McNeese Theatre's season opens with George Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion" Sept. 28-Oct. 2. "Pygmalion" remains Shaw's most popular and most famous play, mostly through its film adaptation as "My Fair Lady." It tells the story of Henry Higgins, a professor of phonetics, who makes a bet with his friend Colonel Pickering that he can turn a Cockney flower girl, Eliza Doolittle, into a refined society lady merely by teaching her how to speak with an upper class accent and training her in etiquette. Eliza teaches Henry that being a lady is more than just speaking like one. This Shaw classic is a sharp lampoon of the rigid British class system of the day and a comment on women's independence, packaged as a romantic comedy. Joy Pace is the director.
Burt V. Royal has imagined Charles Schultz's "Peanuts" gang beyond the slice of American cuteness and in their teenage years in the play, "Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead." CB's dog dies, which has him begin to question the existence of an afterlife. His best friend is perpetually stoned, his sister has gone Goth, his ex-girlfriend has recently been institutionalized and his other friends are too inebriated to give him any sort of solace. But a chance meeting with an artistic kid, who is the target of this group's bullying, offers CB a peace of mind and sets in motion a friendship that will push the bullies' limits. The characters are genuinely sympathetic and unquestionably cruel in this hysterically funny, inventive play where drug use, suicide, eating disorders, teen violence, bullying, rebellion and sexual identity collide and careen toward an ending that is both haunting and hopeful. This production has strong language and content and no children will be allowed. On stage Nov. 9-13, the production is directed by Charles McNeely III.
Based upon a true story, "All My Sons" by Arthur Miller opens the spring season March 14-18. This play is a tremendously impressive drama that received the New York Drama Critics Circle Award and the Tony Award for Best Play. In the period just after World War II, American theatre was transformed by playwright Miller, who is considered one of the greatest dramatists of the 20th century and some say the last great practitioner of the American stage. Set in August of 1946 in the mid-west of the U.S., "All My Sons" is a tragedy about a manufacturer who sells faulty parts to the military in order to save his business. Concerned with morality in the face of despair, and proving the timelessness of great theatre, "All My Sons" originally appealed to a nation having recently gone through both a war and a depression. Miller's classic play still has much to say to today's audience. Joy Pace is director.
What better way to celebrate the bicentennial of Louisiana statehood than a musical theatre comedy production from 1940? Set in New Orleans, "Louisiana Purchase" is a musical that satirizes the more questionable features of the career of Gov. Huey Long and his control over Louisiana politics. The plot could have been ripped from today's headlines. When Senator Loganberry arrives in the Big Easy to investigate the dubious doings at the Louisiana Purchasing Co., it isn't long before he's set up for plenty of scandal himself. Recently a Broadway critic asked, "Does the South still produce corrupt Democratic politicians and businessmen? Are there still Republican senators eager to expose them to further their own Presidential ambitions? Is sex still a weapon in these wars?" "Louisiana Purchase" answers these questions with a gleeful wink of the eye and a score full of Irving Berlin magic. Directed by Michele Martin, production dates are April 25-29.
Season subscriptions are $45 for adults, $30 for McNeese faculty and staff, senior citizens, and youth (K-12). All season subscriptions support McNeese Theatre scholarships. For more information, call 337-475-5043.
Persons needing accommodations as provided by the Americans with Disabilities Act should contact the ADA Coordinator at 337-475-5428, voice; 337-475-5960, fax; 337-562-4227, TDD/TTY, hearing impaired; or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.