The Theatre Department produces two main stage performances (including a full scale musical), one Theatre Studio Lab production, and one student driven show each academic year. Theatre majors participate in all areas of production.
The theatre student will be given the opportunity to perform and train in a wide variety of genres and styles including Shakespeare, Greek, Musical Theatre, Contemporary Drama, Farce, and Avante’Garde to name a few.
2016-2017 Theatre Department Productions:
Mainstage Season: (Perry Theatre)
This classic play brings to life the small town of Grover's Corners. In this benchmark of the American theatre, audiences will discover the stories of daily life, love, marriage, death and mourning are as relevant today as they were in 1938 when the play premiered on Broadway.
Broadway musical meets sci-fi horror is this dark musical comedy. What happens when Seymour Krelborn, a meek assistant floral designer at a skid row florist, finds a strange carnivorous talking plant that promises him fame and fortune? Spoiler Alert: It does not go well. One of the longest running Off-Broadway musicals of all time, this devilishly delightful musical is sure to keep audiences screaming with laughter and tapping their toes to the 1960’s inspired pop/rock score.
Theatre Studio Lab Season:
Fuller (and Edgar) in the House of Usher adapted by Sean Graney
Public Reading/Workshop, September 22, 2016, at 7:30 p.m.
Theatre Studio Lab (Stephens 119)
Full Production, February 10-11 and 15-18, 2017, at 7:30 p.m.
Theatre Studio Lab (Stephens 119)
Edgar Allan Poe helped set the standard for American Horror for the past two centuries. However, this brand new adaptation of Poe's literary work takes a wild and irreverent turn as we follow Poe and his contemporary, Margaret Fuller, on a journey to the House of Usher. This play was workshopped on campus in the fall with Mr. Graney and the AU student cast. The February production will be the world premiere of this new adaptation.
This play will open AU's new black box studio space!
Aurora University Department of Theatre welcomes guest artists Sean Graney and George Keating!
Sean Graney, Playwright, is a Chicago-based director who concentrates on staging modern versions of classic plays to create relevant theatrical pieces for our contemporary society. He currently serves as the Artistic Director of The Hypocrites, a company he founded in 1997. In 2013 he was fortunate enough to be a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University where he completed writing All Our Tragic, a twelve-hour adaptation combining all thirty-two surviving Greek Tragedies, which was presented by The Hypocrites the summer of 2014 and remounted during the summer of 2015. It garnered six Joseph Jefferson Awards, including best Director and Best Adaptation. Most recently he adapted and directed Yeomen of the Guard at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival completing the direction of his fourth highly-popular Gilbert & Sullivan operetta. He attended Emerson College and taught at University of Chicago, DePaul University and Columbia College Chicago. Other works include Sophocles: Seven Sicknesses, an adaptation of all seven surviving texts of Sophocles, which had successful runs in Chicago, Providence and at the Flea in NY. As a director, Sean has helmed over 75 productions. He was a participant in the NEA/TCG Career Development Program for Directors in 2004. He has won four Joseph Jefferson Awards. His directing work has been seen at American Repertory Theater, Actors' Theatre of Louisville, Berkeley Rep, Chicago Shakespeare, Goodman Theatre, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, Court Theatre, Milwaukee Rep, Steppenwolf for Young Audiences, Chicago Children’s Theatre and is currently running at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival until October 2016.
George Keating, Guest Director
George Keating is the co-founder of Theatrebam Chicago and co-creator of the hit show “Schoolhouse Rock Live!” (After Dark Awards for Best Musical and Best Ensemble) and “Schoolhouse Rock Live, Too.” He appeared in “Schoolhouse Rock Live!” in Chicago, off-Broadway and across the nation. Keating is a longtime member of Actors’ Equity Association and is familiar to stages throughout Chicagoland. He taught physical theatre for 12 summers at the National High School Institute at Northwestern University where he directed several productions. He directed the soldout run of the world premiere of “Set Up” by Chicago playwright Dan Noonan. He was associate director for “Oliver!” and “Les Misèrables” at Drury Lane Oakbrook and for “Godspell” at Theatre at the Center. Keating earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Acting from The Theatre School at DePaul University.
Past Performance Photo Galleries
2015 - 2016 Season
"The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee": View photos
"Machinal": View photos
2014 - 2015 Season
"Almost Maine": View photos
"Dancing at Lughnasa": View photos
2013 - 2014 Season
"A Midsummer Night's Dream": View photos
"All in the Timing": View photos
"Trojan Women": View photos
2012 - 2013 Season
"These Shining Lives": View photos
"War at Home": View photos
"Tartuffe": View photos
2011 - 2012 Season
"Proof": View photos
"Blithe Spirit": View photos
2010 - 2011 Season
"Lend Me a Tenor": View photos
"Obligatio": View photos
"The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in the Moon Marigolds": View photos
"The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail": View photos
"The Clean House": View photos
"The Habitation of Dragons": View photos
"As You Like It": View photos