People know the commencement of fall by the appearance of leaves, the beginning of classes and also the opening of Nevada Repertory Company shows. This fall, the lineup mixes controversy with historical literature.
“This is a liberal-arts campus,” said Larry Walters, managing director of the Company. “Nevada Rep is part of the cultural texture of the campus. We enrich lives, broaden perspectives, highlight issues and entertain on so many different levels.”
Nevada Rep’s fall 2010 season starts Oct. 1 with “Stop Kiss,” a contemporary play by Diana Son. It is about two young women in New York who meet and feel a growing attraction toward each other that culminates in a kiss. The kiss sets off savage “gay-bashing”, and also invokes whether people have the right to be themselves in public. The company will perform seven performances of “Stop Kiss.”
Next on the schedule is a recently unearthed comedy by Mark Twain called “Is He Dead?” The play focuses on an impoverished artist who stages his own death to increase the value of his paintings. This play has eight shows, starting Nov. 12.
“‘Stop Kiss’ is my favorite performance and we haven’t even performed it yet,” said Monica Fritcher, a sophomore theater major at the University and stage manager for the Nevada Repertory Company. “We offer an alternative source of entertainment that some people may not normally see.”
Fritcher and fellow senior theater major Benn Dyer joined when they were freshmen at the University and have been involved since. The Nevada Rep experience has helped both Dyer and Fritcher find positions with the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, spending the summer with the 38-year-old company.
“Nevada Rep is great for work experience,” said Dyer, carpenter and welder for the Company. “It takes a lot to put on a performance, and being part of Nevada Rep really shows the massive amount of effort needed by the members.”
This last spring, the University’s student government proposed a $5 per-student, per-semester fine arts fee in its Joint Vision 2017 plan as a way to pay for more performing and visual arts on campus. The students voted and passed the measure, providing more opportunity for the University’s School of the Arts. Ticket prices for Nevada Rep’s fall performances start at $12, and season tickets are available.
“Theater can change a person’s thought-process,” Dyer said. “It can change how someone views the world, and with our controversial and entertaining plays, we set out to do just that.”
In the spring, Nevada Rep presents Neil LaBute’s “Fat Pig” and William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”