Contact:  Lynn Stewart, Centenary News Service, 318-869-5120
or  Robert Buseick, Marjorie Lyons Playhouse,  318-869-5242

Centenary's Marjorie Lyons Playhouse Announces its 2002-03 Theatre Season Offerings

SHREVEPORT, LA -- The 2002-03 theatre season at Centenary College's Marjorie Lyons Playhouse will include a comedy considered to be one of Broadway's funniest, a murder mystery which pays homage to the genre of creaking doors and thunder storms and a Tony Award-winning musical that sets the signing of the Declaration of Independence to a humnorous, tuneful score.

Housing the Theatre/Speech Departments of Centenary, the theatre is celebrating its 45th year as one of the area's leading cultural organizations. Season subscriptions, which sell for $85, can be purchased at the theatre box office or by calling the theatre at 318-869-5242.  Additionally, mail orders can be made by sending a check to Marjorie Lyons Playhouse, 2911 Centenary Blvd., Shreveport, La., 71134-1188.

The Season:

Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon
By D.D. Brooke
Adapted from the novel by Marjorie Kellogg
Sept. 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28 at 8 p.m.
Sept. 29 at 2 p.m.

Three extraordinary people, each handicapped, meet in a hospital and instantly form a bond in their search for a fulfilling, meaningful life.  Because they have nowhere else to go, and no immediate prospects for the future, they make a decision to live together after being discharged from the hospital. Junie Moon is a young girl who has been disfigured from an attack by her husband. Warren is a young man who has been shot and has suffered paralysis as an after effect. Arthur, also a young man, is suffering from a degenerative brain disease. Their individual illnesses and infirmities are at first difficult obstacles to friendship. But gradually, courageously, they begin to explore the dangerous possibilities of love. Robert Buseick will direct.

The Shape of Things
By Neil Labute
Nov. 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16 at 8 p.m.
Nov. 17 at 2 p.m.

This modern comedy/drama recently completed a smash run off-Broadway. A young college student, working as a security guard at an art museum, stops a protester from spray painting a sculpture. Slowly, he drifts into an ever-changing relationship with her, an art major at the same college. Meanwhile, his best friend's engagement is crumbling. The play humorously exposes two modern-day relationships. How far would you go for love?  For art? What would you be willing to change about yourself.? What price might you pay for that change? Labute has been at the forefront of young talents examining modern life with his films In the Company of Men and Nurse Betty.  The New Yorker calls him "...the best new playwright to emerge in the past decade." Patric McWilliams will direct..
*Note: This production will open on a Wednesday rather than the usual Thursday opening.

Winnie the Pooh
Adapted by Kristen Sergel
Based on the book by A.A. Milne
Dec. 5 and 6 at 7 p.m. 
Dec. 7 and 8 at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. 

As a holiday treat, MLP produces a main stage children's theatre production for the first time since the 1970's. Winnie the Pooh is Christopher Robin's fat little "bear of very little brain," who would like to drift peacefully through life. However, he finds himself involved in all sorts of frantic adventures, assisted by such friends as the dismal Eeyore, Piglet and Rabbit. Pooh's intentions are always the best, but his passion for honey and condensed milk keeps getting him into trouble. A.A. Milne's wit and special understanding of young people make this one of the most delightful and endearing theatrical experiences. Robert Buseick will direct.

The Wayside Motor Inn
By A.R. Gurney
Feb. 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15 at 8 p.m.
Feb. 16 at  2 p.m.

A truly original and creatively structured play about the impersonality and, too often, the futility of American life. The scene is a motel outside of Boston, into which come five sets of travelers, one after the other. There is a well-to-do couple on a visit to their married daughter; a lonely salesman looking for a bit of romance to temper the boredom of his travels; an overbearing father and his son en route to an interview at Harvard; a pair of liberated college students; and an embittered doctor in the process of getting a divorce.  As each of the situations is developed, the irony, humor and pathos which they evoke is heightened by the proximity of the other characters, building, in the end, to an indictment of the shortcomings, large and small, of contemporary life.  Robert Buseick will direct.

The Bat
By Mary Roberts Rinehart and Avery Hopwood
Adapted by Patric McWilliams
April 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12 at 8 p.m.
April 14 at 2 p.m. 
While a storm rages, of course lights flicker and shadows lurk in this popular American mystery play where incident is piled upon incident. This thriller revolves around Cornelia Van Gorder, who rents the summer home of a banker reported killed in Colorado. She is warned that mysterious things are happening but she refuses to move. Then it is discovered that a large sum is missing from the dead man's bank and it is suspected that the banker -- far from being dead -- stole the money, hid it in a secret chamber in his house and is only waiting for a chance to sneak back to get it. But there are others who have their eyes after the money : the bank cashier who was wrongfully accused of stealing it; a detective trying to clear up the mystery; a doctor friend and The Bat, a notorious thief who has long eluded the police. Ushering all of these characters in and out of the mansion is a Japanese butler (Hmmmm).  Patric McWilliams will direct.

Noises Off
By Michael Frayn
June 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14 at 8 p.m.
June 15 at 2 p.m.

"It's possible that a funnier comedy than Noises Off once played on Broadway, but I don't know what it could have been," said Newsday's Allan Wallach of Michael Frayn's classic farce of non-stop hilarity. A play within a play, it begins with a troop of has-been and never-were actors in their frantic, final rehearsal of the farce, Nothing On. As the melee of actors (outraged wife, squeaky blonde, company lush, etc) stumble through their lines, they are tossed about by a whirlwind of calamities--from missing contact lenses and misplaced sardines to philandering lovers and a swinging axe. They collide catastrophically in a real-life farce that parallels the one that they're appearing in... 'til at last, in open revolt against each other and their production.... the actors rewrite and sabotage every line of their script. The only possible response is to laugh uproariously. Robert Buseick will direct.

Music and lyrics by Sherman Edwards
Book by Peter Stone
July 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26 at 8 p.m.
July 27 at 2 p.m.

The seminal event in American history blazes to vivid life in this most unconventional of Broadway hits. Winner of the 1969 Tony Award for Best Musical, 1776 finds us in the summer when the nation was ready to declare independence ... if only the founding fathers could agree to do it! The musical follows John Adams of Massachusetts, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania and Richard Henry Lee and Thomas Jefferson of Virginia as they attempted to convince the members of the second Continental Congress to vote for independence from the shackles of the British monarchy by signing the Declaration of Independence. 1776 puts a human face on the pages of history as we see the men behind the national icons: proud, frightened, uncertain, irritable, charming, often petty and ultimately, noble figures determined to do the right thing for the fledgling nation.  Robert Buseick and Patric McWilliams will co-direct.

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