CARBONDALE – Prepare to take a trip back in time and discover that not much changed between the family lifestyles of the mid-1920s and a century later when “Hay Fever” arrived on stage at the early McLeod Theater. December.
The four-day production, December 2-5, features students from Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s School of Theater and Dance within the College of Arts and Media. Performances will take place at 7:30 p.m., December 2-4, with a matinee at 2:00 p.m. on December 5.
Tickets are available online at the SIU ticket office, in person at McLeod Theater ticket office or Banterra Center ticket office, or by calling 618-453-6000 or 877-725-8547.
SIU is committed to protecting the community, so all participants must keep up with the current campus and state pandemic security protocols and wear masks in shared interior spaces.
A quiet weekend gone wrong
Written in 1924 by English playwright Noël Coward, the story centers on a hoped-for quiet weekend for novelist David Bliss and his wife, Judith, a retired actress. Drama, misunderstandings, moods and hilarity ensue as the couple’s children, Simon and Sorel, also arrive with guests.
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Directing Coward’s play “has been a rewarding journey and experience,” said C. Rion Towery, an MFA graduate candidate in directing. Bringing the fast-paced wacky comedy to life in a way that resonates with audiences young and old today has been a challenge, he said.
“In light of the past two years and what we have all been through due to a global pandemic and the political climate, my vision for ‘Hay fever’ is one of unity,” he said. . “Like the Bliss family, we all participate in games, whether it’s with our immediate family, our friends, those we want to be friends with, or all of the above. My vision is not to divide people, but to try to bring people together by revealing that we all play games. Now more than ever, I think we could all laugh and laugh the hard way. “
Families that play together, stay together
The play “brings each of us to life on stage, to varying degrees, and it’s looking at our own life on stage that invites us, together, to laugh at ourselves,” Towery said.
The production is largely student-led, with the cast, crew, and designers being made up of graduate and undergraduate students. The set, costumes, props and almost everything the audience will see on stage were designed and built, in-house, by students of the theater and dance program, Towery said.
“It’s amazing to see what the students here at SIU are capable of, while also learning and developing in their areas of expertise,” Towery said. “I was fortunate to have an incredible team of young actors, designers and theater practitioners. It was an honor to collaborate with everyone involved in this production, and above all, to learn. Without the many hours of hard work, sweat and tears, shared both in the workshop and in rehearsal, this production would not be possible.