Theatre announces 2013-14 season

by University Communications,

The 2013–14 Willamette University theatre season consists of six productions, each of which features rich storytelling and an investigation of the imagination.

“This year, moments of individual choice celebrate life and protest the injustices of death,” says theatre manager Andrew Toney.

“We explore the world of fantasy and the certitude of reality, and no matter where the journey leads, our imaginings become are world. These are the diverse themes of this year’s season.”

The Conference of the Birds

Sept. 27 to Oct. 12, 2013

A theatrical adventure soars in this poignant 12th-century Persian fable about the search for the divine, based on the poem by Farid Uddi and adapted for the stage by Jean-Claude Carriére and Peter Brook.

The New York Times says “The play is a flying carpet gliding us aloft into a land of mystery, splendor and ritual.” Joining Willamette’s faculty are several guest artists, including guest director Shana Cooper ’99, scene designer Alan Schwanke, choreographer Jessica Wallenfels and sound designer Sharath Patel.

The play is showing Sept. 27 through Oct. 12, 2013, with a preview performance Sept. 26. Thursday through Saturday performances begin at 7:30 p.m., while 2 p.m. matinees are planned for Sept. 29, Oct. 6 and Oct. 12.

Hold These Truths – Featuring Joel de la Fuente

Oct. 25, 2013

Written by Jeanne Sakata and directed by Lisa Rothe, “Hold These Truths” shows one time only at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25.

During World War II in Seattle, University of Washington student Gordon Hirabayashi fights the U.S. government’s orders to forcibly remove and mass incarcerate all people of Japanese ancestry on the West Coast.

As he struggles to reconcile his country’s betrayal with his passionate belief in the U.S. Constitution, Gordon begins a 50-year journey toward greater understanding of America’s triumphs — and a confrontation with its failures.

President Obama posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Gordon Hirabayashi in April 2012.

Beginnings: A Dance Concert

Nov. 15–23, 2013

Willamette University Theatre presents an evening of dance, incorporating a wide spectrum of movement styles and original choreography by faculty, guest choreographers and students.

The concert artistic director is Jessi Fouts, last seen as a principle dancer in “PeopleDance: Stadium” and “People Dance: Body Politic.” The choreographers are Annie Joslin from Salem’s American Ballet Academy and Michele Ainza of Portland’s Conduit Dance, Inc.

“Beginnings: A Dance Concert” is showing Nov. 15–23, with a preview performance Nov. 14. Thursday through Saturday showings begin at 7:30 p.m., while 2 p.m. matinees are planned for Nov. 17 and 23.


Feb. 14 to March 1, 2014

David Auburn’s Pulitzer Prize winning play, “Proof,” is an emotional coming-of-age story, directed by professor Susan Coromel and featuring guest artist Thomas Nabhan.

By the eve of her 25th birthday, Catherine, a troubled young woman, has spent years caring for her brilliant but unstable father, a famous mathematician. Following his death, she must deal with her own volatile emotions, the arrival of her estranged sister, and the attentions of Hal, a former student of her fathers’ who hopes to find valuable work in the 103 notebooks her father left behind.

During the long weekend that follows, a burgeoning romance and the discovery of a mysterious notebook draw Catherine into the most difficult problem of all: How much of her father’s madness — or genius — did she inherit?

The play runs Feb. 14 to March 1, with a preview showing Feb. 13. Thursday through Saturday performances begin at 7:30 p.m., while 2 p.m. matinees are scheduled for Feb. 16, Feb. 23 and March 1.

The Marriage of Figaro

Co-Produced by the Department of Music

March 6–9, 2014

The Theatre Department and the Music Department’s Dramatic Vocal Arts program join forces to present “The Marriage of Figaro.”

Get caught up in this highly energetic tale of deceptions and counter-deceptions — all scored to Mozart’s exquisite music. Set in Spain, this continuation of the plot of “The Barber of Seville” focuses on the debauchery that unfolds during a single “day of madness” in the grand folly of aristocratic courtship.

Directed by Allison Swensen-Mitchell, the opera is showing March 6–9. Thursday through Saturday performances begin at 7 p.m., and a 3 p.m. matinee is scheduled for March 9.

The Trojan Women

April 11–26, 2014

Concluding the season is one of the greatest tragedies of all time: “The Trojan Women” by Euripides. In the aftermath of the Trojan War, the women of the ruined nation of Troy are left behind to await their punishment.

Written in 415 BCE to publicly protest the Peloponnesian War, this play looks beyond social justice, nationalism and patriotism to consider the realities and cruelties of war. This aggressive, hard-hitting, movement-based production will force audiences to wipe the dirt from their eyes as they look beyond despair to find humanity.

Directed by associate professor Jonathan Cole, the play is showing April 11–26, with a preview performance April 10. Thursday through Saturday performances begin at 7:30 p.m., and 2 p.m. matinees are scheduled for April 13, 20 and 26.


General-admission tickets for the preview of each performance are $8, as are all tickets for students and seniors for any show. Matinees are $10 and evening performances are $12.

This year, Willamette Theatre will offer a special season-ticket package for only $35 before Oct. 1, which includes a ticket for all six productions running September through April. Discounted rates are also available for groups of ten or more.

For more information, call 503-370-6221 or email Tickets are also available at Travel Salem, 181 High Street NE, Salem, OR 97301, 503-581-4325.