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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

URI Theatre announces 2016-2017 season, starts October 13

Class differences, teen discovery, humor in spotlight
Image result for URI Theatre
Scene from URI Theatre's past production of "Chicago"
Edgy, scandalous, witty and opulent describes the four productions of the University of Rhode Island Theatre Department’s 2016-2017 season.

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 2016-17 season are:

“Good People”
Written by David Lindsay-Abaire, “Good People” is an edgy, witty powerful and funny investigation of class differences in today’s America, and it probes the theme of this fall’s URI Honors Colloquium topic, “Inequality and the American Dream.” The plot follows Margie Walsh, a mother living in South Boston with her disabled adult daughter, who is about to lose her Dollar Store job and could face eviction. In desperation, she seeks help from her recently-back-in-town high school boyfriend of long ago, now a well-to-do doctor, husband and father living in the upper class milieu of Chestnut Hill.

Performances of “Good People,” directed by Bryna Wortman, begin Oct. 13 and run through Oct. 23 in the Robert E. Will Theatre.

“Spring Awakening”
The winner of eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, “Spring Awakening” is a celebration of youth and self-discovery that combines classic text and rock and roll. Based on the play by Frank Wedekind, with book and lyrics by Steven Sater and music by Duncan Sheik, “Spring Awakening” follows a group of 19th century German teens as they grapple with sexuality, morality and rebellion with scandalous consequences in a world of unresponsive adults. “Spring Awakening” explodes the boundaries of musical theatre to reveal the touching and passionate journey of growing up. This production includes mature language and subject matter, including brief nudity. Not recommended for children.

Performances of “Spring Awakening,” directed by Paula McGlasson, begin Dec. 1 and run through Dec. 11 in The Robert E. Will Theatre.

“The School for Lies”
“The School For Lies” is set in Paris in 1666 at a fashionable salon run by a sharp-tongued and witty young widow, Celimene. She is pursued by a number of shallow suitors whom she is able to live off of without ever taking them up on any of their offers. Enter Frank, who has recently changed his name while away in London. He is determined to live up to his new name by being frank and rude to everyone. When Frank and Celimene meet, the sparks fly in this hilarious adaptation of Molière’s “The Misanthrope” written by award-winning playwright, David Ives.

Performances of “The School of Lies,” directed by Alan Hawkridge, begin Feb. 23, 2017, and run through March 5, 2017, in J Studio of The Fine Arts Center.

“The Great Gatsby”
Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel The Great Gatsby, adapted for the stage by Simon Levy, remains the ever evocative story of the pursuit of wealth and romance in the roaring 1920s — The Jazz Age. 

Enigmatic self-made millionaire Jay Gatsby pursues the married, moneyed Daisy Buchanan as his party guests drink and dance their frenzied way through life at his opulent Long Island mansion. Their greed, as evidenced by the surrounding consumerism and materialism, is revealed through subtle and obvious class differences of old money, the newly rich, and the working class that includes Tom Buchanan’s mistress Myrtle Wilson. Fitzgerald artfully discloses the careless, callousness of the untouchable upper class with whom we are entranced as they literally get away with murder.

Performances of “The Great Gatsby,” directed by Bryna Wortman, begin April 20, 2017, and run through April 30, 2017 in the Robert E. Will Theater in The Fine Arts Center.

Tickets for all shows can be purchased online at 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.