Smile Politely

Krannert Center announces 2017/18 Illinois Theatre season

The good folks over at Krannert Center and Illinois Theatre have announced the full slate of plays taking place on KCPA’s various stages over the next academic year. This is an even more joyous occasion than usual, however, because Illinois Theatre will be celebrating their 50th anniversary this year.

Take a gander at the full list below to see what piques your interest:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, April 6, 2016

Contact: BRIDGET LEE-CALFAS (; 217.766.2820)

Department of Theatre

4-122 Krannert Center for the Performing Arts

500 South Goodwin Avenue

Urbana, IL 61801




Urbana, IL—Celebrating 50 years of creating excellence in performance, design, technology, management, and scholarship, Illinois Theatre invites you to join us as we examine themes timely and timeless. Theatre’s powerful exploration of human experience stands as a reminder that great difficulties have been overcome with inquiry, analysis, critique, and persistence—always persistence. Our productions will delve into issues of gender and political corruption; we consider the role of art during the Russian Revolution; we see dawning female sexual consciousness in the Victorian era; we gawk at the twisted dreams festering in a collection of presidential assassins; laugh at the confusions of love, lust and identity in a classic Shakespearean comedy; and experience the cultural difference between two families: one black, one white. This season of plays plumb the depths (and heights) of diverse human experience, and we invite you to join us for a season of laughter, love, pain, and triumph.

All the King’s Men

By Robert Penn Warren

Tom Mitchell, director

Illinois Theatre presents the quintessential American political saga of Willie Stark, a charismatic populist who rockets to the Louisiana statehouse and sets his sights on Washington. With an all-female cast, this production depicts the hyper-masculine 1930s backrooms where “good old boys” jockey for power. Robert Penn Warren adapted his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel for the stage and for two film versions.

Th-Sa Sep 28-30

We-Su Oct 4-8


By Tom Stoppard

Robert G. Anderson, director

Vladimir I. Lenin, James Joyce, and artist Tristan Tzara walk into a library—and the world is transformed. Tom Stoppard’s supremely literate comedy—with a wink and a nod to Oscar Wilde—imagines lively encounters between three revolutionaries who changed the world of politics, literature, and art. Presented by Illinois Theatre in association with the “1917/2017: Ten Days That Shook the World/Ten Days That Shake the Campus” initiative.

Th-Sa Oct 19-21

Th-Su Oct 26-29

Dessert + Conversation*

Sa Oct 21, Su Oct 29

In the Next Room, or the vibrator play

By Sarah Ruhl

Lisa Gaye Dixon, director

In the waning years of the 19th century, the age of electricity enlivens the possibilities for human satisfaction. A path-breaking physician treats the “hysteric” needs of his female patients while overlooking domestic discontent in his own home. Illinois Theatre examines love and marriage, artistic inspiration, and burgeoning female sexuality. Viewed through a blushing comic lens of sexual awakening and desire, audiences will surely find moments of identification, sympathy, and laugh-out-loud acknowledgement. This production is for adult audiences only.

Contains adult content

Th-Sa Oct 26-28

We-Su Nov 1-5


Stephen Sondheim, composer and lyricist

John Weidman, librettist

J.W. Morrissette, director

“Murder is a tawdry little crime; it’s born of greed, or lust, or liquor. Adulterers and shopkeepers get murdered. But when a president gets killed, when Julius Caesar got killed . . . he was assassinated.” —John Wilkes Booth to Lee Harvey Oswald in Assassins

Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Stephen Sondheim and librettist John Weidman take aim at American ideals of prosperity and fortune. Illinois Theatre presents this powerful musical examination of the blood-curdling (and banal) impulses of would-be assassins who pursue their own versions of the American dream.

Th-Sa Feb 1-3

We-Su Feb 7-11

Twelfth Night, or What You Will

By William Shakespeare

Brenda DeVita, guest director

Featuring a shipwreck, lost siblings, false identities, gender confusion, and star-crossed love, this production from Illinois Theatre is sure to excite every aficionado of Shakespeare. Guest director Brenda DeVita, artistic director of the American Players Theatre, has her Krannert Center debut at the helm of this lively, timeless comedy.

Th-Sa Mar 1-3

Th-Su Mar 8-11

Dessert + Conversation*

Sa Mar 3, Su Mar 11


By Robert O’Hara

Chuck Smith, guest director

The O’Mallery family gathers in a local park to confront a sibling about her substance abuse. Is it a made-for-reality-television event? Not quite. As the narrative unspools, members of the family attack and retreat. Familiar tropes from domestic dramas give way to startling new revelations as a family’s identity shape-shifts across an evolving landscape of race, class, and consciousness. Illinois Theatre welcomes playwright Robert O’Hara to our community as we produce his exciting new comedy, directed by the Goodman Theatre’s Chuck Smith.

Contains adult content

Th-Sa Mar 29-31

We-Su Apr 4-8

*Pre-performance talk

Tickets for the 2017-18 season will be on sale Saturday, July 8 at 10am on, by calling 217.333.6280 (800.KCPATIX), or in-person at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, 500 South Goodwin Ave, Urbana, Illinois. Single tickets are $25 / Senior $24 / Student $15 / UI Student & Youth $10. Group and series discounts are available.


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