Arts & Culture

2016-17 theater season to mark many firsts

The Theater League’s production of “Wicked” returns to Wichita for 11 performances in October.
The Theater League’s production of “Wicked” returns to Wichita for 11 performances in October. Courtesy photo

As Wichita’s 2016-17 theater season gears up, the good news is that the Forum Theatre is alive and well; it’s just in a new location – the third since its founding in 2012.

The Forum was launched in a repurposed 1920s church near Douglas and Hillside but moved to the Scottish Rite Center’s ornate 19th-century third-floor stage at First and Topeka when the old church was sold.

Now, the Forum will present its new season of five shows – including the world premiere of a new musical – in the 600-seat Mary Jane Teall Theater in Century II.

“We feel it is a better choice for us since our mission and long-term goal is to become a fully professional theater of regional significance,” says Kathryn Page Hauptman, founder and producing artistic director.

The Forum will stage the world premiere of “Christmas Letters.” Nick Demos, who produced “Memphis” on Broadway and in London, will direct the Wichita production.

Hauptman says the Forum also is expanding by relaunching the popular “Words and Music” series that explores the contributions of Broadway notables in intimate 90-minute concert format performed by four to six guest artists. She and composer/playwright Laura Bergquist began the series when both were with Stage One. Over the years, Hauptman says, she has had numerous requests to bring the series back and has scheduled three for this year.

Also new this year is the launch of a Fine Arts Series at Plymouth Congregational Church, which includes a musical directed by noted local actress Karen L. Robu, star of numerous Music Theatre Wichita shows (“Les Miserables,” “Gypsy”), who is now associate minister at the church.

And in a historic pairing, the Wichita Symphony and Music Theatre Wichita will join forces for a fully costumed, semi-staged concert version of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic “Carousel.”

Of the 65-plus plays and musicals scheduled by 15 different local theater groups, there are world premieres at the Forum Theatre (“Christmas Letters”), Guild Hall Players (“The Christians”), Wichita State University (“House Beautiful”) and Newman University (“Premature Burial” and “The Miracle of Father Kapaun,” about Wichita’s own saint-in-waiting).

There are a number of local premieres, such as Theater League’s seductive “Dirty Dancing” and the charmingly Irish “Once,” as well as the Forum’s bittersweet comedy “The Velocity of Autumn” about raging against aging.

And, of course, “Wicked” is defying gravity and coming back for an 11-performance run after seven years.

Here’s a look at what’s scheduled. As always, titles and dates could change.

Professional

Theater League

“Wicked” (Oct. 12-23) – Back for an extended 11-performance encore (last here in 2009) is Stephen Schwartz’s 2006 Tony Award-winning blockbuster about the “untold story of the witches of Oz before Dorothy ever arrived” through songs such as “Defying Gravity,” “I’m Not That Girl” and “(I Have Been Changed) for Good.”

“Broadway Christmas Wonderland” (Dec. 20-22) – Colorful costumes, gaudy sets, leggy dancers in a kick-line plus lots of music and comedy make up Broadway’s salute to the holiday season and all the traditions that make it special.

“Once” (March 21-23) – Premiere of 2012 Tony Award-winning best musical, based on lyrically romantic 2007 Irish film. It tells of a Dublin street musician about to give up on his dreams when a beautiful Czech immigrant takes an interest in his haunting songs.

“Dirty Dancing” (April 18-20) – Premiere of stage version of the 1987 Patrick Swayze/Jennifer Grey dancefest about a sexy dance instructor at a summer resort who draws a shy wallflower out of the shadows to go for her dreams with songs such as “Do You Love Me” and “(I’ve Had) the Time of My Life.”

“Stomp” (May 3-4) – Bonus show not part of season ticket is this back-by-popular-demand encore (after 2006 and 2009) of the rhythmically inventive British dance/percussion group that plays everything from brooms to plastic water bottles and buckets to hubcaps.

Details: Performances in Century II Concert Hall; shows at 7:30 p.m. Season tickets (four shows): $115-$285; call 800-776-7469. Individual show tickets: $44-$144; call WichitaTix at 316-219-4849. Discounts available. Information: www.theaterleague.com.

