The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Theatre Department is set to launch three new productions this winter and into spring, including one staged in tribute to a former faculty member and colleague who passed away late last year.
The Theatre Department’s “Voices of Perseverance” season continues with the Feb. 12 opening of the play “Bus Stop,” by William Inge, directed by Bryan Vandevender.
The play, which was also adapted into a 1956 film co-starring Marylyn Monroe, zooms in on a “young cowboy and a nightclub singer, exploring the rocky road of romance while stranded passengers navigate a full spectrum of comic and romantic circumstances” while waiting out a snowstorm in a diner outside Kansas City.”
“Bus Stop” runs Feb. 12 through Feb. 15 at 7:30 p.m. in Frederic March Theatre followed by a Feb. 16, 2 p.m. matinee.
Next stop in the season lineup: Sondheim.
After the August 2013 passing of UW Oshkosh Theatre Professor Emeritus Don Burdick, a beloved teacher, performer and community member, faculty and students opted to swap out the annual production of one-act plays for a mid-March run of “Side by Side by Sondheim,” a musical revue of some of composer Stephen Sondheim’s greatest Broadway works and collaborations.
“Side by Side” will run from March 13 through March 15 with 7:30 p.m. shows in the UW Oshkosh Experimental Theatre.
The show is billed as “a dazzling collection of songs by Broadway’s musical master,” with “works including Follies, A Little Night Music, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum as well as classics he wrote with musical theatre giants Leonard Bernstein and Richard Rodgers.” Sondheim was one of Burdick’s favorites, and Theatre department friends are staging the revue as a tribute while they also work to develop a memorial to honor Burdick’s memory and dedication to the department, to UW Oshkosh and to community arts.
Last stop: “Antigone,” the Greek tragedy conveying “the struggle between one woman’s ethics and the laws of the state,” penned by Sophocles and directed by UW Oshkosh Theatre Professor Jane Purse-Wiedenhoeft.
The play will be run April 23 through April 26 at 7:30 p.m. with an April 27, 2 p.m. matinee.
“During the Theban civil war, Antigone’s brothers fight on opposing sides and are killed,” the Theatre department’s website states, describing the more than 2000-year-old play. “King Creon decrees one brother’s body will remain on the battlefield, unburied and without holy rites. Antigone struggles whether to accept this law or courageously risk her life for the sake of family honor.”
Tickets for all UW Oshkosh Theatre performances can be purchased at the Theatre Box Office or online at www.uwosh.edu/theatre. Ticket prices are $13 for general admission, $10 for senior citizens or UW Oshkosh Alumni and $4 for UW Oshkosh Students with their student ID.
The box office is open the week of each production, Monday through Friday from Noon to 4 pm and in evenings of each performance from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. On performance Sundays, the box office opens one hour before show time.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published by UW Oshkosh in the February 2014 edition of Oshkosh Scene magazine.