Northwestern State University Theatre and Dance will offer something for everyone during its 2011-12 season with musicals, period pieces, contemporary works and dance to be performed.

"Everyone who enjoys live theatre will find something they will like," said Coordinator of Theatre and Dance Scott Burrell. "This is going to be an exciting season with large scale musicals, sophisticated theatre, dance and plays that provide strong emotional content."

This year’s theme is "Life is a Journey," and each play will focus on the struggles that characters face as they go through life.

Tickets are $15 and $12 for senior citizens andnon-Northwestern State students. NSU and Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts are admitted free with a current student I.D. A package of five tickets is available for $50. Any combination of tickets is available including five for one show, one for each show or any other grouping.

The season opens with The Wiz on Oct. 19-22, at 7:30 p.m. in the A.A. Fredericks Auditorium. The play is a musical retelling of L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in the context of African-American culture. Dorothy, the little girl from Robeline, is blown by a tornado into Munchkinland in the Land of Oz. While on the Yellow Brick Road, she meets the Scarecrow, the Tinman and the Cowardly Lion.

Dorothy defeats the evil witch and goes to see the powerful wizard who turns out to be a phony. However, he is able to convince Dorothy that she can do anything she wants if she just believes in herself. The Broadway production won seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical. A film adaptation was released in 1978.

Music and lyrics are by Charlie Smalls and book by William F. Brown. Barry Stoneking is the director.

The Importance of Being Earnest will be on Nov. 3-5 and 9-12 at 7:30 p.m. in Theatre West. Burrell is the director. The play is set in London as the curtain opens on the flat of wealthy Algernon Moncrieff in the fashionable West End. While Algernon plays the piano, his servant is arranging cucumber sandwiches for the impending arrival of Algernon's aunt Lady Bracknell and her daughter Gwendolen.

Jack Worthing, a friend of Moncrieff's and known to him as Ernest, arrives first. Jack announces that he plans to propose marriage to Gwendolen. Algernon claims that he will not consent to their marriage untilJack explains why he is known as Ernest and why he has a cigarette case with a questionable inscription from a mysterious lady.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest will be performed on Feb. 8-11, and 15-17, at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 12, at 2 p.m. in Theatre West. Pia Wyatt is the director. Set in the world of a mental hospital, this place of rebellion is inhabited by an energetic,flamboyant, wise guy. This anti-hero is against the establishment, institutional authority, and status-quo attitudes. His story explores basic human rights and impulses as he protests against heavy-handed rules about watching the WorldSeries. He illegally stages both a fishing trip and a drinking party in theward, which leads to his own paralyzing lobotomy.

As it is in Heaven is a moving portrayal of upheaval caused when the utopian existence of an 1830s Shaker community in Kentucky is threatened by the arrival of "newcomers" claiming to see angels. Critics have called the play "powerful and insightful…a thought-provoking piece, the message being that often we need not look as far as heaven to see angels here on earth." As it is in Heaven will be performed on March 14-17 at 7:30 p.m. in the A.A. Fredericks Auditorium. Dr. Vicki Parrish is the director.

Alice in Wonderland, a new ballet by Kirstin Riehl and Stoneking will tell the popular story through dance. Alice in Wonderland will be on April 20-21 at 7:30 p.m. and April 22 at 2 p.m. in the A.A. Fredericks Auditorium.

For more information on Northwestern Theatre and Dance’s 2011-12 season, call (318) 357-4483 or go to theatre.nsula.edu.

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