URI Theatre announces 2015-2016 season

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Four lively productions set to entertain audiences

KINGSTON, R.I. — Sept. 10, 2015 – Intimate, provocative, powerful and funny describe the four productions for the University of Rhode Island Theatre Department’s 2015-2016.

The award-winning department is committed to providing audiences with a unique theatrical experience and will again perform in the Robert E. Will Theatre and J Studio of the Fine Arts Center, 105 Upper College Road, Kingston campus.

On the docket for the 2015-16 season are:

“In The Next Room (or The Vibrator Play)”

Written by Sarah Ruhl, “In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play)” was nominated for the 2010 Tony Award for Best Play and was selected as a finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize. “Hovering at the dawn of electricity,” Dr Givings, a scientist, happily embraces his invention with which he can cure his patients’ (primarily female) “hysteria.” His wife, Mrs. Givings, a new mother, is consistently pulled toward the sounds emanating from the next room. With the innocent aid given her by the other characters — a distraught female patient and her upright husband, a midwife assistant, an African-American wet nurse and a male artist — Mrs. Givings pursues the light that can infuse her marriage with loving intimacy and open the heavens to delight here on earth. Ruhl enlightens the audience with her tender, sometimes hilarious contemporary take on a comedy of manners set in the Victorian era.

Performances of “In the Next Room,” directed by Bryna Wortman, begin Oct. 15 and run through Oct. 25 in the Robert E. Will Theatre in The Fine Arts Center on the Kingston Campus.

“The Caucasian Chalk Circle”

Written by Bertolt Brecht toward the end of WWII, “The Caucasian Chalk Circle” is decidedly anti-Nazi. This version by Frank McGuinness is a play about politics, law, justice, parenthood and more. What defines a family? Who is responsible for taking care of Mother Earth? Of each other? Of our society? Brecht weaves comedy and drama throughout the play as his characters dance to life’s song. These archetypal characters give the audience a mirror in which to view the choices we make, as compared to the choices the characters make. Whose side are we on? In Brecht’s theater, the audience is expected to think as well as be entertained. He believed that unless an actor is having fun, the audience can’t enjoy the performance. Moving, funny, thought provoking, challenging — what more could an audience want?

Performances of “The Caucasian Chalk Circle,” directed by Vince Petronio, begin Dec. 3 and run through Dec. 13 in J Studio of The Fine Arts Center on the Kingston Campus.


Written by Stephen Karam and PJ Paparelli of The United States Theatre Project, “columbinus” examines the realities of adolescent culture by exploring the events surrounding the 1999 shootings at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo. This play is a meeting of fact and fiction that weaves excerpts from discussions with parents, survivors and community leaders in Littleton, as well as police evidence, to bring to light the dark recesses of American adolescence. The New York Post said this drama is “a powerful and important piece about the churning rage that’s all too likely to bubble over again one day.”

Performances of “columbinus,” directed by Joe Short, begin Feb. 25, 2016, and run through March 6, 2016, in J Studio of The Fine Arts Center on the Kingston Campus.

“Legally Blonde”

Based on the MGM motion picture and novel by Amanda Brown, “Legally Blonde” is perfectly pink and infused with fun and frivolity. Nominated for seven Tony Awards, “Legally Blonde” is an upbeat musical comedy with music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin that tells the tale of Elle Woods, a blonde sorority sister and valley girl who heads to Harvard Law School to win back her boyfriend, a big case, and the audience’s hearts while staying true to herself.

Performances of “Legally Blonde,” directed by Paula McGlasson, begin April 21, 2016, and run through May 1, 2016 in the Robert E. Will Theater in The Fine Arts Center on the Kingston campus.

Tickets for all shows can be purchased online at Tickets. 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 (401) 874-5922. URI’s Theatre Department encourages volunteers to help with its programs. Call (401) 874-5922 for more information and to get involved.