Dunes Arts Summer Theatre announces its highly anticipated 72nd summer season, including five productions of enduring favorites like “tick…tick…Boom!,”“Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” and—kicking things off in June—“Boeing Boeing.” Individual tickets ($35) and season tickets ($150) are now on sale at dunesarts.org. Nestled within the woodsy dunes of Michiana Shores, Dunes Summer Theatre, located at 288 Shady Oak Dr, Michigan City, Ind., has brought professional performances to Harbor Country for more than seven decades and is northwest Indiana’s longest-running summer theater program. Artistic Director Steve Scott, who joined Dunes Summer Theatre in 2021 after producing more than 200 productions at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre for more than 30 years, is especially excited about this year’s offerings to southwest Lake Michigan’s performing arts community.
“This season we’ve got something for everyone—a classic Tony Award-winning farce, an infectiously engaging musical by a legendary composer and a hilariously wise look at family and generational relationships in the 21st century,” says Scott. “Added to this is our annual Broadway Cabaret, presented this year on our beautiful back lawn and our first-ever festival showcasing the talents of our region’s most exciting playwrights. Once more we’ll be bringing gifted actors, directors and designers from across the country to our Michiana Shores home, artists who will also be teaching and mentoring the budding young artists in our area. I couldn’t be prouder of the lineup of productions and programs that we’ve put together—and I can’t wait to greet our audiences this summer!”
In addition to attending all theater performances, season subscribers benefit by being invitedto complimentarily attend special events throughout the season, including this year’s Season Announcement Party at The Hummingbird Lounge in New Buffalo on Saturday, April 22 (4 to 6 p.m. CST/ 5 to 7 p.m. EST). This kick-off celebration will feature a preview of “tick…tick…Boom!” by actor Max DeTogne and music director Andrew Flasch as well as a cash bar and menu items for purchase. The cost is $25 per person for non-subscribers. Season ticket holders and special donors are also exclusively invited to the Spring Soiree Cocktail Party to be held on Saturday, May 20. Further details on this event are to be announced.
Jay Espanõ, who in addition to acting, writing, teaching and producing is an award-winning filmmaker and the artistic director of Pride Arts! in Chicago, kicks-off this summer season by directing “Boeing Boeing.” Inspired by Dunes Summer Arts Theatre’s mission of providing high-quality performing arts and education while promoting community spirit and striving for inclusivity, diversity and accessibility, Espanõ is thrilled to work with the cast. “I always love coming back to Dunes Summer Theatre, which meticulously curates their season to make sure that there’s something for everyone,” says Espanõ. “People around Michigan City are so lucky to have this because they don’t have to drive to Chicago to watch great theater; Dunes Summer Theatre brings it to you, attracting a sizable amount of talent every summer that always amazes audiences. And of course, the production team puts a ton of work into bringing high caliber performances. It’s more than a theater work for me—it feels like my summer home.”
THE 2023 DUNES SUMMER THEATRE SEASON:
“Boeing Boeing” by Marc Camoletti
Directed by Jay Espanõ
June 1-4, 9-11, 16-18
Set in the 1960s, “Boeing Boeing” is a farce centering on bachelor Bernard, who has a flat in Paris and three flight attendants all engaged to him without knowing each other. Bernard’s life gets bumpy when his friend Robert comes to stay, and complications (unexpectedly bad weather, a new, speedier Boeing jet) disrupt his careful planning. Soon, all three flight attendants are in the city simultaneously–and catastrophe looms.
“tick…tick…BOOM!” by Jonathan Larson, directed by Lauren Katz, music direction by
Andrew Flasch, featuring Max DeTogne as Jon
June 29-30, July 1-2, 7-9, 14-16
Long before his iconic musical “RENT,” composer Jonathan Larson’s heartfelt semi- autobiographical tale chronicles the heady ups and shattering downs of an aspiring artist on the rise. This pop rock play tells the story of an aspiring composer named Jon, who lives in New York City in 1990. As he approaches his 30th birthday, Jon worries that he has made the wrong career choice; his girlfriend wants to get married and move out of the city, and his best friend is making big bucks on Madison Avenue, while Jon is still waiting tables and trying to write the Great American Musical before time and life pass him by. A joyous, buoyant and heartfelt portrait of youthful longing and adult achievement.
“Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” by Christopher Durang, directed by Steve
July 27-30, August 4-6, 11-13
Christopher Durang’s family comedy (with absurdist overtones) revolves around the relationships of three middle-aged siblings, all children of noted Chekhov scholars. Vanya and Sonya have remained in their parents’ home (a country house in Bucks County, PA), ruminating on the passive inertness that is their lives; soon, however, they are visited by sister Masha, a successful but fading film actress, who descends upon the house with her current boy-toy Spike. Masha owns the home and has supported her siblings; but now, faced with the erosion of her career, she announces that she must sell the house. Spiced with Durang’s characteristically irreverent wit, “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” is a hilarious and at times poignant investigation of the clash between generations, real and assumed identities, the challenges of a woman growing older in an industry that prizes youth, intrafamilial rivalries, and the hope and carelessness of youth.
“The Third Annual Broadway Cabaret: Hopes, Dreams and Flights of Fancy” directed
by Steve Scott, music directed by Andrew Flasch
Dunes Lawn and inside theatre in case of rain Musical numbers from Broadway musicals, performed by current and previous members of the Dunes’ acting company. Selections range from classic hits from Broadway’s ‘golden age’ to the best of 21st century songsmiths.
“Voices from the Heartland: New Plays in Progress”
A series of staged readings of new works by local writers, showcasing the talents of established and new writers from northwest Indiana and southwest Michigan.
ABOUT DUNES ARTS SUMMER THEATRE
The Dunes Arts Foundation, which operates Dunes Arts Summer Theatre and Education Programs, was incorporated in the State of Indiana in 1951 and is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Nestled within the woodsy dunes of Michiana Shores, Dunes Summer Theatre is located at about a half mile from the Indiana Dunes and the Lake Michigan shore at 288 Shady Oak Dr, Michigan City, Ind. As northwest Indiana’s longest-running summer theater program, Dunes Summer Theatre has provided professional theater productions for more than seven decades. This one-of-a-kind experience is a highlight of Harbor Country’s cultural fabric, promoting community spirit and embracing inclusivity, diversity and accessibility in all areas of operations. For more information or to purchase individual tickets ($35) and season subscriptions ($150), visit dunesarts.org or call (219) 879-7509. Follow along on social media @dunesartsfoundation.
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