2007/2008 SEASON

Preliminary information sheet - updated 10/5/07

Here is some basic information about our upcoming season - our 47th!!    including our continued performances at SOPAC  * <please note:  prices, location, performance schedule, and phone numbers>

 The dates for the Theatre in '07-'08 are as follows:
Oct. 19,20,21, 26,27,28 | *Nov 30, Dec. 1,2, 7,8,9 |  *Feb. 29,Mar 1,2, 7,8,9 | *April 18,19,20, 25,26,27

* performances at SOPAC {South Orange Performing Arts Center} *

 "The Crucible"  by   Arthur Miller

…" The powerful drama exploring persecution and social injustice"… [click here for Director's Notes] 


{ directed by Professor James P. McGlone }

        F 10/19 , Sa 1O/20 , Su 1O/21 matinee,      

        F 10/26 , Sa 1O/27, Su 1O/28 matinee

       "Nephew Fred"    by  Chris Aurilio & Peter Donahue

…” a delightful, original Christmantime comedy ”…  [click here for Director's Notes]  

          { directed by Professor Peter Reader }

      F 11/30 ,  Sa 12/1,   Su 12/2 matinee

          F 12/7 ,    Sa 12/8 Su  12/9 matinee


        "Merchant of Venice"  by  Shakespeare

  ... ” the well known tragedy of justice and injustice against a background of prejudice "      [click here for Director's Notes]   link to be updated

               {directed by Professor James P. McGlone }

          F  2/29 ,  Sa 3/1 ,  Su 3/2  matinee   

         F  3/7  ,  Sa 3/8  ,  Su 3/9  matinee   


        _"She Stoops to Conquer"    by  Oliver Goldsmith  

.. " the popular 18th century comedy about the 'mistakes of a night' "...   [click here for Director's Notes]     link to be updated

        { directed by Professor Deirdre Yates }

    4/18 ,   Sa 4/19   ,   Su 4/20 matinee

       4/25 ,   Sa 4/26   ,   Su 4/27 matinee


**please note the details for each venue concerning:  prices, location, performance schedule, and phone numbers**

* All evening performances begin at 7:30 and matinees are at 2:00.

* THe Crucible performs in the Theatre-in-the-Round in the University Center on the campus. All other performances take place in SOPAC (South Orange Performing Arts Center, 1 Trenchard Place-behind the Train Station)

* Ticket Prices:   $15.00 – Regular

                   $12.00 Senior Citizens, & Children, & SHU Alumni

                  $8.00 – SHU Students[One ticket per ID], Faculty, & Staff




 The Crucible_  - notes by Professor James P. McGlone 

Dear Patron:

Arthur Miller's The Crucible was written at the beginning of the "Cold War."  The threat to American Liberty in 1950, both political and personal, by the Soviet Union, which was referred to as "the red scare" dominated the new television medium. Miller's take on the Salem Witch Trials was thought to be a comment on the famous McCarthy - Army trials that had captured the conscience of the public.  It didn't seem to matter that many pundits noted that the Seventeenth Century witch-hunt took place in a religious state, while the contemporary American Republic separated the two powers.  

 Of course, the so called McCarthy era seems as distant to some Americans as the Salem Witch Trials themselves.  The play must now stand upon its dramatic power, a confrontation between a man and his conscience.  John Proctor is a flawed but good man, who has offended his marriage vows and is caught in an act of revenge that will load further guilt upon his puritan soul.  And his person has been formed by his puritan and English common law heritage.  This titanic confrontation between the hero's appearance to Salem society and his own perception of his moral guilt is the guts of the piece, and it is constructed as the perfect storm.    

This play, in my judgment, ranks with O'Neil's Long Day's Journey Into Night, but it has the added quality of being more accessible to actors and audiences alike.  It takes twenty actors to give us the Crucible's two and a half hours of stage traffic, while O’Neill’s piece has only five performers for its nearly four and a half hours of family confrontation. Thus, there is less strain on both actor and auditor. In any case, we hope that you will be moved by this powerful contemporary look at one of the formative moments in American history.

 All the best,

James P. McGlone

Professor of Communication




     Nephew Fred_______     - notes by Professor Peter Reader

Director's Notes:
 Charles Dickens lived in a time when London was an over crowded city with many social problems. Children often did not live past the age of 14. Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol as  a story of redemption that all Londoners should embrace in the spirit of Christmas--- a carol of hope. The delightful characters of this story have become as familiar as "Bah Humbug!". What if the ghosts did not really appear to Scrooge, but instead were hired actors in a complex charade and intervention by his only nephew?


Nephew Fred is a play about "what if, indeed"!. This is the first staging of this new comedy by playwrights Peter Donahue and Chris Aurilio. The characters are the same, but have been imbued with  new motivations to change the old skinflint known as Ebenezer Scrooge.  It's been a rare pleasure working with them to find the humor and quality in a new work, and an even greater privilege to stage it at SOPAC for your entertainment.



   The Merchant of Venice     - notes by Professor James P. McGlone 

Dear Patron:

In his musical  adaptation of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew, Cole Porter advised his audience to "Brush Up Your Shakespeare."  In recent years, that advice has been contradicted rather than ignored.  The Bard of Stratford on Avon has been relegated, it would seem, to the dustbin of Dead White European Males. In that context, it is amusing that his charming romantic comedy The Merchant of Venice has been attacked as insensitive to diversity, cruel in its slandering of an America minority.

 Of course, taken on contemporary terms, The Merchant of Venice is blatantly prejudiced against Jews.  Furthermore, it should never be the practice of playmakers to offend any part of their audience.  With that in mind, one must ask the question:  Should Shakespeare's choice of a villain in the sixteenth century rule out the production of his play in the twentieth century?  Do the virtues of the play outweigh the obvious defects that might offend a contemporary audience?

 The famous Portia plea for Mercy in the trial scene that begins with "The quality of mercy is not strained" used to be memorized by students throughout the English speaking world.  It is an eloquent plea for Christian forgiveness.  Ignore that plea, demand only justice and nothing more, suggests Portia, and you attack the entire ethic of Christendom.  In modern terms, we remind our friends "to be careful what you wish for, you just might get it."   

 Of course, Portia makes this speech to save the life of Antonio, the friend her new found love, Bassanio.  The thrust of the play is the wooing and winning of Portia not the destruction of Shylock.  Nonetheless, Shakespeare is such a master of his craft that he draws out the character of his villain in such subtle terms that we sympathize with him in his plight.  Shylock is caught in a cultural world he does not understand, and his tormentors, blinded by their own social assumptions, do not render Justice to him, but only the law. Taken in that light, The Merchant of Venice might be viewed as a salutary comment on the contemporary struggle against prejudice.

 In any case, tonight we have endeavored to bring one of Shakespeare's highly regarded plays to you for your enjoyment and evaluation.  We hope to entertain not offend you. Let our intent  be remembered should our craft fail us.  Remember, as Portia has instructed us, that "the quality of Mercy is not strained. . . "


all the best,

Jim McGlone







All the best,

Jim McGlone



__________   =  notes by Professor Deirdre Yates  

Director's Notes:

To our audience,






Professor Deirdre Yates