Roxy’s Downtown

“Reefer Madness” (Sept. 30-Oct. 29) – Raucous musical spoof based on the notorious 1936 cautionary tale about good kids falling into crazy, evil ways even after just one puff of marijuana.

“The Kyle & Monte Christmas Musical” (Nov. 11-Dec. 23) – Kyle Vespestad and Monte Wheeler, two longtime Wichita funny guys, are debuting a new edition of their wacky holiday show with music, pratfalls, original comedy bits, campy costumes, outrageous games and audience participation.

Details: Performances at 412½ E. Douglas); 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays. Tickets: Show only $25; holiday dinner/show $40 (doors open at 6:30 p.m., food service 6:30-7:30 p.m.). Call 316-265-4400.

Forum Theatre

▪ Main stage

“The Velocity of Autumn” (Oct. 13-23) – Premiere of Eric Coble’s 2014 Tony-nominated bittersweet comedy starring local veteran Gina Austin as a cantankerous 80-year-old artist fighting her family over where she lives out her final years. Broadway veteran and Wichitan Ray Wills plays her embattled son trying to reason her out of a barricaded stand-off.

“The Christmas Letters” (Nov. 17-Dec. 18) – World premiere of new comic musical by Laura Bergquist and Paul Cozby (directed by Broadway/London veteran Nick Demos) about the hilarious insanity of the holiday season, from arrival of the first card with bragging family letter to long-held family rivalries to desperate last-minute gift expeditions.

“Wait Until Dark” (Feb. 9-19) – Chicago guest star Shanna Berry stars in Frederick Knott’s 1966 white-knuckle thriller (filmed with Audrey Hepburn in 1967) about a blind woman in Greenwich Village terrorized in her own home by three criminals until she figures out how to turn the tables on them. Guaranteed jump-and-scream moments.

“Life Could Be a Dream” (March 30-April 2) – Roger Bean’s award-winning 2009 jukebox musical is a doo-wop celebration that follows the comic antics of a male quartet being whipped into shape for a big radio contest. Among the more than 20 vintage 1960s hits are “Fools Fall in Love,” “Heartaches,” “The Great Pretender” and, of course, “Life Could Be a Dream (Sh-Boom).”

“Boeing-Boeing” (April 20-23) – Marc Camoletti’s 1962 long-running French farce is about a bachelor successfully juggling relationships with three beautiful stewardesses simultaneously because none are in town at the same time – until a naive buddy comes to visit and Boeing speeds up its schedule, leading to romantic chaos.

Details: Performances at Mary Jane Teall Theater in Century II; shows at 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Season tickets (five shows) begin at $85. Individual show tickets: $23 Thursdays (special $15 preview night) and Sundays, $25 Fridays and Saturdays. Call 316-618-0444. Information: www.forumwichita.com

Forum Theatre’s Words and Music Series

“The King of Broadway: Mel Brooks” (Sept. 17-18) – Celebration of satirical songs and comedy sketches from the multi-award-winning farceur behind “The Producers,” “Young Frankenstein,” “High Anxiety” and “Blazing Saddles.” Starring are Ray Wills (veteran of “The Producers” on Broadway), Kim Duggar, Ted Dvorak and Sarah Gale McQuery.

“Women Songwriters in Theatre” (Jan. 14-16) – Guest singers will perform from such female-created shows as “Fun Home,” “The Color Purple,” “The Secret Garden” and Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5.”

“Irving Berlin: The Heart of the American Spirit” (May 20-21) – Considered America’s greatest songwriter, Berlin is credited with at least 1,500 tunes over his 60-year career, such as “Alexander’s Ragtime Band,” “God Bless America,” “White Christmas,” “Blue Skies,” and “There’s No Business Like Show Business.”

