MTSU Theatre students are reaching back into the Restoration era to make audiences laugh Sept. 30-Oct. 3 with a tale old as family ties, “The Busie Body,” to launch their 2021-22 season.
English author Susan Centlivre’s 18th-century farce of money- and status-obsessed adults interfering in young love features a surprisingly 21st-century female lead who won’t let others stop her from speaking, or following, her mind.
Knoxville’s Danielle Roos is directing an 11-member MTSU cast for “The Busie Body,” which has curtain times of 7:30 p.m. Central Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 30-Oct. 2, and a 2 p.m. Central matinee Sunday, Oct. 3, in Tucker Theatre, located inside MTSU’s Boutwell Dramatic Arts Auditorium at 615 Champion Way.
Tickets, available now at https://tinyurl.com/BusieBodyTickets, are $10 general admission and $5 for K-12 students. Guests can use the coupon code “MTSU” for a 20% discount.
MTSU students, faculty and staff can attend free by presenting a current university ID at the Tucker Theater box office.
Guests must follow MTSU’s mask and other health safety requirements inside Tucker Theatre. The theatre is fully accessible for people with disabilities, including those with hearing, vision and mobility impairments.
“The Busie Body,” the most successful of 19 plays written by Centlivre, the Tina Fey of her day, premiered in 1709 at London’s Drury Lane Theater.
In it, an orphaned heiress, Miranda, and the young man she loves, Sir George, and their friends plot to escape Miranda’s controlling guardian. He’s supposed to keep her single until she’s 25 and receives her fortune.
Sidelining the couple’s quest toward true love is Miranda’s foster brother, Marplot, the busybody of the title, whose good intentions help outweigh his meddling. Disguises, mistaken identities, dropped letters, public scuffles and assorted shenanigans ensue.
Director Roos, founder of Yellow Rose Productions theater company and co-founder of the Henley Rose Playwright Competition for Women in Knoxville, has been working for the last three years with theater students at Northwestern University, where she earned her Master of Fine Arts degree in directing.
She connected with MTSU’s Department of Theatre and Dance through her past work in Chicago theater with professor Halena Kays, who now teaches at Northwestern. Roos also is directing a Murfreesboro production of “Party of Twelve” at the Washington Theatre at Patterson Park Community Center.
The all-Tennessee “Busie Body” MTSU cast includes seniors Lyndarious Arrington of Antioch, Kassandra Hazard of Sevierville and Geo Sekeres of Goodlettsville; Cameron Anteski, a Murfreesboro junior; and sophomores Llewyn Beaver, Christopher Cooper of Fairview, Sarah Cornelison of Bartlett, Alexandria Garrett of Murfreesboro, Reghan Hall of Thompson’s Station, Garrett Holt of Clarksville and Andrew Sparks of Knoxville.
• Diana Son’s Off-Broadway drama “Stop Kiss,” set Oct. 21-24.
• The Tony-winning Stephen Sondheim musical “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” planned Nov. 4-7.
• “Anon(ymous)” by Naomi Iizuka, set Feb. 17-20.
• The annual MTSU Theatre 6×10: 10-Minute Play Festival, set March 24-27.
• “Fun Home,” Lisa Kron’s Tony-winning and Pulitzer Prize-nominated musical adaptation of Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir, set April 7-10.
For more details on the opening show and the other productions, visit www.mtsu.edu/theatreanddance/currentseason.php.
For more information about MTSU’s Department of Theatre and Dance in the College of Liberal Arts, visit www.mtsu.edu/theatreanddance. For details on MTSU Arts events and supporting its student programs in the Patrons Society, visit www.mtsu.edu/mtsuarts.
— Gina E. Fann (firstname.lastname@example.org)