A new semester brings in a new calendar of theatrical productions at Loyola. Whether students enjoy an intriguing storyline or appreciate the talent of singers and dancers on stage, Loyola’s theatre department has prepared shows for various tastes. Here are the four must-see Loyola productions this semester.
“The Importance of Being Gendered”
The first production of the spring semester is a play that examines gender, poet and playwright Oscar Wilde and Wilde’s play “The Importance of Being Earnest.” “The Importance of Being Gendered” is a re-interpretation of the original Wilde play, rewritten and recreated by a group of Loyola LGBT theater students and their supporters. The play hopes to enlighten its audiences with themes about lost or mistaken identity, and what it means to be a member of the modern LGBT community. “The Importance of Being Gendered” is directed by student Spencer Gjerde and will be performed at the Underground Theatre in Mundelein Hall Feb. 9 and 10 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are free.
Shortly after the “Importance of Being Gendered,” “Machinal” will be performed in Loyola’s Newhart Family Theatre. This 1928 play written by Sophie Treadwell tells the true story of murderer Ruth Snyder, who killed her husband after she had an affair with another man. Because of her decisions, Snyder finds herself misunderstood and confronts a tragic end via an electric chair. Directed by professor Ann Shanahan, “Machinal” explores the themes of feminism, victimization and mental torture as they are exacerbated by untruthful reporting. “Machinal” will be performed Feb. 22-25 and March 1-4 at various times. Tickets cost between $6 and $20.
This 1966 musical is based on a memoir by Christopher Isherwood, and takes place in Weimar, Germany during the rise of the Nazi regime. The story follows American student Cliff Bradshaw and cabaret singer Sally Bowles, who works at the decadent Kit Kat Klub. The two form a relationship, despite Bradshaw’s confusion with his sexuality. Matters get more complicated when the wealthy Maximilian von Heune arrives and a love triangle develops. “Cabaret,” directed by professor Sarah Gabel, is a musical full of dance, love and power that’ll keep audiences entertained until the end. The show will be performed at the Newhart Family Theatre April 5-8 and 12-15 at various times. Tickets cost between $6 and $20.
The classic dystopian novel will come to life at the Underground Theatre in April. “1984,” directed by student Max Gustafson, is a play based on George Orwell’s novel of the same name. The storyline follows Winston Smith, who finds himself in a world where everyone is being watched and individuality doesn’t exist. Consequences emerge as Smith develops a relationship with defiant Julia and begins to contemplate rebellion. This political satire on oppression, prohibition and surveillance may seem as aligned with today’s time as it had been during its publication in 1949. “1984” will be performed April 19-22 at various times. Tickets are currently not on sale but will be available for online purchase March 19 at 10 a.m.