NIU School of Theatre and Dance presents Private Lives

January 20, 2010

From press release

DEKALB, Ill.—A different seat, a different point of view, a different kind of performance for a well-known play.

The audience will be seated on all four sides of the stage for the Northern Illinois University (NIU) School of Theatre and Dance production of Noel Coward’s Private Lives, which will be performed in the round in the Stevens Building Players Theatre Thursday-Sunday, Jan. 28-31, and Wednesday-Sunday, Feb. 3-7.

Private Lives is a comedy about a divorced couple who meets again while both are on their honeymoons with their new spouses. Not only has each remarried at the same time, but both new couples are also honeymooning in the same hotel in adjoining suites.

Each audience member could leave Private Lives having experienced an entirely different performance depending on where he or she sat.

“You could sit anywhere on any given night and see a different show,” DuVall said. “Every seat is a good seat, but every seat offers a different view of these private lives.”

The director of Private Lives, Dr. Patricia Ridge, prefers to direct performances in the round. The actors receive audience feedback so much faster in the round because they are not as separated from the audience.

“It is my preferred style because it is more intimate with the audience,” Dr. Ridge said. “It has an important impact on the audience in a comedy and also in dramatic pieces.”

“Performing in the round allows the actors and the audience to experience the characters in a three-dimensional way, which is more realistic,” said cast member Chelsea DuVall. “The round setting allows the audience to truly look in on the characters’ lives.”

Show times are 7:30 p.m., weekdays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m., Sundays.

Tickets can be purchased at the Stevens Building box office, on the DeKalb campus behind the Pizza Hut and McDonald’s restaurants on West Lincoln Highway, noon-5 p.m., Monday-Thursday, and noon-2 p.m., Friday, and one hour before productions. Tickets can also be ordered by phone at (815) 753-1600 or online at www.niu.edu/theatre. Tickets cost $14 for adults, $12 for seniors, and $8 for students.

From the Jan. 20-26, 2010 issue

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