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Top 5 student theater productions this fall

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photo (15)
A rehearsal shot from The Long Way Around. Courtesy of Leanna Keyes.

It’s only fall quarter but the student theater groups on campus are already working on the many exciting shows they’ll be producing this quarter. Below are five of the shows that we at Arts & Life are looking forward to seeing between now and Thanksgiving break.

1. “The Long Way Around”
An original play by Julia Starr ’16, “The Long Way Around” explores the love and friendship between two young women in a suburban town.  You know that thing where you can’t tell whether you’re on a date or not?  It’s like that … only for ten years.  Leanna Keyes ’14 directs actors Jackie Becker, Madelaine Bixler, Sean Morris, Raquel Shrestha, Brandon Silberstein and Sarah Tollman. The project is supported by the Stanford Arts Institute’s “Spark!” grant.

Performances will be Oct. 23-25 at 8 p.m. in the Women’s Community Center. Tickets are available here (seating is very limited).

2. “Ching Chong Chinaman”
The ultra-assimilated Wong family is as Chinese-American as apple pie: teenager Upton dreams of “World of Warcraft” superstardom while his sister Desdemona dreams of early admission to Princeton. Unfortunately, Upton’s chores and homework get in the way of his 24/7 video gaming, and Desi’s math grades don’t fit the Asian-American stereotype. Then Upton comes up with a novel solution for both problems: He acquires a Chinese indentured servant, who harbors an American dream of his own.

According to director Saya Jenks ’16, often “we’re afraid of talking about race in an honest way for fear of coming across as racist.” She and the Asian American Theater Project hope to use this hilarious satire to draw attention to micro-aggressions and instances of cultural appropriation, which they feel that members of our society have become accustomed to or don’t feel comfortable discussing. More information about the show can be found here.

Performances will be Oct. 30-31 and Nov. 1 at 8 p.m. at Roble Dorm Theater with a discussion panel following the closing performance.

3. “The Klaus Conundrum”
Produced by The Freeks and written by Madelaine Bixler ’17, the “Klaus Conundrum” is a play about a German composer who immigrates to America with his wife and finds himself unable to communicate with his physicist son. Director Patty Hamilton ’16 describes it as “a story about living in the middle and communicating with those who are right in front of you.” The play features actors Mac Abruzzo, Carson Hicks and Kaya McRuer, and audience members are encouraged to bring their own beer and “an openness to be absurd.”

Performances will be Nov. 6-8 at 8 p.m. at Haus Mitt.

4. “Sunday in the Park with George”
Directed by Ken Savage ’14, “Sunday in the Park with George” is a musical by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, inspired by Georges Seurat’s impressionist masterpiece “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatte.” The musical follows Seurat as he struggles to complete his painting and find an original artistic voice among the crowd of critical observers who become the painting’s subjects. The story jumps through time to the modern day to follow Seurat’s great-grandson, a conceptual artist who has lost his inspiration. With a complex score that imitates Seurat’s impressionist style and a story that will touch anyone who has ever lifted a pen, “Sunday in the Park with George” is a Pulitzer Prize-winning musical tour de force. The show will be presented in concert style with a full orchestra conducted by Joel Chapman.

Performances will be Nov. 21 in Dinkelspiel Auditorium.

A previous version of this article included At the Fountain Theatricals’ “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson”, which has been cancelled. Instead, a cabaret will take place Nov. 13-15 at Roble Dorm Theater.

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Noemi Berkowitz is the Chief Theater Critic and a desk editor at The Stanford Daily. She is a junior from Lincoln, Nebraska, double majoring in theater and psychology. You may see her reciting Shakespeare, wearing tie-dye and hiking. Contact her at noemi11 'at' stanford.edu.