Northern Illinois University

NIU Office of Public Affairs

News Release

Contact: David W. Booth/Carita Giles, NIU School of Theatre and Dance
(815) 753-1337

October 11, 2007

NIU School of Theatre and Dance
to feature alumni theater company

DeKalb — Northern Illinois University School of Theatre and Dance will feature a Chicago-based alumni theatre company as its next production of the 2007-8 Subscription Series. Bruised Orange Theater Company will produce a remount of playwright Clint Sheffer’s “Poor Man’s Amos,” which opens Thursday, Oct. 25.

“Poor Man’s Amos” is a one act play about two strangers involved in a twisted love triangle. The characters encounter each other intermittently at multiple stages of their lives as mutual admirers of an unseen woman.

The play first performed at Chicago’s Oracle Theatre in the September of 2005. A Chicago Reader review of that production said, “The actors skillfully convey the intertwining of fear and pleasure when men form friendships.”

Bruised Orange Theater Company was invited to remount the play as the first offering of a new series of performances the school has titled “Northern Lights.” The series showcases alumni that have created their own theatre companies. Sheffer graduated from NIU in 2002. Other company members are all graduates of the school and include Sheffer (artistic director), Mark Spence (executive director), Tiffany Bedwell, Mary Foster, Christopher McClinden, Tiffany Joy Ross, and Ann Sonneville.

The Northern Lights series is intended to be an annual event of the regular Subscription Series season that will provide alumni greater exposure, better technical support and the ability to perform in a larger and more comprehensive facility than they may be accustomed to at this point in their careers. 

According to Alexander Gelman, director of the school, subsequent Northern Lights plays will be chosen, “not to focus on something NIU wants to do, but to represent the work of the featured alumni company.”

The school approached several companies before narrowing their choice to Bruised Orange. “The company was chosen because of their unique aesthetic direction,” Gelman explains. “BOTC chooses to focus on one artistic vision.”

Ultimately, Gelman says, the school cooperates with the alumni company, “to accurately align the production with that vision.”

“Northern Lights: Poor Man’s Amos” runs in the Players Theatre from Thursday, Oct. 25, through Sunday, Oct. 28, and from Wednesday, Oct. 31, through Sunday, Nov. 4. Weekday and Saturday performances are at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays are at 2 p.m. Ticket prices are $14 for adults, $10 for seniors and $7 for students. Call the NIU School of Theatre and Dance box office at (815) 753-1600 for reserved seat tickets.

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