Details: Performances in Wilke Family Life Center in First United Methodist Church, 330 N. Broadway (entrance near Third and Topeka). Shows at 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Season tickets (three shows): $48. Individual tickets: $20. Call 316-618-0444. Information: www.forumwichita.com

Wichita Symphony/Music Theatre Wichita

“Carousel: A Concert” (Feb. 11) – Joining forces for the first time, the Wichita Symphony Orchestra provides the accompaniment and the backdrop for a fully-costumed, semi-staged version of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s romance between a swaggering carnival barker and a naive Maine millworker in “Carousel” by Music Theatre Wichita. Songs from this 1945 classic include “If I Loved You,” “June Is Bustin’ Out All Over” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

Details: Performance at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Century II Concert Hall, 225 W. Douglas. Tickets: $41-$75; call 316-267-7658

Dinner Theater

Mosley Street Melodrama

“Frank N. Stein, or Another Creature Feature” (through Oct. 29) – Halloween antics in an original melodrama script by Thom Rosenberg, Bob Jennings and Tom Frye

“The Doyle and Debbie Show” (11:15 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday through Sept. 18) –Kansas premiere of raunchy musical spoof that’s been running for a decade in Nashville about a fading country star trying for a comeback with a new young partner. Special show of ExLeading Man Productions. Tickets: $18.60.

“Holidays of Our Lives” (Nov. 10-Dec. 30) – Local media personality Carol Hughes pens another of her holiday melodramas, this one spoofing the season with soap opera flair.

Details: Performances at 234 N. Mosley in Old Town; shows at 7:50 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays (doors open at 6 p.m., dinner 6:15-7:30 p.m.). From Nov. 25-Dec. 23, shows at 7:50 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays and 6:50 p.m. Sundays (doors opens at 5 p.m., dinner 5:15-6:30) plus 1:50 p.m. Saturday matinee (doors open at noon, buffet 12:15-1:30 p.m.). Season tickets (six shows): $156, $132 ages 60-plus and under 12. Individual show tickets: Dinner/show, $30 adults, $26 ages 60-plus and under 12. Show only: $20 all ages. Call 316-263-0222. Information: www.mosleystreet.com

Prairie Pines Playhouse

“Murder Most Fowl, or Yule Get Run Over by a Reindeer” (Nov. 18-Dec. 23) – Murder mystery spoof following the adventures of eccentric Detective Philip Cogumbo as he tries to find out who iced mob kingpin Don Vito Cacciatore while he was dining out with his beautiful moll, Ginger Teriyaki – especially since everybody in the restaurant has a motive.

Details: Performances Thursday-Sunday through Dec. 23 (also Monday-Tuesday Dec. 10-20), 4055 N. Tyler Road. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. for cider and browsing in Old Barn Christmas Shop; show at 8 p.m. Catered three-course dinner during show (salad before Act I, entree after Act I, dessert after Act II). Tickets: $32.95-$33.95. Call 316-303-2037.

Non-equity

Wichita Community Theatre

“12 Angry Men” (through Sept. 18) – Adapted by Reginald Rose from his 1954 CBS original teleplay about deliberations behind closed doors of a jury room, this intense 2004 Broadway version reveals each juror’s personal reasoning and deep-seated biases in deciding whether a young man murdered his father.

“Blithe Spirit” (Oct. 19-30) – Noel Coward’s witty 1941 comedy concerns a socialite novelist who hires an eccentric medium to gather material for a book about ghosts, only to summon up the annoyed spirit of his deceased first wife, who bedevils him and his clueless second wife, who cannot see or hear the ghost.

“You Can’t Take It With You” (Nov. 25-Dec. 11) – Pulitzer Prize-winning 1936 farce from George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart about a girl who loves her large, eccentric family but who wants them to act “normal” around her fiance and his straight-laced parents.

“The Explorers Club” (Jan. 25-Feb. 5) – Nell Benjamin’s 2013 satirical romp about what happens to the eccentric all-male bastion of the London Explorers Club when a smart, capable woman is put up for membership in 1879 because she discovered a lost ancient city.

“Good People” (March 8-19) – Nominated for the 2011 best play Tony Award, David Lindsay-Abaire’s look at poverty and responsibility concerns a middle-aged, single mom in a blue-collar Boston neighborhood, newly fired from her minimum-wage job, who tries to cozy up to a now-successful former boyfriend to find a new start by claiming he is the father of her special-needs daughter.

“Fortinbras” (April 19-30) – Lee Blessing’s 1991 drama follows Fortinbras, who enters during the last scene of “Hamlet,” as he tries to figure out the best way to justify his ascension to the Danish throne after the gruesome tragedies. “Hamlet” characters, from a vampish Ophelia to repentant Queen Gertrude, return as ghosts skeptical of his qualifications to be leader.

