Artists’ Ensemble opens fourth season with Laughing Stock

Rockford’s Artists’ Ensemble (AE) has announced its schedule for the upcoming season.

For the fourth straight season, AE subscription prices remain unchanged: four plays for $80, $75 for seniors and $40 for students. Subscribers save $24 over single ticket prices for the season. Also, since AE shows frequently sell out, being a subscriber is the only way to guarantee a seat. Season tickets may be purchased by calling the AE box office at 815-394-5004.

For more information, call AE at 815-394-5004 or visit the AE Web site at

Scheduled shows with performances at Rockford College are as follows:

Sept. 7-16: Laughing Stock, by Charles Morey—Meet Gordon (Stephen F. Vrtol III) Artistic Director of The Barn, a New Hampshire summer stock theater that performs in, well, a barn. From the New York auditions, through muddled rehearsals to disastrous opening nights, follow The Barn’s season: Charley’s Aunt, Dracula and Hamlet (with Gordon playing the title role).

Nov. 30-Dec. 16: Almost, Maine, by John Cariani—Something mysterious is going on in the tiny, mythical town of Almost, Maine. On a snowy Friday night, with the northern lights dancing in the sky, the residents are falling in and out of love at an alarming rate. The lovers may have to run their engines a while to get going, but the warmth comes through in this charming midwinter’s night dream of a play. “A whimsical approach to the joys and perils of romance. Magical happenings bloom beneath the snowdrifts.”—The New York Times

March 21-April 6, 2008: Rabbit Hole, by David Lindsay-Abaire—Winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for drama. Becca and Howie are trying to piece their lives back together as best they can after a shattering loss. There are good days and terrible days. There are times when they laugh, or fight, or weep. “A beautifully observed new play full of grace and wit.”—The New York Times

May 9-25, 2008: The Dining Room, by A.R. Gurney—A mosaic of scenes—funny, poignant, rueful, ridiculous—that all happen to take place in a dining room. A virtuoso showcase for six actors who play 57 characters of every kind from immigrant servants to haughty dowagers, confused seniors to giddy teens to small and very naughty children at a birthday party.

from the July 18-24, 2007, issue

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