Coe College offers classic humor, mystery in 2011-2012 theatre season

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Director of Marketing and Public Relations
(319) 399-8605 or

2011-07-20 12:53:12 - General

Everything from classic humor to mystery will be staged by the Coe College Department of Theatre Arts during the upcoming 2011-2012 season.  The offerings range from a modern play focusing on relationships and memory, to one of Shakespeare’s most humorous works revolving around love, to a musical whodunit based on the last novel of Charles Dickens.  Directed by Coe faculty members, the three main stage productions feature students in the casts.

Playgoers can also enjoy dinner at Clark Alumni House prior to select performances, complete with a pre-performance talk given by the directors.  An early bird discount will be given to those who book theatre and/or dinner-theatre tickets during July and August.

Coe theatre patrons can purchase individual play tickets now for $8, $6 for seniors and students.  After Sept. 1, tickets will be $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors.

The dinner-theatre option will be offered on Oct. 1 ("Old Times"), Nov. 18 ("Twelfth Night"), and March 23 ("Drood").  Dinner prices are $15 if booked now, and $20 if booked after Sept. 1.  For ticket information, call 399-8600, Monday – Friday, between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. (summer hours).

All productions are being presented in the Dows Theatre on the Coe campus.   Performances begin at 7:30 p.m., except for Sunday performances, which start at 2:30 p.m.  This year’s productions include:

"Old Times" - Sept. 30, Oct. 1, 2, 6, 7 and 8, written by Harold Pinter, directed by Coe Associate Professor of Theatre Arts Steven Marc Weiss.

Nobel Laureate Harold Pinter’s darkly humorous, poetically haunting play floats adrift in a sea of mystery as a woman’s husband and best friend engage one another in a fever-pitched competition to "possess" her soul.  A meditation on the impossibility of ever fully knowing the object of one’s desire, this deliciously witty piece plumbs psychological depths, where memory is as slippery and unreliable as present reality.

"Twelfth Night" or "What You Will" – Nov. 18, 19, 20 and December 1, 2, 3, written by William Shakespeare, directed by Coe Associate Professor of Theatre Arts Dennis Barnett.

One of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies, "Twelfth Night" celebrates the entanglements of romantic love at their most extreme.  Ostensibly taking place during the twelve days of Christmas, the spirit of misrule toils beneath of surface of this jocular masterpiece, the plot of which centers (as do many of Shakespeare’s comic plays) on the unfulfilled desires that develop due to mistaken identities.

"Drood" – March 23, 24, 25, 29, 30 and 31, written by Rupert Holmes, staged by Coe Associate Professor of Theatre Arts Dennis Barnett, musical direction by Coe Professor of Music William Carson, choreography by Carol Maxwell-Rezabek.

Based on "The Mystery of Edward Drood," the last literary work by Charles Dickens, "Drood" is a musical whodunit.  Because Dickens died before finishing his novel, the identity of which character he actually intended to have "dunnit" remains to this day a tangled web of mystery.  The action takes place in a Victorian music hall, where a troupe of actors from that era try to work it all out, with a little bit of assistance from their audience.

For more information, call 399-8600 or visit