Details: Performances at 258 N. Fountain; shows at 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $14 adults, $12 seniors/military/students (special $10 tickets on opening nights). Call 316-686-1282.

Guild Hall Players

“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” (Nov. 3-6) – Tennessee Williams’ 1955 Pulitzer Prize-winning classic about a Southern family forced to face their most painful secrets.

“The Christians” (Feb. 9-12) – Wichita premiere of Lucas Hnah’s award-winning new Off-Broadway play about a pastor going through a spiritual crisis.

“33 Variations” (April 20-23) – Moises Kaufmann’s drama about a music scholar exploring the mystery surrounding the creation of one of Beethoven’s last masterpieces, featuring a live performance of that piano classic.

Musical premiere (Aug. 3-6, 2017) – Wichita premiere of a recent Broadway musical.

Details: Performances in St. James Episcopal Church, 3750 E. Douglas; shows at 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $12 adults, $10 students/military. Call 316-683-5686. Information: www.stjameswichita.org

WSR Signature Theatre

“The Rocky Horror Show” (Oct. 21-31) – Richard O’Brien’s 1973 campy, cult musical send-up of 1950s horror movies, starring mad scientist Dr. Frank N. Furter, who builds his own monster with the help of outer space aliens doing “The Time Warp.”

“Oliver!” (Nov. 25-Dec. 4) – Lionel Bart’s 1960 lavish musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ tale about pickpocket urchins in 19th-century London, with such songs as “Food, Glorious Food,” “As Long as He Needs Me” and “It’s a Fine Life.”

“A Man of No Importance” (Feb. 17-19) – 2002 musical adaptation of 1994 film about an amateur Dublin theatrical troupe and their stubborn leader who are determined to put on a production of “Salome” in their church despite clergy protests.

Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” (March 31-April 2) – Shakespeare’s classic tragedy, written early in his career, tells of star-crossed teen lovers whose deaths ultimately resolve the feud between their families in 16th-century Italy.

“1776” (July 3-4) – Sherman Edwards’ rousing 1969 musical about the Founding Fathers laboring over the Declaration of Independence has become a long-running annual July 4 tradition for Signature Theatre.

Details: Performances in Scottish Rite Auditorium, 332 E. First. Shows at 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $10-$18 with discounts for seniors, military and students; available at the door (no reservations). Information: 316-644-7018.

Plymouth Fine Arts

“A Little Princess” (March 30-31 and April 1) – Musical about a young girl’s resilience and the power of imagination to change the world, based on classic Victorian novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

Details: Performances in Plymouth Congregational Church, 202 N. Clifton. Shows at 7:30 p.m. following dinner at 6 p.m. Tickets: $30 dinner and show; $15 show only. Call 316-684-0221. Info: www.plymouth-church.net

Kechi Playhouse

“Moon Over the Brewery” (through Sept. 25) – Bruce Graham’s touching, gently humorous coming-of-age tale of a precocious teen girl with an imaginary friend in a dreary coal-mining town whose single mom, an eccentric artist who paints at night with help from a miner’s helmet light, tries to find a man to be the anchor of their lives and comes up with an unlikely choice.

“Proof” (Sept. 30-Oct. 23) – David Auburn’s 2000 drama, which won both the Tony as best play and a Pulitzer Prize, revolves around the daughter of a recently-deceased mathematical genius with mental problems who finds herself in fear of following in her father’s dark footsteps when his graduate assistant discovers a game-changing proof about prime numbers among the old man’s papers.

Details: Performances at 100 E. Kechi Road, Kechi. Shows at 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $13 Friday-Saturday, $12 Sunday matinee. Call 316-744-2152.

Children’s Theatre

Music Theatre for Young People

“The Addams Family” (Oct. 7-9) – Based on the delightfully macabre family of ghouls created by cartoonist Chas. Addams, this 2010 musical comedy from Andrew Lippa tells of daughter Wednesday trying to get her eccentric clan to behave around her new “normal” boyfriend and his prissy parents.

“A Christmas Carol” (Dec. 9-11) – Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken’s 1994 musical version of Charles Dickens’ beloved tale about the miserly Scrooge learning to appreciate the holiday spirit has been an annual tradition in New York City before being filmed for TV and now made available to other theaters.

