Contact: David W. Booth/Stephanie Wise, NIU School of Theatre and Dance
October 5, 2009
DeKalb, Ill. — A duchess, fisherwoman, aristocratic lady and peasant girl have one thing in common: Don Juan.
The NIU School of Theatre and Dance will present the story of this notorious trickster and seducer of women, with its production of “The Trickster of Seville and His Guest of Stone,” which runs Thursday, Oct. 22, through Sunday, Oct. 25, and Thursday, Oct. 29, through Sunday, Nov. 1, in the Stevens Building O’Connell Theatre.
South African poet Roy Campbell translated “The Trickster of Seville and His Guest of Stone” from Tirso de Molina’s 17th century play, “El burlador de Sevilla.”
“This is the original incarnation of Don Juan – as far as we know, the original telling of the theme of this character,” said Neil Brookshire, SoTD MFA in acting candidate. Brookshire plays Don Juan, a trickster who does not adhere to the rules of the church or society.
“Everyone, including myself, has an idea of who Don Juan is,” Brookshire said. “But, going back to the original title, El burlador de Sevilla, el burlador is a person who mocks or evades or tricks people. (Don Juan) is rather archetypal … open to many interpretations. I think there’s a little bit of Don Juan in most, if not all people, because who doesn’t like to play tricks, even if they’re frivolous?”
The character Catalina provides the voice of reason in this play that, in the words of Brookshire, displays the “attractive qualities of doing bad or evil.” Catalina disagrees with everything Don Juan does but never leaves him. Their disagreements are humorous, but also open up to the larger meaning and themes of the character, Brookshire said.
“She is sort of like his mother and his confessor and his moral conscience all wrapped in one person,” said Allison Asher, MFA in acting candidate, who plays Catalina.
“Everything he does, she questions and challenges, but she also supports him by doing what he says,” Brookshire said. “She is the voice of reason in a different way than a disciplinarian would be.”
“The director (Alex Gelman) has created an incredible vision with it,” Asher said. “People interact with each other in interesting ways. There’s a lot of sword fighting and sexy costumes.”
Show times are 7:30 p.m. weekdays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays.
Tickets can be purchased at the box office, located in the lobby of the Stevens Building on the DeKalb campus, behind the Pizza Hut and McDonald’s restaurants, from noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from noon to 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.
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