The University of Miami (UM) College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Theatre Arts kicks off its 2015-2016 season at the Jerry Herman Ring Theatre with a collection of short plays from Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tennessee Williams, with Tennessee’s Treasures premiering on Sept. 23 and running through Oct. 3, 2015.
Celebrating its 77th season, additional Ring Theatre highlights include Shakespeare favorite As You Like It, the first Shakespeare production at the Ring since King Lear in 2013. To close out the Spring 2016 semester, the musical comedy Guys and Dolls by Frank Loesser returns to the Alvin Sherman Family Stage.
Making his UM debut this season, accomplished theatre veteran Peter Ellenstein joins the Theatre Arts faculty as a visiting assistant professor of acting and directing, and interim artistic director of the Ring Theatre.
“Peter Ellenstein’s experience and vibrant leadership will enrich both our conservatory acting training program and our programming at the Jerry Herman Ring Theatre,” said Stephen Di Benedetto, chairman of the Department of Theatre Arts and associate professor of theatre history. “We look forward to working with him as we build on our educational mission and new play development.”
For more than 30 years, Ellenstein has taught acting, directing, voice, Shakespeare and musical theatre both professionally and academically. He has worked in multiple styles ranging from Shakespeare and musicals to modern drama and devised work, though his focus over the last decade has primarily been the development of new work.
Ellenstein attended American Conservatory Theatre, then went on to earn his BA in theatre from Thomas Edison State College, and later received his Masters of Fine Arts from Minnesota State University, Mankato. He comes to UM following 13 years as artistic director of the William Inge Center for the Arts in Independence, Kansas.
The Ring Theatre 2015-16 season:
Sept. 23 – Oct. 3, 2015
By Tennessee Williams
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, Tennessee Williams penned many of his theatrical works while residing in the cultural riches of Coconut Grove and Key West. Spend a one-of-a-kind evening at the Ring, celebrating the diverse tapestry of selections from Mr. Williams’ collection of short plays that are all rooted in the beauty that is the human experience.
Nov. 11 – 21, 2015
Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by Julius J. Epstein
A status-obsessed Brooklynite ultimately learns the incredible value of love in this little known Sondheim gem, set in the landscape of 1929 New York. Based on a play by the two brothers responsible for the classic film Casablanca, Saturday Night features a fetching, tuneful Broadway-style score that hints at Sondheim’s triumphs to come while staying firmly rooted in the Rodgers and Hammerstein tradition.
AS YOU LIKE IT
Feb. 17 – 27, 2016
By William Shakespeare
Love, religion, circumstance and justice collide in As You Like It, one of the Bard’s most famous and provocative comedies. The Forest of Arden serves as a refuge for exiles, mistaken identities and the quest to uphold love at first sight. Shakespeare put it best with penning the line from this masterpiece – “All the world’s a stage.”
GUYS AND DOLLS
April 13 – 23, 2016
Music and lyrics by Frank Loesser
Book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows
Frank Loesser’s celebrated 1950 musical comedy about rolling the dice and falling in love under the bright lights of Broadway return to the Ring Theatre. Guys and Dolls takes us from Times Square to the cafes of Cuba, and even into the sewers of New York City, but eventually everyone ends up right where they belong.
The Jerry Herman Ring Theatre is located at 1312 Miller Drive on the University of Miami’s Coral Gables campus. The theatre is wheelchair accessible, has handicapped parking, and offers free infrared hearing devices. Parking is free and plentiful adjacent to the theatre.
New season subscription sales begin mid-July. Call 305-284-3355, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.miami.edu/ring for more information.