Smile Politely

Summer Studio Theatre Company Announces This Year’s Season

Taking a plunge into soothing waves of the ocean? Lame. Buying ice cream and savoring it under the warmth of sun? Overrated.

Haven’t you guys heard of quality summer entertainment?

We’re talking about the rolling repertory season that serves up romance, suspense and comedy. It’s the one and only Summer Studio Theatre Company.

In it’s 18th season, SSTC continues to look onwards with three meticulous plays: Talley’s Folly, The Last Five Days and The Turn of the Screw.

Talley’s Folly, by American playwright Lanford Wilson, takes us back to 1944 central Missouri, where Matt Friedman, an awkward Jewish accountant, and Sally Talley, daughter of the small town’s most important family, find romance in a deserted boathouse. The romantic play shows us touches of humor and sentimentality as the two charming misfits navigate through a relationship neither expected to bloom.

The Last Five Years is a musical by Jason Robert Brown that guides us through Jamie and Cathy’s lives. The experiences of the rising novelist and the struggling young actress weave together and then, ultimately, come undone. Jamie tells his story in “forward time” while Cathy reflects on her relationship in “reverse,” leading us to an intersection at the midpoint where profound love that once existed.

Henry James’ classic novel, The Turn of the Screw, is given a makeover by contemporary playwright, Jeffrey Hatcher, who turns it into a two-person performance. A governess takes up the task of caring for two recently orphaned children in a gothic English household. When the specter of the former governess and her ghostly lover begin to torture the heroine, we are left to ponder: Are the ghosts real or merely projections of a young woman’s fears?

To celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s bicentennial birth year, SSTC presents author James Hurt’s version of Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight. Originally staged 20 years ago for The Great American People Show, ALWAM depicts the influence of Abe on the careers and lives of Illinois poets, Vachel Lindsay, Edgar Lee Masters and Carl Sandburg. The reading of ALWAM will include actors from the three plays along with other regional actors.

All shows will be held in Krannert’s Studio Theatre. The three plays will be shown in rotation from June 13–July 10. The reading of ALWAM will be performed July 17–July 26. For show times and ticket prices, visit the Krannert website.

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