“Honk!” (March 3-5) – Winner of the 2000 Olivier Award as best British musical is this adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Ugly Duckling” about an awkward young swan losing his family and trying to find his true destiny. The original cast album was recorded by Music Theatre Wichita.

“Annie” (April 28-30) – Tony Award winner for best musical, this classic 1977 tale follows Harold Gray’s beloved Little Orphan Annie character, her dog Sandy and her benefactor Daddy Warbucks with songs such as “It’s a Hard Knock Life” and “Tomorrow.”

Details: Performances in Mary Jane Teall Theater in Century II, 225 W. Douglas; shows at 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Season tickets: $48 (four shows); individual shows, $12 adults in advance and $15 at the door, $10 students both in advance or at door; at WichitaTix at 316-219-4849 or www.wichitatix.com Info: www.mtypks.org

Wichita Children’s Theatre & Dance Center

▪ Main stage

“Madagascar: A Musical Adventure” (Oct. 7-8; WCT&DC) – Based on the 2005 DreamWorks’ animated movie, this musical romp follows the adventures of Alex the lion, Marty the zebra, Melman the giraffe and Gloria the hippo when they find themselves outside their Central Park Zoo home.

“The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” (Dec. 6-11; Mark Art Center) – A long-running annual tradition, this 1971 tale from Barbara Richardson tells of six rambunctious kids who perform a nontraditional church pageant and give new meaning to the holiday season.

“You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” (March 31-April 1; Mark Art Center) – Clark Gesner’s 1967 musical brings to life Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Snoopy and all their friends from “Peanuts” comic strip created by Charles M. Schulz with songs such as “Suppertime” and “Happiness.”

Details: Recommended for ages 5 and up. Performances at WCT&DC, 201 Lulu, or Mark Art Center, formerly Wichita Center for the Arts, 9112 E. Central; call for show times. Tickets: $7; special pizza shows, $8.50 (group discounts available). Call 316-262-2282. Information: www.wctdc.com

Heather Muller Black Box

“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” (Nov. 18-20) – William Finn’s delightful 2005 musical follows six precocious – make that quirky – adolescents as they compete in an annual spelling bee.

“Little Women” (Jan. 6-7; Roxy’s Downtown, 412½ E. Douglas; tickets: $15-25) – Louisa May Alcott’s beloved story about four Massachusetts sisters pulling together while their father is fighting in the Civil War is given a 2005 musical version. This is an encore of WCT&DC’s 2013 production for a special fundraiser.

“Can You Hear the People Sing” (July 27-30) – Original musical revue of soul-stirring songs from yesterday and today.

Details: Performances in Black Box Theatre, 201 Lulu (unless noted); shows at 7 p.m. Friday, 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $9; premium, $13 (group discounts available). Call 316-262-2282. Information: www.wctdc.com

Children’s Theatre’s Once Upon a Time Series

“Alice in Wonderland” (Oct. 12-15) – When Alice gets bored with her lessons, she follows a magical white rabbit down his rabbit hole into a wacky alternate world in this faithful adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s satirical classic.

“Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells!” (Nov. 30-Dec. 3, Dec. 16-17) – Barbara Parks’ children’s series about an opinionated, thoroughly independent young girl comes to life in this holiday tale about Junie B. becoming the secret Santa for her rival, Tattletale May.

“Goldilocks and the Three Bears” (Jan. 25-28) – Kevin Reese’s adaptation of the familiar fairy tale has a klutzy Goldilocks stumbling into the bears’ warm cottage and creating havoc. It’s a question of who is more surprised, her or them?

“The Stinky Cheese Man” (March 1-4) – It’s a bunch of fractured fairy tales as familiar characters produce preposterous vignettes, such as “Cinderumplestiltskin, or the Girl Who Really Blew It,” “The Other Frog Prince” and “The Really Ugly Duckling.”

“The Three Billy Goats Gruff” (April 5-8) – Kevin Reese gives a new spin to an old tale about three goats trying to cross a bridge to get to a lush meadow who are stopped by a grumpy troll in need of a friend.

