High hopes for this year’s theater

One of the best performances I’ve ever seen was a production of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, which took place in a shady grove inside a public park in St. Louis when I was 17. There were no real seats, just divisions of where people could and could not sit. Throughout the performance, the actors wandered in the crowd, and I remember Puck coming up behind me and spooning for a minute at one point while observing the action.

This intimate experience brought me an appreciation for theater that has only grown as I have as well, and with the shows that Xavier Theatre will be putting on this year, I can only imagine it will expand infinitely. While I haven’t seen any of the shows they’ll be performing this year, I have seen Xavier Theatre shows before and I have a feeling they will do an impressive job with each one.

The first show of the 2019-20 season is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, based on the 2003 novel by Mark Haddon. This is one of the plays that I am most excited for, simply because I love the quirkiness and kindness that appears in the book, and I cannot wait to see it come to life on the stage. The show will be running from Sept. 19-22 and was cast in May.

Chicago is next on the docket, running from Oct. 18-26, and the first musical of the season. This is one of those classic, famous plays that I feel as though everyone has heard of or seen, but I’m not the biggest fan of musicals so it’s slipped past me. However, I’m sure they’ll do an excellent job.

Xavier Theatre will be flipping back to a play for its next performance: The Wolves. This is a play about a high school girls soccer team and their experiences. It’s a rather new play, it premiered in 2016 and was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize, so I’m excited to see what they do with it. It runs from Nov. 15-23.

Last but not least for the fall semester will be Voices for Change on. Dec. 7 and again on May 2. While this isn’t quite a play in the typical sense, it has been a showcase of student works meant to contribute to the discussion of ongoing social and political events and is definitely an event of its own to attend.

Heathers: The Musical will be kicking off the spring semester from Jan. 31-Feb. 8. This musical is based on a 1988 movie and turned into theater in 2010, and it seems to be, according to my brief research, a typical musical exploring the darker sides of high school. Typically, Xavier has done well with this kind of show, so I have high hopes.

Shooter! is the second show in the spring and will be making its world premier on Feb. 27-March 1. Xavier has had several world premieres on campus, and they’ve all been excellent, so I am excited for this dark comedy that examines the possible future of a school shooter.

Following this world premier is The Vagina Monologues, a show that has had turbulence on college campuses but has been done here the last several years. This episodic piece will be performed April 3 and 4 and is definitely worth seeing for the discussions it evokes.

The final show of the year, with the exception of Voices for Change, will be Green Day’s American Idiot from April 17-25. This musical is based on the 2004 album by the classic punk band and is the show I am most excited for simply because Green Day was the first concert I ever went to, one year after this album came out.

As always, tickets can be bought in the Box Office in the basement of Gallagher Student Center or online at http://www.xavier.edu/theatretickets.

By Kevin Thomas | Editor-in-Chief

photo courtesy of Keegantheatre.com