet Venable, trying to cloud the truth surrounding her son’s death, threatens to lobotomize Catharine as a cure for her incoherent utterances, but the gruesome truth does come out.

    February 23-28 @ 7:30pm

    Actor’s Studio Theatre Wilson Hall 310B

    The Betsy Reid and Jerry Shroat Production, so named because of their generous gifts and contributions to the Department of Theatre.

    The Mousetrap

    By Agatha Christie

    In this classic melodramatic theatre piece, the author comes forth with another hit about a group of strangers stranded in a boarding house during a snowstorm, one of whom is a murderer. The suspects include the newly married couple that run the house, and the suspicions that are in their minds nearly wreck their perfect marriage. Others are a spinster with a curious background, an architect who seems better equipped to be a chef, a retired Army major, a strange little man who claims his car has overturned in a drift, and a jurist who makes life miserable for everyone. Into their midst comes a policeman, traveling on skis. He no sooner arrives, than the jurist is killed. Two down, and one to go. To get to the rationale of the murderer's pattern, the policeman probes the background of everyone present, and rattles a lot of skeletons. Another famous Agatha Christie switch finish! Chalk up another superb intrigue for the foremost mystery writer of her time.

    April 25-28 @ 7:30pm

    April 29 @ 2:30pm

    Robert E. Johnson Theatre

    Special Productions offered by the Department free to Season Ticket Holders:

    Sanjie: A Chinese Shadow Puppet Play

    By Lissa Graham

    Join us as we celebrate the ancient art of Chinese Puppet theatre.  The show follows a plot that is a combined series of stories and is presented to the audience by actors working in shadow play.  This is like nothing you have seen before.

    September 16 and 17 @ 7:30pm

    September 18 @ 2:30pm

    Robert E. Johnson Theatre

    This show is presented during Fall Family Weekend and is open to everyone on the campus and in the community.  The show will be moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee in March of 2012 to be presented at the Southeastern Theatre Conference Convention.

    Robin Hood

    By Tim Kelly

    Robin Hood, the outlaw of Sherwood Forest, leads a merry life with his followers.  Anyone who is hungry or who has no place to live is welcome in the greenwood.  The citizens of the forest oppose wicked Prince John.  He's taken the place of King Richard the Lion-Hearted, who has gone to the Holy Land on a crusade.  One day a caravan cuts through the wood.  In the convoy is Robin's childhood sweetheart, Maid Marian, ward of King Richard.  Alas, the evil Lady Merle of Cornwall plans to force Marian to marry the Prince in an effort to make John more acceptable to the people of England.  To arms!  It's up to Robin to stop the marriage, defeat a nasty sheriff, and secure Nottingham for the King's return.  It's all done in rousing fashion!

    October 17 @ 7:30pm

    October 18 @ 9:30am and Noon

    October 19 and 20 @ 10am

    Lovett Auditorium

    This production is offered to regional elementary school children at a reduced rate during the daytime performances.  All audiences are welcome during those performances, but please plan to sit in the rear of the auditorium or in the balcony of Lovett Auditorium if you are not attending with a school 


    Thanks for reading.  Keep coming back for new information regarding shows, alumni, and other important items.

    David Balthrop, Chairman

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  • Welcome To Our Blog!

    Welcome to the blog for the Department of Theatre at Murray State University. 

    The Department of Theatre seeks to provide a balanced and comprehensive theatre experience for students that place an emphasis upon theatre production. The Department of Theatre provides experiential learning in acting, directing, design and technical theatre in an environment conducive to teaching, learning and personal development. We empower the student’s knowledge of the craft as they pursue theatre in a global, common-good context while learning a life-long respect for the theatrical art form and its history. Furthermore, the Department of Theatre is committed to providing educational and professional support to K-12 schools and regional theatres.

    The department utilizes three (3) performance spaces: Robert E. Johnson Theatre (seats 344), Actor’s Studio Theatre (Seats 55) and Lovett Auditorium (seats 1200). The department utilizes “smart” classrooms, a dance/acting studio classroom and other facilities on the MSU campus for instruction.

    Students are prepared for careers as actors, directors, managers, designers, technicians, graduate students and/or employment in fields requiring high-level communication skills and teamwork.

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