2016-17 Baylor Theatre productions

Baylor Theatre gears up for their 2016-17 productions

Baylor Theatre has a very unique year coming up. Students can look forward to seeing some classic plays that are making their way to the Baylor stage for the first time this year.
“Fiddler on the Roof” is a classic musical that’s being performed for the first time at Baylor Theatre. The play’s setting is in Czarist Russia at the time of a political upheaval while the town is changing their social morals to believe that the Jewish settlement is lesser. It centers on the idea of being an alien in your own land. Viewers can expect to see the joys and tragedies that happen in this small Jewish settlement, particularly following one family: Tevye and his five daughters.
“I’s just had a revival on Broadway that got great reviews and was nominated for a Tony, so it’s had this nice resurgence, so for our audiences, it will be the first time we’ve done it even though it’s a classic musical,” said Lisa Denman, senior lecturer and undergraduate program director.
“Fiddler on the Roof” will be held in Baylor’s Jones Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 28 – Oct. 1, Oct. 5 – 8 and at 2 p.m. Oct. 2 and Oct. 9.
Chosen and directed by graduate student Laura Nicholas for her senior thesis, “An Experiment with an Air Pump” is based on the famous painting “An Experiment on a bird in the Air Pump.” The painting shows a group of people huddled around a candle waiting to hear the results from a scientific experiment. The play shows how science and ethics clash but can also work in harmony sometimes.
“Experiment with an Air Pump” shows a suspenseful journey through two decades, both connected by the same shadowy house and the Fenwick family. It will be interesting to see the two time periods unfolding on stage.
“One of the unique things about it is that the plan calls for you to recreate the painting on stage. And so at one point if you work it right people will actually be able to see the painting coming to life,” Denman said.
“Experiment with an Air Pump” will be showing in the Jones Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 8 – Nov. 12 and at 2 p.m. Nov. 12 and 13.
“Dancing at Laughnasa” is a memory play narrated by a boy from Ballybeg, Ireland, who was brought up by his mother and his aunt in an all-female household. It shows a lot of the memories of the sweetness and nostalgia of 1936 and his childhood.
“It has this really lovely poetic language without being poetry, and I really liked that the sound of the words is so nice and pleasing just even in reading it. It’s just really lovely and put together language…” director Heidi Breeden said.
“In many cases, with contemporary plays, we have very plain language, and then you’re trying to add to it with all of the production values, but I feel like with this, we get to work with the script and just do what Brian Friel [the writer] has already given us.”
On top of the poetic language, performers also have task of speaking in an Irish accent.
“This big challenge on that one is going to be accents… we actually just got back from Europe and took 22 students with us on a study abroad trip, and one of the things we did was we had a workshop at the Lir academy in Dublin where we all worked on our Irish accents. So hopefully some of those students get cast, and if they don’t, then there will be a lot of people in the department who just had that workshop,” Denman said.
“Dancing at Laughnasa” will be held in the Mabee Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 31 – Feb. 4 and at 2 p.m. Feb. 4 and 5.
“The Amish Project” is based on the 2006 shootings of 10 Amish school girls ages 6-13 in a one-room school house in Pennsylvania. “The Amish Project” focuses on the horrors of the shootings, and the unbelievable forgiveness that came out of it from the Amish community. It also explores the path taken to forgiveness and the amazing kindness and grace surrounding such a tragic event.
“I think whenever you’re dealing with really emotional content that’s it always difficult, but I think the students will find it really satisfying and rewarding to be working with that material,” Denman said.
“The Amish Project” will be held in Mabee Theatre at 7:30 p.m. March 21 – 25 and at 2 p.m. March 25 and 26.
“Noises Off” leaves the season on a comical note and has been voted the best farce of them all.
“Noises Off” is a play within a play that will be over-the-top, bigger-than-life acting based around the theater. The performance shows a group of actors during their rehearsal of a play and the hundreds of things that can go wrong. The audience will finally get to have a look behind the scenes to see what can go wrong during a performance.
“I honestly think it’s one of the funniest plays ever written,” Denman said.
“Noises Off” will be held in Jones Theatre at 7:30 April 25 – 29 and at 2 p.m. April 29 and 30.
Tickets can be purchased as a bundle at the beginning of the season for $75, which includes special event invitations, patron receptions advanced, the best seats and exclusive exchange privileges. You can also choose the seat, day and time. Individual tickets will go on sale two weeks before the performance and cost $20 general admission or $17 for students with a valid Baylor ID. Group tickets as well can be ordered for $17 each for a group of 10 or more, or $10 each for educational groups of 10 or more. Tickets can be ordered over the phone at 254-710-1865, online or in person at the Hooper-Schaefer fine art center on campus.