Controversy, comedy, creativity and chords will take center stage at Eastern this fall with a full semester of performances from the theatre, dance and music departments.
The theatre department’s production of Danny and the Deep Blue Sea will be the first performance to grace the McInnis Auditorium stage. The play runs from Sept. 24-27 at 8 p.m., with a 3 p.m. showing on Sept. 28.
The John Patrick Shanley play has only two characters but will “jar people” with its violence-infused plot, said theatre department head Mark Hallen.
“These are people that are badly battered and barely functioning,” Hallen said.
The title character, Danny, meets Roberta in a bar where they cross paths in their search for healing. Both characters have violent pasts that have left them convinced healing is out of reach.
Junior John Schultz will be playing Danny while sophomore Kaylee Goodwin will be playing the role of Roberta. The 90-minute play contains both physical and verbal violence between characters who bombard the 80-member audience with the f-word.
While the play may push the boundaries, Hallen said that the performance goes deeper than raising controversy.
“The goal of our production is to love the audience through the tough part to the healing – to what is really beautiful,” Hallen said. “There are people like Danny and Roberta out there whether we like it or not.”
October 10 marks the traditional Fine Arts Festival, which features the collective musical talent of Eastern students, faculty and alumni. Selections from the campus choir and orchestra are just a small piece of the 8 p.m. celebration.
Another musical treat, the Tri-County Concerts, hosts its first performance at 2:30 p.m. on Oct. 26. These non-school sponsored concerts feature young musicians who are ascending to the professional level and just beginning to emerge on the music scene.
“It’s unbelievable that we have them here,” music department head Ron Matthews said. “It really is worth it – these are high-end players.”
Since Eastern serves as a second venue for the concerts, the music department receives a number of free tickets for the performances. While the tickets typically are given to music majors, anyone interested in obtaining an extra ticket should contact the music office. Regular ticket costs range from $10 to $15.
The theatre department regains the stage in early November for their production of Anton Chekhov’s Three Sisters.
The comedy follows a family of three women and their brother who have lost both their parents and the glamour of their previous lifestyle in Moscow. The audience will witness four different scenes from the family’s new life as they tirelessly struggle for the good old days, yet fail time after time.
“If people like The Office, they’re going to love Three Sisters,” Hallen said of the play’s comedy style. Performance times are 8 p.m. Nov. 12-15 and 3 p.m. Nov. 16.
At 8 p.m. on Nov. 21 and 22 the music department will hold a winter music festival, with a special flute festival the following evening.
A new play workshop, Late Night Madness: One Night Only, will be a 24-hour experiment produced by Liz Carlson of the theatre department. Starting on Dec. 5, a group of writers, directors and actors will wrack their brains and talents to write, rehearse and perform a play the following evening at 11 p.m.
Their efforts will be on display following the 8 p.m. Winter Dance Festival performance on Dec. 6. The dance show is comprised of several student-choreographed pieces. A theme for the performance will be chosen at a later time, after it is decided which pieces will move on from the Oct. 13 auditions.
The dance festival has 8 p.m. showings on Dec. 5 and 6 and a 3 p.m. performance on Dec. 7.