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Published on August 20th, 2012 | by TLV News


Ole Miss Theatre Presents: “The Power of Politics”

Ole Miss Theatre is gearing up for its 2012-2013 season, “The Power of Politics.” Due to recent exciting developments, some production dates have changed. Funding support provided through the Office of the Provost and the College of Liberal Arts has made it possible for needed renovations of Fulton Chapel and Meek Auditorium to begin fall semester. Norm Easterbrook, Director of the Ford Center and Matt Zerangue, Technical Coordinator of the Ford Center, have worked with the Department of Theatre Arts to allow two of the Ole Miss Theatre main stage productions to take place in the Ford Center during the scheduled renovations. The Ole Miss main stage productions featured for the 2012-2013 season are The Complete History of America (abridged), The Crucible, Urinetown, and Time Stands Still.  

The first production for next season, The Complete History of America (abridged), is a ninety minute rollercoaster ride through the glorious quagmire that is American History. Performances are at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts, Thursday through Sunday, September 20–23, Tuesday through Sunday, September 25–30. Showtimes are 7:30 pm most nights, with 2 pm matinees on the afternoons of Saturdays and Sundays.  

Professor Joe Turner Cantú is directing what he calls, “American history with a wacky, comedic twist.” Cantú was the right pick as director as he follows politics, “I am a political junkie; I follow politics carefully; I follow its analysis and also have a great interest in American history.” As for the play, lessons may be learned but Cantú mostly wants the audience to “Sit back, have fun, and bring your wackiest sense of humor!”  

Along with newer works, Ole Miss Theatre is also performing a classic, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. Director Rory Ledbetter is anticipating a great production from Miller’s work. “It’s iconic and been around so long, so I am excited to make it accessible to a modern audience.” According to Ledbetter, the scope of the play will benefit Ole Miss students, “Since it’s so epic with so many roles, there are many opportunities for the students.” Cast perfectly in this season, The Crucible is an exciting drama about the Puritan purge of witchcraft in old Salem and is both a gripping historical play and a timely parable of our contemporary society. It will always be relevant as Ledbetter explains, “The play is about the frenzy of misinformation, condemnation, and unchecked powers.” He continues, “Similar to people in the play, I see people now swept into a frenzy by the media, which vilifies people and this leads to an attack on them.” The Crucible will be performed in the Ford Center for the Performing Arts on Friday and Saturday, November 2 and 3 at 7:30 pm, as well as matinees at 2 pm on Saturday and Sunday, November 3 and 4.

Inspired by the works of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill, Urinetown is an irreverently humorous satire in which no one is safe from scrutiny. Praised for reinvigorating the very notion of what a musical could be, Urinetown catapults the “comedic romp” into the new millennium with its outrageous perspective and wickedly modern wit. Like many of us, René Pulliam, the director of Urinetown, was a little put off by the name of the musical, “To be truthful, I avoided seeing it for a long time—mostly because of the title.” But she quickly understood why it was on Broadway, “I couldn’t imagine a show by the name of Urinetown appealing to me. Was I wrong! I fell in love with this jewel!” She adds, “I laughed all night—but the show has some very surprising twists in the plot, too.”   
Aside from being a big fan of the show, Pulliam thinks this is a perfect fit with the 2012-2013 theme, “Though a comedy, Urinetown touches on so many of the problems that we all struggle with today, like the vanishing middle class.” She’s excited to be directing this show and getting an audience to see it, “I am looking forward to sharing with the theatre students and the community this witty and highly pertinent show.” Urinetown is performing Thursday, February 28 through Saturday, March 2 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, March 3 at 2 pm in Fulton Chapel. Warning: Adult content.

Ole Miss Theatre will also be producing Time Stands Still by Donald Margulies with performances on Tuesday, April 16 through Sunday, April 28 in Meek Hall Auditorium. Time Stands Still focuses on Sarah and James, a photojournalist and a foreign correspondent trying to find happiness in a world that seems to have gone crazy. Theirs is a partnership based on telling the toughest stories, and together, making a difference. But when their own story takes a sudden turn, the adventurous couple confronts the prospect of a more conventional life. Time Stands Still will be directed by a new performance faculty member, Amanda Wansa.

The University of Mississippi’s Department of Theatre Arts is proud to support other exciting events including Mississippi: The Dance Company’s Homegrown, performing Wednesday, November 28 through Saturday, December 1 in the Ford Center Rehearsal Hall, with 7:30 pm performances on November 28, 29, 30 and December 1, and a 2 pm matinee on Saturday, December 1; “An Evening of Cinema,” presented on Thursday, April 4 through Saturday, April 6 with 7:00 pm performances in Meek Hall; Ole Miss Student Dance will perform their concert Thursday, April 11 through Sunday, April 14.  The student-led theatre company Ghostlight Repertory presents their first season—for more information, please contact the UM Box Office.

For summer of 2013, Oxford Shakespeare Festival will present their “Tenth Anniversary Reunion Season.”

This year Ole Miss Theatre season sponsors include:
Johnson’s Furniture, Office Depot, Oxford Bank Association, Oxford University Club, and Sneed’s Ace Hardware. We want to thank them and our patrons for their continued support.
Sponsoring Ole Miss Theatre not only benefits our productions, it also improves the educational experience of the University of Mississippi theatre arts students.

If you would like to be a sponsor or a season subscriber, please call
(662) 915-7287.  

For tickets to any of these performances or to purchase a season subscription, please contact the UM Box Office, (662) 915-7287.

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The Local Voice is a bimonthly entertainment guide and newspaper based in Oxford, Mississippi, covering and distributed in North Central Mississippi, including Oxford, Ole Miss, Taylor, Abbeville, Water Valley, Lafayette County, Yalobusha County, and parts of Panola County, Marshall County, and Tupelo . The Local Voice is distributed free to over 255 locations in North Mississippi and also available as a full color PDF download worldwide on the internet.

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