Announcing the 2017-18 Miami Theatre season

Occupy Empathy theme calls for audience engagement

by Jeanne Harmeyer, College of Creative Arts

Miami University Theatre announces their 2017-18 season, "Occupy Empathy," with performances that promise to deliver thought-provoking and inspirational themes and dialogue. All performances are in the Center for Performing Arts located on Patterson Ave. on Miami's Oxford campus. Evening performances are at 7:30 p.m. and weekend matinee's at 2:00 p.m.

"In theatre, we love action," says Julia Guichard, chair of the Theatre department. "We don't want you to come and sit passively in your seat—we want to engage you in another world, and let you experience someone else's point of view," she said. "We are constantly bombarded with the message that ours is a divided country, a divided world and we do not know how to speak across our differences any longer. We encourage you to come sit in a room with strangers, unplug from your world for a few hours, and open yourself to the unknown. That is how conversations begin," says Guichard.


The season line-up opens with The Flick, by Annie Baker with evening performances in Studio 88 Theatre, September 27–30 and a Sunday, Oct. 1 matinee. The play is directed by Saffron Henke, assistant professor of theatre at Miami. The Flick debuted Off-Broadway in 2013, and was winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The plot follows three underpaid movie ushers in a run-down movie house, one of the last theaters in Massachusetts. The characters deliver funny, yet poignant dialogue that explores the boundaries of class and race as they search for connection in the face of change.

Gathering Blue by playwright Eric Coble will be performed in Gates-Abegglen Theatre with evening performances Wed-Thurs, November 15-16 and matinee performances on Sat–Sun, November 18–19. The play will be directed by Rosalyn Erat Benson, former assistant dean in the College of Creative Arts who has directed a number of theatre productions at Miami in recent years. The play is an adaptation based on Lois Lowry's book, and companion piece to The Giver. Set in a dystopian world, the play tells a suspenseful tale as central character Kira, a young gifted artist weaves an important robe that recalls the history of the world for the village where she lives. The cast will feature a number of young performers, age 7–14 with auditions being held on Wed–Thurs, September 6–7 at 7:30 p.m. in Gates-Abegglen Theatre. Read more about youth auditions>>

Spring semester will first feature the March production of We Are Proud to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as Southwest Africa, From the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884–1915, by Jackie Sibblies Drury. Performed in Studio 88 Theatre, evening performances run March 7, 9, 10 and matinee shows March 10-11. The show will be directed by Torie Wiggins, visiting instructor of theatre at Miami. Hailed by critics as “witty and ingenious,” We Are Proud To Present invites the audience into a rehearsal room with six actors devising a presentation about a little-known genocide in German colonial Africa. Their collaboration questions how histories are written and whose voices are heard.

Tartuffe, is the last performance of the season, directed by Lewis Magruder, associate professor of theatre at Miami. Evening performances are May 2-5 with matinee show on Sunday, May 6 in Gates-Abegglen Theatre. The play was first performed in 1664, and is one of the most famous theatrical masterpieces by playwright Molière, translated into English verse by Richard Wilbur. Tartuffe is the central figure in this classic farce featuring quick banter and physical comedy as part of Molière's satirical look at religious hypocrisy.

Tickets are $12 adult, $9 senior, and $8 students. A curricular discount price of $6 per ticket is available to students, with faculty entitled to 2 free tickets per show if students receive credit for attending. To participate, contact the box office and provide your course #. Group discounts are also available for groups 10 or larger. Offer not available online.

Tickets can be purchased online or by contacting the Miami Box Office 513-529-3200. The Miami Box Office, located in the Campus Avenue Building, is open Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for walk-up purchases.

The Box Office in the Center for Performing Arts lobby is open one hour before curtain for door sales and will-call.

For additional information about the productions please contact the Department of Theatre at 513-529-3053.