Details: Performed by WCT&DC’s adult company for ages 2-8 with audience participation. Performances at 201 Lulu; call for show times. Tickets: $7; special pizza shows, $8.50 (group discounts available). Call 316-262-2282. Information: www.wctdc.com

University

Wichita State

▪ Main stage

“Beatrice & Benedict” (Oct. 13-16; Miller Concert Hall) – To celebrate Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary, Berlioz’s comic opera version of his “Much Ado About Nothing” will be sung in French, but dialogue will be in Shakespearean English.

“Company” (Nov. 3-5) – Stephen Sondheim’s 1970 masterpiece ushered in the new Broadway era with this compelling and complex look at modern relationships through bachelor Bobby and his circle of married friends. Landmark songs include “Ladies Who Lunch” and “Being Alive.”

“Other Desert Cities” (Dec. 1-4) – Jon Robin Baitz’s stinging drama involves a writer coming home to spend the holidays with her family for the first time in six years and warning them she is about to publish a memoir dredging up a tragic event all of them want to forget.

“La Clemenza di Tito” (March 16-19; Miller Concert Hall) – Mozart’s final opera is based on events in the life of Roman Emperor Titus, including jealousy, political intrigues, betrayed friendships and power struggles leading to the pardoning of an assassin.

“Sister Act” (April 27-30) – Based on Whoopi Goldberg’s 1992 film about a woman hiding from mobsters by pretending to be a nun, this Alan Menkin/Glenn Slater musical is a rousing, feel-good mix of disco and gospel about the power of friendship.

Details: Performances in Wilner Auditorium on WSU campus (unless noted); shows at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets for musicals: $16, $14 faculty/seniors/military, $6 non-WSU students, WSU students free. Tickets for nonmusicals: $10, $8 faculty/seniors/military, $6 non-WSU students, WSU students free. Call 316-978-3233.

▪ Second stage

“Two Rooms” (Sept. 28-Oct. 2) – Lee Blessing’s provocative, compelling and harrowing drama about an innocent hostage held by terrorists takes place in two rooms: one with the hostage and his tormentors and one where his family awaits.

“House Beautiful” (Feb. 15-19) – Winner of WSU’s scriptwriting competition, Liz Maestri’s drama explores the “silent, sanitized pain of dying in America” as a daughter and granddaughter prepare for their loved one’s end only to be confronted by an ominous stranger.

Details: Performances in Welsbacher Theatre in Hughes Metropolitan Complex, 29th and Oliver. Shows at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday (unless noted). Tickets: $10, $8 seniors/military, $6 students. Call 316-978-3233.

Newman University

“Triumph of Love” (Oct. 6-9; DeMattias) – An anachronistic adaptation of the classic Marivaux comedy of the same name, this musical is full of delicious deception, gender confusions and all the complexities of l’amour.

“Premature Burial” (Nov. 10-13; Jabara) – World premiere of a new work by Mark Taylor Mannette, Newman’s director of theater.

“The Miracle of Father Kapaun” (Feb. 16-19; DeMattias) – World premiere by Wichitan Anne Welsbacher about the Kansas priest from Pilsen who served during World War II and Korea and is now being considered for sainthood by the Catholic Church.

William Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” (April 6-9; Jabara) – The Bard’s pastoral comedy follows Rosalind, a young woman who flees persecution in her uncle’s court, and her cousin Celia as they try to find happiness in the Forest of Arden among a variety of eccentric and memorable characters.

Details: Performances at 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday in DeMattias Performance Hall or Jabara Theatre. Tickets at DeMattias: $12 adults, $10 seniors/military, $5 students. Tickets at Jabara: $10 adults, $8 seniors/military/faculty, $5 students, free for Newman students.

Friends University

“You Can’t Take It With You” (Sept. 29-Oct. 2; tickets: $11, $9 seniors/students) – Pulitzer Prize-winning 1936 farce from George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart about a girl who loves her large, eccentric family but who wants them to act “normal” around her fiance and his straight-laced parents.

“Screwtape Re-Wired” (March 16-19; tickets: $16, $13 seniors/students) – Gillette Elvgren’s 2014 satire is a 21st-century response to C.S. Lewis’ tongue-in-cheek theological classic “The Screwtape Letters,” about a low-level bureaucratic demon trying to understand temptation.

Details: Performances in Sebits Auditorium on the Friends campus. Shows at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Call 316-295-5677.

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