Theatre announces 2012-13 season

From the exploration of gender roles in Virginia Woolf’s “Orlando,” to politically inspired dance compositions, this year's theatre season explores political issues that promise to engage the audience from several perspectives.

“As America prepares for the presidential election in November, our plays ask each of us to consider our place in the landscape of the political — demanding that we consider not only what we believe, but how and why we've come to those beliefs,” says theatre manager Andrew Toney.

“We invite you to join us for an exciting season that uses performance as a lens through which to examine the intersection of the personal and the political.”


Sept. 28 to Oct. 13, 2012

An English nobleman awakens one morning to discover he has become a woman. This is the premise of Virginia Woolf’s acclaimed, vaguely autobiographical novel, “Orlando.” Adapted by MacArthur Award-winning playwright Sarah Ruhl, “Orlando,” is funny and bittersweet, literate but highly accessible. It invites us to ask what we mean when we talk about identity, gender, poetry and love.

The play is showing Sept. 28 to Oct. 13, 2012, with a preview performance Sept. 27. Thursday through Saturday performances begin at 7:30 p.m., while 2 p.m. matinees are planned for Sept. 30 and Oct. 7.

The Dog & Pony Show (bring your own pony)

Oct. 19, 2012

Written and performed by Guggenheim recipient Holly Hughes and directed by Dan Hurlin, “The Dog & Pony Show (bring your own pony)” shows one time only at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19.

After several years as a professional lesbian, Hughes gives up preaching to the perverted to take a real job at a prestigious university — acquiring a small pack of dogs in the process. She discovers that as we age, the thin membrane between the animal and the human dissolves entirely.

A blend of autobiography, animal behavior and bald-face lies, the play is a poetic and comic mediation on the midlife crisis.

PeopleDance: Body Politic

Nov. 9–17, 2012

“PeopleDance: Body Politic” explores the belief that dance is a universal human activity and that any movement can hold significance. Through dance and performance, artistic director Matthew Nelson and Willamette students investigate the world of politics — showing its polarizing tendencies toward conflict on one hand and consensus-building on the other.

“PeopleDance: Body Politic” is showing Nov. 9–17, with a preview performance Nov. 8. Thursday through Saturday showings begin at 7:30 p.m., while 2 p.m. matinees are planned for Nov. 11 and 17.

Celebrating the Centennial of Women’s Suffrage in Oregon

Feb. 15–23, 2013

The battle for women’s voting rights in Oregon was hard-fought and hard-won, taking place in parlors, public squares and print media. In celebration of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in Oregon, WU Theatre is collaborating with the English Department to present a group-created original theatrical performance honoring this milestone.

Directed by Jonathan Cole, the play runs Feb. 15–23, with a preview showing Feb. 14. Thursday through Saturday performances begin at 7:30 p.m., while 2 p.m. matinees are scheduled for Feb. 17 and 23.

Measure for Measure

April 12–27, 2013

Written in 1604, “Measure for Measure,” is a play about government, corruption, justice and mercy. Duke Vincentio wants a break from governing Vienna, where the sex trade is running rife. So he calls on his deputy, Angelo, to take charge. Instead of leaving the city, though, the duke dons a disguise and spies on Angelo. At first, Angelo rules out brothels and clamps down on sex. But when he comes up against Isabella, the virtuous sister of the condemned Claudio, he falls foul of his own judgment — resulting in a spiraling series of deceptions, hypocrisy and scandal.

Directed by Susan Coromel, the play is showing April 12–27, with a preview performance April 11. Thursday through Saturday performances begin at 7:30 p.m., and 2 p.m. matinees are scheduled for April 14, 21 and 27.


With the exception of the one-night-only production of “The Dog & Pony Show (bring your own pony),” 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 $20 before Oct. 1, which includes a ticket for all four regular -season productions. Discounted rates are also available for groups of ten or more.
For more information, call 503-370-6222 or contact theatre manager Andrew Toney at