For 48 years, the Hilberry Theatre has provided something special to theatregoers – something called the Hilberry Experience, which consists of a community of enthusiastic and supportive patrons and intriguing and talented early career professionals. The Hilberry Experience allows for relationships to be formed between patrons and company members, enabling the Hilberry Theatre to provide patrons with exactly what they want – an exceptional lineup of dramatic works. The 2010-2011 season is a direct result of the Hilberry Experience; it will provide those who make the Hilberry Company what it is with what they want.
The 2010-2011 season will open with Hay Fever by Noël Coward. Audiences spend a weekend in the country with the self-absorbed Bliss family, where the comedy heats up when each member of the family has invited an unsuspecting romantic prospect without informing the others. When rain traps the passionate family and their guests indoors, life becomes happily chaotic. Hay Fever will play in rotating repertory October 1 – December 9, 2010.
Continuing the season, the Hilberry exercises its classic roots with Of Mice and Men by Nobel prize-winning author John Steinbeck. Take a journey with George and Lennie, who travel the workers’ circuit, as they try to achieve the American Dream. One day they plan to own their own ranch. George, friend and father-figure to Lennie (who possesses a giant’s strength and a child’s innocence) protects his friend until, at their next ranch job, an innocent response causes an accidental death which challenges the human spirit within them both. Of Mice and Men will feature student matinee performances and run in rotating repertory from October 22, 2010 – February 5, 2011.
Widely considered one of Shakespeare’s greatest plays, Richard III is next in the lineup. Daunted by a life of physical challenges, Richard weaves a fiery web of intrigue, removing all obstacles, and all people, that stand between him and his passion for the throne of England. Battles of wits and clashes with swords scorch the life of this political genius. Richard III runs in rotating repertory November 19, 2010 – February 25, 2011.
2011 starts off with the richly sophisticated comic drama The Misanthrope by Jean-Baptiste Molière. The misanthrope is a man who seems passionate in his comic detestation of humankind – its foibles and hypocrisy. Yet the woman he
desperately loves stokes his flames of ire and desire while simultaneously promising her love to many other suitors. Life unravels beautifully in this comic masterpiece about men, women, passions, and protestations. The Misanthrope runs in rotating repertory January 28 – March 5, 2011.
As part of the Hilberry experience, audiences request shows that they would like to see in upcoming seasons. This year, the audience pick is a musical with an award- winning soundtrack. The Full Monty by Terrence McNally and David Yazbek follows the playful mischief of six unemployed steelworkers from Buffalo, who bare it all to earn some much-needed cash. Their passion for life, over the course of numerous show-stopping numbers, helps them find renewed self-esteem, deeper friendship and heartwarming moments that remind them of what it means to be alive. The Full Monty contains nudity and mature themes and is performed at the Bonstelle Theatre April 15 – April 24, 2011.
The Hilberry Theatre Company will close the 2010-2011 season with a two-part epic: the groundbreaking Detroit premiere of The Cider House Rules, Part 1 & 2 by John Irving and adapted for the stage by Peter Parnell.
Past two-part productions were so popular that our audiences have requested more, resulting in the selection of this stunning masterpiece about what it means to be human. “You may disapprove, but you may not be ignorant or look away.” The words of Dr. Wilbur Larch ring larger than life in this story, seen through the eyes of Homer Wells. Homer is raised in an orphanage as the protégé of the gruff obstetrician who delivered him, forever careful to maintain a distance from the other orphans so they can easily transition into adoptive families. Hungry for life’s experiences, Homer ventures into the world and discovers that friendship and love have unexpected complications as his best friend is sent off to war and Homer falls passionately for his war-lost friend’s girl. Passion leads to pregnancy and a return to the orphanage at St. Cloud’s, where Homer resumes his mentor’s work, and perhaps his life. The Cider House Rules contains mature themes and runs in rotating repertory March 31 – May 13, 2011.
With an upcoming season that is sure to be one of the best yet, the Hilberry Experience is better than ever. Subscribers get the most of the Hilberry Experience with the opportunity to see all seven shows for as low as $115. Subscribers are an integral part of the Hilberry community, as they enjoy discounted prices, priority seating, exchange privileges, lost ticket insurance, a free subscription to our newsletter and invitation to the annual Subscriber party. Season subscriptions are on sale now!
To subscribe, call (313) 577-2972 or visit the Wayne State University Box Office at 4743 Cass Avenue on the corner of Cass Avenue and Hancock. Performance information may also be obtained by visiting the Theatre’s websites at www.theatre.wayne.edu and www.wsushows.com