What’s It All About, Randy? Cardinal Stage’s 2013-14 Season

BY NORM CRAMPTON

Cardinal Stage Company is gearing up for its sixth full season of dramatic productions, beginning September 11-15, with many a teenager’s favorite story, Lord of the Flies, at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater.

The play is part of the IU College of Arts and Sciences’ Themester initiative that puts community-wide focus on one idea, this year’s being “Connectedness: Networks in a Complex World.” Lord of the Flies provides lessons on the theme, notes Randy White, founder and artistic director of Cardinal Stage: Schoolboys marooned on a desert island clash over how to live peaceably together.

The rest of the Cardinal Stage 2013-2014 season is as follows:

August: Osage County, November 1-17, at the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center Auditorium. The winner of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play, it is, says White, “simply the best play written in America in the last thirty years. It’s dark comedy, meaning, like all great American theater, it exposes the family. The more you find out about the family and the ways they’re screwed up, the funnier it is.”

Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, December 20 to January 4, at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater. “This is our annual family holiday show,” says White.

The Whipping Man, February 7-22, at the Waldron Auditorium. Explains White, “You’ve got this Jewish, slave-owning family where the slaves have taken on the Jewish faith and are now ex-slaves, and the Jewish Confederate soldier comes back home to find them living at the house. Thus, it’s an historical play that allows for a contemporary conversation.” And don’t worry, White assures—there’s no whipping involved.

The Letters, May 2-18, in the Waldron’s Rose Firebay theater. “Just two people in a room in this little personal, political thriller,” says White. “It’s a game of wits. You’ve got gender dynamics at play. You’ve got boss-employee dynamics…class things at work…and it’s funny, it’s smart.”

Les Miserables, June 19-29, at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater. Enthuses White, “I love this show like a big old hunk of ripe cheddar cheese.”

The new season, says White, “is all about ties that bind—those that we choose, some that are forced upon us, and the ways in which, no matter how hard we try to tear them apart, they are with us and we can’t shake them, for good or for bad.”

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