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School of Theatre and Film unveils action-packed 2010–11 MainStage Season

March 16, 2010

The ASU Herberger Institute School of Theatre and Film

The ASU Herberger Institute School of Theatre and Film unveils an action-packed and innovative 2010–11 MainStage Seasonthat explores the relationships that bind people together. The season comprises seven plays, including a dramatic re-visioning of works by Aeschylus and Franz Kafka, Latino voices, a continuation of the popular New Works Series, as well as a student film festival.

“The season is filled with contemporary and original works, which together offer a unique perspective on our relationships with one another, our families, and even our enemies,” says Linda Essig, director of ASU Herberger School of Theatre and Film and artistic director of the 2010–11 MainStage Season. “Other season features include the 6th Annual Student Film Festival, and theNew Works Series productions that are in development by our faculty and students.”

The seven plays of the 2010–11 MainStage Season carefully were selected from a pool of works by international playwrights. Audience members who embark on the MainStage journey travel with a mother and daughter who take to the road in search of themselves; experience the pain of a mother-to-be grappling with a horrible decision; visit a young boy as he ambles through his ancestral village; glimpse inside the mind of Charles Darwin as imagined by School of Theatre and Film students; watch as 50 Greek sisters flee from marrying as many brothers; and endure a traveler’s pain as he recounts his experience witnessing torture.

2010–11 MainStage Season:

26 Miles by Quiara Alegría Hudes
Directed by Jerry Ruiz (guest artist) 
Oct. 8–17, Lyceum Theatre, ASU Tempe campus
In this coming-of-age “dramedy,” a Cuban-American teen explores her ethnic identity as she and her estranged mother embark on a road trip where secrets, fears and revelations are uncovered.

Big Love by Charles L. Mee
Directed by Kim Weild (through a partnership with the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation)
Nov. 5–14, Paul V. Galvin Playhouse, ASU Tempe campus
An extravagantly updated retelling of one of the oldest plays in Western history, The Danaids by Aeschylus. This big comedy features 50 Greek sisters escaping by boat from what might be the world’s largest arranged marriage – an event that surely will lead to tragedy, Greek style! This play contains nudity and may not be appropriate for all ages.

Allegra by Asher Wyndham (New Works Series workshop production)
Directed by William Partlan
Dec. 2–5, Lyceum Theatre, ASU Tempe campus
A TV newscaster grapples with the decision of whether to keep her unborn baby, knowing that it might have Down Syndrome. This is a New Works Series workshop premiere by Asher Wyndham, an MFA playwriting candidate.

Dreaming Darwin by Lance Gharavi and Jacob Pinholster (New Works Series workshop production)
Directed by Lance Gharavi
Feb. 11–19, Prism Theatre, 970 E. University Dr., Tempe, AZ
School of Theatre and Film faculty members Lance Gharavi and Jacob Pinholster assembled a team of ASU student artists and created a new work that would be a “fantasy on a theme” about Charles Darwin. This workshop production follows a successful 2009 staged reading and is the next step in the evolutionary process of creating a play – just in time for Darwin’s birthday!

A Bridge to the Stars by Henning Mankell, adapted by John Retallack
March 3–11, Lyceum Theatre, ASU Tempe campus
A poignant and soulful tale of a boy’s search for family, community and meaning, set against the “endless night” in a mythical Scandinavian village. This play is appropriate for all ages.

The Skriker by Caryl Churchill
Directed by Joya Scott
April 15–23, Paul V. Galvin Playhouse, ASU Tempe campus
This fantasy, based on the ancient shape-shifting ghost, or "Skriker,” depicts a fairy underworld that has begun to bleed into our own as the Skriker befriends, manipulates and attempts to control two pregnant teens. Rich, evocative language is brought to life through movement and music.

In the Penal Colony by Christian Krauspe (New Works Series production)
Directed by Kyle Lewis
April 16–23, Paul V. Galvin Playhouse, ASU Tempe campus
Adapted from Franz Kafka's original short story, The Penal Colony, this piece explores the boundaries of punishment, loyalty, morality and tradition. This is a New Works Series premiere by Christian Krauspe, an MFA playwriting candidate.

6th Annual ASU Student Film Festival
April 25–26, Valley Art®Theatre, 509 S. Mill Ave., Tempe AZ
The School of Theatre and Film premieres its first-ever commissioned short film, written and produced by students in the Film and Media Production concentration. The annual film festival showcases the best student films produced within the school, and features a 10-minute film competition. This event is sponsored by the ASU Student Film Association.

Lyceum Theatre, 901. S. Forest Mall, ASU Tempe campus
Paul V. Galvin Playhouse, 51 E. 10th St., ASU Tempe campus
Prism Theatre, 970 E. University Dr., Tempe, AZ 85281
Valley Art® Theatre, 509 S. Mill Ave., Tempe AZ 85281

The 2010–11 MainStage Season opens Oct. 8, 2010, and continues through the end of the spring 2011 semester. Sign language interpretation is available. Please contact the Herberger Institute box office at 480.965.6447 at least four weeks prior to performance date for requests.

$8–$23; Half-price tickets are available on the First Friday of any MainStage Season production. ASU faculty and staff receive special rates. Editor’s note: rates are subject to change.

Public Contact
Herberger Institute box office, 480.965.6447
School of Theatre and Film, 480.965.5337

The School of Theatre and Film in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University provides a comprehensive range of courses in performance and directing; design and production; new work development; theatre and performance studies; film; and theatre for youth. Its Theatre for Youth program is nationally ranked in the top three and the dramatic writing/playwriting program is ranked 15th among public institutions by U.S.News & World Report. To learn more about the School of Theatre and Film, visit

Media Contact:
Laurie A. Trotta Valenti
ASU Herberger Institute 
School of Theatre and Film