2013-14 theatre lineup offers a taste of it all

As the end of the school year quickly approaches, the theatre department has wasted no time in releasing their season schedule for the next. An array of plays including “Moby Dick Rehearsed,” “South Pacific,” “As You Like It,” “Arabian Nights,” “My Name Is Alice” and “Monty Python’s Spamalot” are all included in the 2013-14 lineup.

This accumulation of different genres are all carefully picked with input from faculty and students alike, who welcome play ideas.

“This year we have a list of what kind of shows we are looking for, which narrows it down a lot,” said Ken Jones, chair of the NKU Department of Theatre and Dance. “Then we ask the faculty what kind of shows they think [would be good], we ask the students…Then I have to sit down as a producer with my assistant chair, and we figure out which shows would make money.”

With a season incorporating a number of well-known plays, books and movies, there is bound to be a show for every student to enjoy.

“I’m most excited to see ‘Moby Dick Rehearsed’ because I’m interested to see how they will portray the scenes within the play,” said creative writing major Christian Barrix. “It’s a classic within the steampunk genre and I’d love to see it.”


Moby Dick Rehearsed

Showing: 9/26- 10/6
This “non-realistic drama,” according to Jones, is an avant-garde approach to the classic story of Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick.” The “play within a play” showcases a theater crew who become bored when rehearsing for their Shakespeare play. When one of the actors opens and starts reading “Moby-Dick,” the entire crew joins him in a creative spur-of-the-moment production where the curtains on the stage become sails, a ladder becomes a mast and the audience becomes the whale they hunt.


South Pacific

Showing:  10/24- 11/3
“South Pacific,” a musical that has recently seen a revival on Broadway, is about two love stories set on an island during World War II, where the characters must choose happiness over their previous prejudices.

“One of our alumni [Tripp Hampton] was in ‘South Pacific,’ the Broadway tour,” Jones said.  “Knock on wood, I’m trying to get him to come back to maybe think about choreographing it.”


My Name is Alice

Showing:  3/20- 3/30
Winner of the Outer Critics’ Circle Award for best musical, “My Name is Alice” is an all-female cast where friends, rivals and sisters are all present.

“This is a smaller musical about the relationships between these women,” Jones said.


As You Like It

Showing:  11/21- 11/24 and 12/4- 12/8
NKU will be showcasing “As You Like It,” which Jones described as, “classic Elizabethan Shakespeare.” This rendition will stay true to the Shakespeare comedy, but will include musical scores written to some lyrics from Shakespeare’s time. In this play, a banished duke’s daughter, Rosalind, switches genders in a quest that produces life lessons and ultimately leads her to her love.


Arabian Nights

Showing:  2/13- 2/23
Based on the collection of Middle Eastern folk tales, “Arabian Nights,” this play is a collection of short stories featuring characters such as the genie in the lamp, Aladdin and the seven thieves.

“It’s a modern play that has taken the stories and linked them together with dance and storytelling,” Jones said. “It is very avant-garde, surrealistic and loaded with dance. It’s a very dance and fluid show.”

The storytelling is by no means straightforward, but extremely dynamic, experimental and nontraditional, incorporating many lighting effects and beautiful costumes, Jones said.


Monty Python’s Spamalot

Showing:  4/17- 4/27
This show, which came out on Broadway in 2005, is based on the movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” This show incorporates some dance, but mostly consists of music and comedy as the legend of King Arthur and his knights of the round table is retold, according to Jones.

“They just released the rights because the national Broadway tour just ended,” Jones said. “We are one of the first people to get [“Monty Python’s Spamalot”] in the region.” Jones said he hasn’t heard of anyone doing “Spamalot” in the Cincinnati area.