As an added treat this year, the prize-winning Theatre Department is offering the public Sunday MatChats, following the first MATinee of each production. The public can CHAT with the director, cast, crew and designers and get the answers to such questions as how do you pick your shows, how did you make the character disappear in a puff of smoke, do you have trap doors under the stage, was that the character’s real hair, who builds the sets and costumes and how can I get involved?
All plays will be performed in J Studio or the Robert E. Will Theatre of the Fine Arts Center, Kingston Campus. 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, contact 401-874-5921 or 5922. Here’s the lineup:
•FAT PIG by Neil LaBute. Fat Pig is a powerful play about body image and prejudice. It’s sometimes shockingly blunt and cruel and contains adult language. Cow. Slob. Pig. How many insults can Tom hear before he has to stand up and defend the woman he loves? Tom faces just that question when he falls for Helen, a bright, funny, sexy young woman who happens to be generously proportioned and he is forced to explain his own preconceptions of the importance of conventional good looks. The sharply drawn play not only critiques society’s slavish adherence to Hollywood ideals of beauty but also boldly questions our own ability to change what we dislike about ourselves. Performances will be on Oct.12 through 14 and 19 through 21 at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 15 and 22 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $14 general public, $10 for senior citizens and URI faculty/staff, and $8 for students.
•THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS, book by Larry L. King and Peter Masterson, music and lyrics by Carol Hall. The musical tells the true story of the high-profile closing down of a 130-year-old brothel outside the small town of La Grange, Texas in 1973. However, Whorehouse isn’t really about sex any more than Fiddler on the Roof is about violins. At its most basic, Whorehouse is about how putting life on TV changes it, how TV changes people, and how the camera impacts that which it records. Whorehouse is about how lives are ruined by “reality TV” and about how TV can be used to destroy. It’s about people in glass houses throwing lots of stones, about one group of people imposing their version of morality on others, and about America’s preoccupation with sex. Please note: contains adult language. Performances will be on Nov. 30 through Dec. 2 and Dec. 7 through 9 at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3 and 10 at 3 p.m. Admission is $18 general public, $14 senior citizens and URI faculty/staff, $12 students.
•BURIED CHILD by Sam Shepard. Winner of the 1979 Pulitzer Prize, Buried Child punctures the Norman Rockwell-like exterior of American family life, revealing a disturbingly rotten core. Set in rural Illinois farm country, the play depicts a family poisoned by repressed desires, shattered relations and a deeply suppressed secret. The arrival of two estranged relatives forces family members not only to face each other but also the secret they have been hiding. Who is the child buried in the back yard? Why have they been hiding the child’s death all these years? Performances will be Feb. 22 through 24 and March 1 through 3 at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 25 and March 4 at 3 p.m. Admission is $14 general public, $10 senior citizens and URI faculty/staff, and $8 students.
•PRIDE & PREJUDICE by Jon Jory, based on the novel by Jane Austen. All of the wit and romance of Jane Austen’s classic 1831 novel come to life in this refreshingly fast-paced and engaging new adaptation. Finding a husband is hardly Elizabeth Bennet’s most urgent priority. But with four sisters, an overzealous matchmaking mother, and a string of unsuitable suitors, it’s difficult to escape the subject. When the independent–minded Elizabeth meets the wealthy, handsome but enigmatic Mr. Darcy, she is determined not to let her feelings triumph over her own good sense, but the truth turns out to be far less clear than it seems. In a society where subtle snubs and deceit proliferate, is it possible for Elizabeth and Darcy to look beyond his pride and her prejudice to make the best match of all? Performances will be on April 19 through 21 and April 26 through 28 at 7:30 p.m., April 22 and 29 at 3 p.m. Admission is $14 general public, $10 for senior citizens and URI faculty/staff and $8 students.
The Theatre Department’s production of Urinetown during the 2005-2006 season was recognized for excellence in the 2006 Motif Magazine Theatre Awards readers poll and voted “Best Production” by any college and university. In addition, Daniel Bilodeau was voted for “Best Lighting” and Luke Sutherland for “Best Scenic Design” for URI Theatre’s production of Blithe Spirit.