Theatre department demonstrates its love of the stage with this season’s lineup

The theatre department has been involved in meetings for months getting ready to bring three different productions to the stage this fall semester.

“If you’ve never given NKU theater and dance a try, if you’ve never come out to one of our productions this is a great season to give us a try,” said Michael Hatton, assistant chair in the department of theatre and dance.

This season will feature three different genres to give audiences a good learning experience.


The Bacchae”

This is the first production of the semester, written by Euripides and will be directed by Sandra Forman, a theatre and dance faculty member.

“It is a Greek tragedy,” Forman said. “Euripides was considered one of the three great Greek tragedians. Sophocles, Aeschylus, and Euripides. He was considered the most modern. ”

The god Dionysus comes to Thebes incognito as a man and begins drawing women out to the woods to dance, which goes against city law and angers the young king Pentheus.

“What you have is a power struggle between god and man. Man who thinks he’s in charge,” Forman said.

“The Bacchae” works on so many different levels according to Forman.

“I tell the students in my classes just go back to the seven deadly sins. We haven’t changed as creatures in millions of years. Not just in our culture, but across cultures,” Forman said.

Hatton believes that this says a lot about humans that 2,500 years later the play is still produced.

“The whole core of the Bacchae is still going on the United States. This idea of religious freedom versus the state,” Hatton said.

Performing “The Bacchae” will also give Forman an opportunity to use some of the dancers from the expanding dance program.

Forman said casting will be the most difficult piece of this play.

“To find Dionysus — that’s going to be tricky,” said Forman. “He needs to be sensual, a little bit evil, a little bit dangerous, a little bit effeminate, fragile, but deceptive. A lot of characteristics and he’s a god.”

“The Bacchae” will run from September 25 through October 5 in Robert and Rosemary Stauss Theatre.


“The Wedding Singer”

Hatton said that the department considered a variety of rock style musicals were considered for NKU’s second production, including “Hairspray”. However, “The Wedding Singer” rose to the top because of its younger cast of characters, which he feels will be great for the students and the department.

“It’s funny as all get out, a little sexy, and it has a really beautiful heart to the show,” he said.

This play, adapted from the Adam Sandler/ Drew Barrymore romantic comedy and set in the 1980s, will be directed by Hatton.

There are several differences between the show and the musical, Hatton explained. He added that the audience gets to explore the personalities of several characters such as Glenn Gulia and Robbie’s grandmother. There is also a scene in the musical that was not in the film, which shows the characters travel to a Las Vegas chapel and are then surrounded by impersonators of Ronald and Nancy Reagan, Mr.T, and Tina Turner.

Hatton believes that NKU students will enjoy “The Wedding Singer” because of the cyclical nature of fashion and style. He added that college students today still love the music of the 1980s.

“It’s the Cyndi Lauper, it’s the Cher, it’s the Madonna, it’s The Cure, it’s Bon Jovi,”  Hatton said. “The music in the show really taps into that. So I think that’s why college audiences will have a lot of fun with it.”

Hatton said it will be fun to visit that decade since most freshmen were born around 1995.  So they see the 1980s through their parents or the media. The research process will include exploring the culture of the fashions, the political climate and the issues important to that society.

The biggest challenges will be the flow of the musical, said Hatton. There are a many location changes that happen during the course of the show, which all take place in a very limited amount of space on stage.

“The Wedding Singer” will start October 23 and run through November 2 in Corbett Theatre.


“Failure: A Love Story”

The third performance of the season will be a new play written by Philip Dawkins. Corrie Danieley, an assistant professor of theater who is starting her second year at NKU, is the director.

Danieley said she encountered the play through a friend, who was the artistic director at the Illinois Shakespeare Festival, which performed the play last summer. After reading the script Danieley decided to bring it to NKU.

“The rhythm of the language was really interesting. I haven’t seen that and there wasn’t a lot of rhyming,” said Danieley.

The story is set in the late 1920s in Chicago and follows a working class family of immigrants from the old country, said Danieley. The audience follows the journeys of three sisters as they grieve over the death of their parents and one-by-one all three fall in love and then die. Students can relate to the journeys of the three young women, who are all in their early twenties. As each one of the sisters die a young man falls in love with each, she added.

“The genre I would call it would be magical realism, kinda like the movie Big Fish,” said Danieley. “Where there are things that are in our reality, but there are magical kind of things.”

Danieley feels the show fits NKU’s theatre department because there are opportunities for actors to play multiple characters and play characters that aren’t well known.

“It’s a very charming show. It’s quirky, it’s odd, it’s fun, it’s loveable,” said Danieley. “And it’s a new piece so come out and see it. It’s only been produced once at Chicago and once at Illinois Shakespeare Festival.”

“Failure: A Love Story” will run November 20-23 and December 3-7 at Corbett Theatre.

For more details and information about upcoming performances you can visit