Larry Dooley, in his first year as chairman of the Columbus State University department of theater, has chosen, along with the theater faculty, a season that includes brand-new plays as well as classics like Anton Chehkov’s “Three Sisters.”
Among the big announcements Thursday night is the first summer season ever for the department.
One is “Blue’s Clues,” a popular show that was created for Nickelodeon. This show, "The Birthday Party," is aimed at nursery schools and day care center and will be seen in the morning, starting June 1.
The other is “Nunsense,” about the Little Sisters of Hoboken whose cook, Sister Julia, Child of God, has poisoned 52 of the nuns. They need money to bury the women, so they put on a variety show. It opens June 9.
“We decided to take the leap (to present the summer shows),” Dooley said. He said it will take about 30 student actors, technicians and faculty to have a successful summer season.
For the summer shows, because there is a skeleton crew at CSU, he may open up auditions for the community to take part. And if it is successful, Dooley hopes to hire guest artists next summer.
“We also need a name for it,” he said. All of the suggested names so far haven’t met his approval.
Dooley added one more show for the 2011-12 season so the number is up to seven.
“We don’t have any more faculty,” so adding more shows is not feasible at this time, he said.
The offerings include the winner of the Larry Corse International Playwriting Competition, “The Campaneras,” opening the season on Sept. 22. Written by Kathy Coudle King, it is based on the true stories of former political prisoners in Uruguay during that country’s “dirty war” of the 1970s.
Other titles include “Noises Off,” the British farce featuring slamming doors and a two-story revolving set and “Three Sisters,” about the young women bored in Russia, facing infidelity, fire, drunkeness and the drudgery of work.
Another new show, “Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom,” written by Jennifer Haley is about teenagers who are addicted to a horror video game that morphs into their actual neighborhood.
The students will tackle “Caroline, or Change,” the Tony-nominated musical about a Jewish household with a black maid in 1963 Lake Charles, La. The musical genres include blues, rock, gospel, R&B and soul.
The children’s series include “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,” “The Toys Take Over Christmas” and “How I Became a Pirate.”
Season tickets for Mainstage are $64-$72; $55 for the Pick 4; $15-$24 for the Family Series and $78-$96 for both the Mainstage and Family Series. They are on sale now.
Single tickets go on sale later this summer. They are $22 for musicals; $17 for dramas and comedies; $10 for family shows.
CSU signed an agreement with the W.C. Bradley Co. to allow theater patrons to park in its Front Avenue parking lot.
The Theater on the Park is at 6 W. 10th St.