The 2022/23 Fresno State University Theatre season features a diverse range of comedic, dramatic, classic, and inventive works. Here’s the lineup:
“4,000 Miles” by Amy Herzog | Directed by Kathleen McKinley
After suffering a major loss on a cross-country bike trip, 21-year-old Leo seeks solace from his feisty 91-year-old grandmother Vera in her West Village apartment. Over a month, these unlikely roommates infuriate, bewilder, and ultimately reach each other. “4,000 Miles” looks at how two outsiders find their way in today’s world. A 2013 Pulitzer Prize Nominee!
“Misery” by William Goldman (based on the novel by Stephen King) | Directed by Thomas-Whit Ellis
Successful romance novelist Paul Sheldon is rescued from a car crash by his “number one fan,” Annie Wilkes, and wakes up captive in her secluded home. While Paul is convalescing, Annie reads his latest book and becomes enraged when she discovers the author has killed off her favorite character, Misery Chastain. Annie forces Paul to write a new Misery novel, and he quickly realizes Annie has no intention of letting him go anywhere. The irate Annie has Paul writing as if his life depends on it, and it does. A Fresno Premiere!
“The Comedy of Errors” by William Shakespeare | Directed by Brad Myers
“The Comedy of Errors,” tells the story of two sets of identical twins accidentally separated at birth. Antipholus of Syracuse and his servant, Dromio of Syracuse, arrive in Ephesus, which turns out to be the home of their twin brothers, Antipholus of Ephesus and his servant, Dromio of Ephesus. When the Syracusans encounter the friends and families of their twins, a series of wild mishaps based on mistaken identities lead to wrongful beatings, a near-seduction, the arrest of Antipholus of Ephesus, and false accusations of infidelity, theft, madness, and demonic possession.
“Contemporary Dance Ensemble” | Artistic Director Kenneth Balint
This annual Contemporary Dance Concert highlights modern classics, creative innovation and collaborations between students and faculty. This year’s concert celebrates the tenth anniversary of the Contemporary Dance Ensemble at Fresno State.
“Men on Boats” by Jaclyn Backhaus | Directed by Gina Sandi-Diaz
Ten explorers. Four boats. One Grand Canyon. “Men on Boats” is the true(ish) history of an 1869 expedition where a one-armed captain and an insane yet loyal crew set out to chart the course of the Colorado River. Inspired by John Wesley Powell’s actual travel logs, Backhaus’s nimble and ingenious script is provocative, laugh-out-loud theatre, performed by a diverse cast who infuse America’s historic myths of male conquest with a sly blast of satire. A Fresno Premiere!
“The Pillowman” by Martin McDonagh | Directed by J. Daniel Herring
With echoes of Stoppard, Kafka, and the Brothers Grimm, “The Pillowman” centers on a writer in an unnamed totalitarian state being interrogated about the gruesome content of his short stories and their similarities to a series of child murders. The result is an urgent work of theatrical bravura and an unflinching examination of art’s very nature and purpose.
The Theatre Arts faculty includes performers, designers, and playwrights with top academic credentials and professional experience. The department is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Theatre, but the most crucial element in the Department’s success is the students. Our undergraduates enjoy unusual opportunities to play leading roles, direct and design for lab and mainstage productions. Undergraduate playwrights have seen their work in staged readings, workshops and mainstage productions. Organizations such as the Kennedy Center/American College Theater Festival and the American College Dance Festival have honored numerous Fresno State Students. Working together, students and faculty have created many shows that have won regional, national, and international honors.