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The Theatre Institute at Sage Announces 17-18 Season of Six Shows: Celebrate the Difference!



The Theatre Institute at Sage (TIS) announces a six-show season for 2017-18.   Through our season this year, we look at the stories, struggles and successes of people who don’t always fit in. At TIS, we know the way to overcome adversity is to come together.  We do this by creating theatre with our team of talented students. Students who work at TIS learn the value of teamwork, meeting deadlines and recognizing the multiplicity of talents it takes to put an excellent work of theatre onstage. We invite our audience to join us during the 2017-18 theatrical season in celebrating differences!

The first show, a well-known, wild and wise musical, will be directed by Leigh Strimbeck, who recently directed I NEVER SAW ANOTHER BUTTERFLY and also directed SPRING AWAKENING.  This surprise musical, to be announced later this spring, will run from October 6-17 in the Meader Little Theater.

TIS offers two shows this holiday season.  Our fare for more mature audiences is SANTALAND DIARIES, written by David Sedaris and adapted for the stage by Joe Mantello.  SANTALAND DIARIES is based on the true chronicles of David Sedaris’ experience as Crumpet the Elf in Macy’s Santaland display. This cult classic riffs on a few of Sedaris’ truly odd encounters with his fellow man during the height of the holiday crunch.  SANTALAND DIARIES will run from November 24 – 26 in the Meader Little Theater. A CHRISTMAS CAROL, directed by Associate Professor David Baecker, is our holiday show for the whole family. This new adaptation of the Dickens classic was adapted by TIS Artist in Residence David Bunce, and brings nineteenth-century London to life. We invite you and your family to join Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchit, and of course, Ebenezer Scrooge on a fantastical journey through Christmas Past, Present, and Future. Enjoy the timeless message of hope, peace, and love in Charles Dickens’ classic masterpiece. A CHRISTMAS CAROL runs from December 1 – 14 in the Schacht Theater.

We begin 2018 with THE GIVER.  Adapted by Eric Coble from Lowis Lowry’s Newberry Award-winning book of the same name, this production will be directed by David Bunce. THE GIVER tells the story of Jonas, whose world is perfect. Everything is under control and safe. There is no war or fear or pain. There are also no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the community. When Jonas turns 12, he is assigned the special role of Receiver of Memories. Jonas goes to work with the Giver to receive and keep the memories of the community. The Giver is the only person who holds the memories of real pain and real joy. Now Jonas will learn the truth about life—and the hypocrisy of his utopian world. Can Jonas and the Giver come up with a plan that will change their world forever?  THE GIVER runs from February 8 - 16, 2018 in the Schacht Theater. 

In April, we bring you TRIBES by Nina Raine, directed by David Baecker.  Billy was born deaf into a comically dysfunctional hearing family. He was raised inside its fiercely idiosyncratic and politically incorrect cocoon. He has adapted brilliantly to his family's unconventional ways, but they've never bothered to return the favor. It's not until he meets Sylvia, a young woman on the brink of deafness, that he finally understands what it means to be understood. In The New York Times review, Ben Brantley wrote: "A smart, lively…new play that asks us to hear how we hear, in silence as well as in speech....”   TRIBES will play in the Meader Little Theater from April 13 – 22, 2018.

For the last show of the season, once again we bring you BACKBEARD:  A New Musical,  book by Matthew McElligott, Larry Tuxbury & Brian Sheldon; music by Michael Musial; lyrics by Matthew McElligott, Michael Musial & Larry Tuxbury and directed by Associate Professor Michael Musial. BACKBEARD:  A New Musical,  has just been named a Grand Jury Selection of the New York Musical Festival's Next Link Project and will be staged in New York City this summer. Now in its fourteenth year, the 2017 Festival will take place July 10th through August 6th at locations around midtown Manhattan in New York City. This rollicking musical tells the tale of Backbeard, the hairiest pirate who ever lived, and his quest to answer the question, "How should a pirate look?” When a rowdy birthday party ruins his clothes, a pair of persuasive tailors convince him to try a vibrant new outfit of patterned trousers, a colorful coat, and a pig. Now the fearsome pirate must face his greatest challenge: winning the acceptance of the Pirate Council, the townspeople, and even his own crew, in a high-spirited story of courage, acceptance, and standing up for who you are.  BACKBEARD: A New Musical runs from May 31 – June 14, 2018 in the Schacht Theater.

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