For Immediate Release
September 30, 2016
Contact: Al Schnupp, Director
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 Spanos Theatre on campus.
The play, written by Australian playwright Louis Nowra, is set in a mental institution in Melbourne in 1971. 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 are a testy, impassioned and disturbed lot. Doug is a pyromania, Cherry is loud, bold, obsessed with food and falls for the director, Ruth is obsessive-compulsive, unable to resist her passion for numbers and counting, Henry is a shy, stuttering ex-lawyer with hidden aggressive tendencies and Zac, a strung-out musician, sees himself as an artistic genius.
Rich with delightful characters, the play is a study of human behavior and creative collaboration. It celebrates the transformative nature of the arts. 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” theatre.
The play is somewhat autobiographical in that both of Nowra’s grandmothers were institutionalized and he directed Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Trial by Jury” with patients, incorporating The Beatles and Bee Gees songs into the show. “Cosi” was made into a movie in 1996, featuring Toni Collette, Rachel Griffiths, Ben Mendelsohn, Colin Friels and Jacki Weaver, among others.
Cal Poly professor Al Schnupp is the director and scenic designer of this production. This past summer he toured Central California with his original play, “The Collection,” a Celebration of the Life and Legacy of Peggy Guggenheim. Professor Thomas Bernard designed costumes, Clint Bryson is technical director 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).
About the Cal Poly Theatre & Dance Department
The Cal Poly Theatre & 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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