College of Liberal Arts

University of Mississippi

‘Teddy Ferrara’ Opens Ole Miss Theatre’s New Season

Performances continue through October 4

SEPTEMBER 24, 2015 BY STAFF REPORT

Photo credit: Marya Paolillo

Photo by Marya Paolillo

The curtain went up this week on Ole Miss Theatre‘s 2015-2016 season with the staging of “Teddy Ferrara.”

The play will be performed at 7:30 p.m. tonight (Sept. 24) and Friday and continue nightly Sept. 29-30 and Oct. 1-2, with matinee performances at 2 p.m. Sunday (Sept. 27) and again Oct. 3-4. All performances are in the Meek Hall Auditorium.

“‘Teddy Ferrara,” described as thought-provoking and emotional, focuses on a college senior named Gabe. When the play opens, Gabe seems to have a bright future. Not only does he run the Queer Students Group, but he has finally arranged for a single room and recently started dating a great guy.

But Gabe’s neatly organized world is thrown into chaos after a campus tragedy occurs and the ensuing media attention ignites a firestorm, according to the “Teddy Ferrara” website.

The main character discovers the events surrounding the tragedy aren’t as straightforward as they seem, and Gabe is forced to question popular assumptions as well as his own life’s contradictions.

Max Mattox, a senior musical theater major who portrays Gabe, said the play is a contemporary examination of society.

“It’s a look at how people deal with relationships today in places like college, especially with technology being a big part of our world now and how we meet people and interact, and how it affects the world,” Mattox said. “You kind of follow the life of a college kid, building his life from the ground up, getting up on his feet.”

The play will touch those who see it, said Rory Ledbetter, professor of theatre arts and the show’s director.

“By the end of the show, many audience members will feel frustrated, melancholic or tragic,” Ledbetter said. “This play does not have a happy ending, but it will leave you thinking.

“The show deals with a lot of issues from LGBTQ rights, depression and communication in our society. Every audience member will relate to at least one character during the show.”

“Hair,” the Vietnam-era musical classic, is the second show of the season with performances Nov. 13-15 at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts. The popular musical features several popular songs, including “Let the Sunshine In,” “Aquarius” and “Good Morning Starshine.”

Theatergoers should know that both “Teddy Ferrara” and “Hair” contain adult content that might not be suitable for children.

Kicking off 2016 is the third production of the season, “Anton in Show Business.” This madcap comedy follows three actresses across the footlights, down the rabbit hole and into a strangely familiar Wonderland that looks a lot like American theater. In the tradition of great backstage comedies, this show conveys the joys, pains and absurdities of putting on a play at the turn of the century.

The final production of the season is William Shakespeare’s most popular comedy, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” The production will coincide with the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death and Shakespeare’s first folio coming to UM.

In addition, Ole Miss Theatre is continuing its Patron Appreciation Night, which will be the first Friday of each production. Only patrons, season ticket holders and Friends of Ole Miss Theatre will be able to purchase tickets for these performances, providing a perfect environment for those who enjoy the magic of the theater.

Individual tickets are $12.50 for adults, $9 for UM students and $8 for seniors and children. For ticket information, contact the UM Box Office at 662-915-7411 or visit http://theatre.olemiss.edu.