Popular musical, contemporary issues featured in 2016-17 Coe theatre season

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Secretary of the College
(319) 399-8605 or rpritcha@coe.edu

2016-08-11 08:26:14 - General

The upcoming Coe College theatre season includes a popular musical featuring familiar comic strip characters and two dramatic plays that address contemporary issues. "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown" features well-known personalities, with updated arrangements and new songs. "Whose Life is it Anyway" examines life and death with dignity in an entertaining way, while "A Bright Room Called Day" addresses issues that mirror contemporary American politics. All three main-stage productions will feature all-student casts.

Tickets for the general public are $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors ($12 and $10 for "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown"). Tickets may be purchased online at coe.edu/boxoffice or by calling the Cox Box Office at 399-8600, Monday-Friday, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. (summer hours).

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

"Whose Life is it Anyway" – Oct. 28, 29 and 30; Nov. 3, 4 and 5, written by Brian Clark, directed by Steven Marc Weiss.

Claire Harrison, a sculptor, has suffered a ruptured spinal column in a severe car accident and is now paralyzed from the neck down with no hope of recovery. Once out of harm, she views her situation as a choice between accepting perpetual life support or dying with dignity, and she quite lucidly prepares to let go of life. But the hospital staff will not comply with her desire to be removed from medical treatment. Infused with a surprising amount of humor, this entertaining play nevertheless grapples with the ultimate serious dilemma—what can I do when the quality of my own life becomes untenable?

"You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown" – Feb. 3, 4, 5, 9, 10 and 11, based on the Comic Strip "Peanuts" by Charles M. Schulz. Book, music and lyrics by Clark Gesner, additional dialogue by Michael Mayer, additional music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa. Guest directed by Christopher Okiishi, and musical direction by Michelle Perrin Blair.

Bursting with new life and fresh orchestrations, the beloved characters from the mind of Charles Schultz will leap into song at Coe College this winter. "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown" follows the title character and his neighborhood friends Linus, Lucy, Schroeder and Sally—as well as his iconic dog Snoopy—through a typical year in the life of a young person trying to figure out the world. Watch Charlie navigate the existential crises that are the stuff of childhood: school, family, baseball, kites and even the dawning awareness of a Little Red Haired Girl. Featuring the original Clark Gesner songs with new arrangements and two new songs by Andrew Lippa ("The Addams Family").

"A Bright Room Called Day" – April 7, 8, 9, 13, 14 and 15, written by Tony Kushner, directed by Dennis Barnett.

"A Bright Room Called Day," written by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Angels in America," follows a group of leftist artists living in Berlin in 1932 as they joke about, agonize over and generally disbelieve the rising popularity of a man named Hitler. Alarming in its timeliness, the play drives the point home by including the perspective of a contemporary character, as she and the German characters struggle with how people's lives are affected by the reality of fascism.

For more information, call 319-399-8600 or visit theatre.coe.edu.