Northern Illinois University

NIU Office of Public Affairs

News Release

Contact: David W. Booth/Jessica Custer, School of Theatre and Dance
(815) 753-1337

January 20, 2006

"Omnium Gatherum” brings politics to the dinner table

DeKalb, IL -- Critically acclaimed at the 2003 Humana Festival of New American Plays, the comedy-drama "Omnium Gatherum" comes to Northern Illinois University’s Players Theatre from February 2-5 and 8-12. School of Theatre and Dance professor, Patricia Ridge, directs this play about a dinner party in a post-9/11 world, attended by a group of archetypical, and perhaps very recognizable, New York movers and shakers.

"Omnium Gatherum," which means “a collection of peculiar souls,” finds the assemblage, hosted by a pretentious Martha Stewart-like Suzie (Heidi Kendziera), enjoying an elaborate gourmet meal served with a side of political banter. The group provides enlightening discussion with a biting wit. 

Although the guests initially perceive the party as a pleasant social event, the dinner progresses from pleasantries to subtle jabs, to caustic dialogue, and finally turns to overt hostility. As the wine and the good will of the guests runs short, a surprising guest is introduced whose presence will stir up even more controversy and new self-awareness among the party-goers. 

According to Ridge, during this ninety-minute-long civics and political science debate, ideas are presented that would rival the intellect and the comedy of Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show, which is very popular on television’s Comedy Central.

"Omnium Gatherum" runs February 2-5 and 8-12 at Northern Illinois University’s Stevens Building in the Players Theatre. Weeknights and Saturday performances begin at 7:30 p.m. with Sunday’s performances starting at 2 p.m. Tickets are $14 for adults, $7 for students, and $8 for seniors. For tickets and additional information, call the Stevens Building Box Office at (815) 753-1600.