Oct. 12, 2016

Contact: Al Schnupp
805-756-2030; aschnupp@calpoly.edu

Cal Poly Theatre and Dance Department to Present ‘Cosi’ Nov. 10-17

SAN LUIS OBISPO -- The Cal Poly Theatre and Dance Department will present the comedy “Cosi” at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 10-12, and Tuesday through Thursday, Nov 15-17, in the university’s Spanos Theatre.

The play, written by Australian playwright Louis Nowra, is set in a mental institution in Melbourne, Australia, in 1971. In the production, Lewis, a recent university graduate, is hired to direct a play to be performed by the patients. Roy, an ebullient manic-depressive, convinces the group to perform Mozart’s opera “Cosi fan Tutti.”

The characters include Doug, a pyromaniac; Cherry, who is loud, bold, obsessed with food and falls for the director; Ruth, an obsessive-compulsive unable to resist her passion for numbers and counting; Henry, a shy, stuttering ex-lawyer with hidden aggressive tendencies; and Zac, a strung-out musician who sees himself as an artistic genius.

Against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, student protests and a free-love movement, Lewis must navigate his relationship with his live-in girlfriend and arrogant friend Nick, a stage director who only participates in “serious” theater.

“The play, rich with delightful characters, is a study of human behavior and creative collaboration,” said Al Schnupp, director and professor in Cal Poly’s Theatre and Dance Department. “It celebrates the transformative nature of the arts.”

The play is somewhat autobiographical; both of author Nowra’s grandmothers were institutionalized.

“Cosi” was made into a movie in 1996, featuring Toni Collette, Rachel Griffiths, Ben Mendelsohn, Colin Friels and Jacki Weaver.

Schnupp is also the scenic designer of the production. He recently toured Central California with his original play “The Collection, a Celebration of the Life and Legacy of Peggy Guggenheim.”

Professor Thomas Bernard is the costumer designer, Clint Bryson is the technical and lighting designer, and Sarah Bryan is the costume shop manager.

Tickets are $20 for the public and $12 students, seniors, children, faculty and staff. Tickets are sold at the Performing Arts Center Ticket Office between noon and 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. To order by phone, call 805-SLO-4TIX (805-756-4849).

- Theatre and Dance Department: www.theatredance.calpoly.edu
- College of Liberal Arts: www.cla.calpoly.edu

About the Cal Poly Theatre & Dance Department
The Cal Poly Theatre and Dance Department provides students with programs of study that integrate practical production work with theater and dance principles, theory and historical development. The department also acts as a cultural focus for the campus and San Luis Obispo community. Each year the department presents three main-stage theater productions, the Orchesis Dance Company production, and a student-directed dance concert, all showcasing the department’s importance in realizing the university’s mission as a comprehensive polytechnic identity.

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