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Mr. Burns makes debut in University Players 60th season

And, true to that nuclear world of television’s favorite cartoon family, the play is about a post-apocalyptic place.


It’s also about the Players “return to the musical,” says drama department spokeswoman Kristen Siapas.


The student dramatists have scheduled they’re usual six productions this year under the themes “love and war.”


Suitably three of the plays are about love the others about war.


But Mr. Burns may be just the ticket to get your arts-going season underway.


“It’s a return for us to musical theatre, which we haven’t done since 2003,” Siapas says.


Mr. Burns (by playwright Anne Washburn), a play about mythmaking, takes place in the near future, then seven years in the future, and 75 years further on, in a world without electricity, a post-apocalyptic world.


“What are the stories that we tell, the stories that are going to survive, and how does pop culture shape our modern mythologies,” Siapas says.


It's followed by Tennessee Williams’s classic A Streetcar Named Desire beginning Oct. 26.


 Then, in the war theme, R.C. Sherriff’s Journey’s End, performed to mark the 100th year since the end of World War I.


It’s about life in the trenches before the gruesome attack.


Continuing with war, with some sexual politics thrown in, is Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad, a feminist take on the Trojan War of Greek myth.


In March, Yasmina Reza’s well-known work, which had been made into a film, God of Carnage, is an entertaining if insightful look at anger in an attempt at reconciliation.


“What starts out as an evening of civility eventually devolves into chaos,” Siapas says.


Finally, next spring, there is the interesting work from Caryl Churchill, Love and Information.


It’s a cavalcade of vignettes with 16 actors performing more than a hundred different characters and almost 60 scenes.


“You might have a couple in a doctor’s office having a discussion or you might have a couple having an argument over where to send their children for school,” Siapas says.


“These are everyday situations and they’re presented to us in a series of snapshots.”


The University Players attendance last season was 14,000, with 500 season subscribers.


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