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Loyola 2002-03 Theatre Season Announced

Loyola press release - July 10, 2002

(New Orleans)—The 2002-03 theatre season focuses on the American character and the powerful forces, which have shaped who we are and the indelible spirit that guides us will be the core of the 2002-2003 Loyola University New Orleans Theatre season. With laughter and tears, the real and surreal, these plays will engage your heart and mind.

Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, by Ed Graczyk takes place on September 30, 1975, not far from the town of Marfa, where the movie Giant was filmed. Located in McCarthy, Texas, is the Krestmont 5 & Dime. A group of childhood friends known as the "Disciples of James Dean" gather together to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the night in which James Dean died in an auto accident. In 1955, they were an excited group of high school graduates, who eagerly anticipated their hero’s arrival in a nearby town to film Giant. Through flashbacks of their past, the characters relive the events of that fateful night in 1955 when the idol of their youth crashed his Porsche on a California highway. Through the course of the evening, they are each faced with the lies they have told and the secrets they have kept from one another all these years. The characters are imbuing with a tragic honesty that makes their eventual confessions all the more heartbreaking. Though poignant in it's content, Mr. Graczyk conveys his story using much love and laughter. Big Easy Award winning director Janet Shea will guide us through this reflection of the past on October 4-12 in the Lower Depths Theatre.

Women and Water by John Guare is a look at seminal changes in American history. John Guare's sweeping epic, Women and Water, first produced in Chicago by Big Game Theatre, traces the adventures of four young idealists fatefully drawn together during the Civil War and propelled by the will of the magnetic and mysterious Lydie Breeze on a quest across the war-ravaged country.

Every war begets a thousand stories and John Guare has packed several dozen into a single play. Set during the turbulent years between 1861 and 1864, when the Atlantic coastal states ran with the blood of soldiers seduced by the lure of recruiters promising, a hero's reward in paradise. It’s embedded in the microcosmic activities of four ambitious but flawed communards. They are the Civil War veterans Joshua Hickman, Dan Grady, Amos Mason, and Lydie Breeze, the woman who nursed them back to health after they were wounded in battle. In brief cameos, we meet such luminaries as Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee who, in setting forth their individual stories, cast a chilling light on the root causes of the national crisis.

Women and Water is a self-contained epic that follows the fate of one family and makes a powerful statement about the forces, which shaped the American character. Lane Savadove will direct this all-out theatrical production in Marquette Theatre on November 15-23.

A Lesson Before Dying by Romulus Linney is adapted from Ernest J. Gaines’ novel. A Lesson Before Dying was developed through the Southern Writers’ Project and produced in February 2000. The Southern Writers’ Project was established to encourage new works that deal with Southern issues and topics, including works by African-American playwrights.

A Lesson Before Dying is the powerful story of two young black men, each in his own way trapped in a small Louisiana town in the late 1940’s. Condemned to die in the electric chair for a crime he didn’t commit, Jefferson gives up on everybody, including himself. His godmother, however, wants him to die like a man and enlists the help of Grant Wiggins, a disillusioned schoolteacher. Over the course of several months, the two men teach each other about being a man, about heroism, and about living – and dying – with dignity. This powerful stage adaptation, by one of America’s outstanding contemporary playwrights, will be a theatrical experience you will treasure. A Lesson Before Dying director Lane Savadove will explore lessons about love, salvation, and their common humanity in Marquette Theatre on February 21 to March 15.

Theatre at Loyola originated with the Thespian Troupe in 1849. Continuing a long tradition of dedication to the training of the future theatre artist and audiences of tomorrow, Loyola University New Orleans Theatre focuses on the training of the undergraduate student while offering diverse and exceptional theatre entertainment to the New Orleans community.

Ticket Information: $10 General Admission, $7 Students, Children and Senior Citizens

Group Rates Available for all Productions. For more information, call (504) 865-3840.

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