USD Theatre opens 2011-12 season with ‘God of Carnage’

The University of South Dakota Department of Theatre presents Yasmina Reza's award winning comedy "God Of Carnage" Sept. 29-Oct. 3 in the Wayne S. Knutson Theatre of the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts. Translated by Christopher Hampton, "God Of Carnage" focuses on two sets of parents who meet for the first time to reconcile a schoolyard conflict which has occurred between their young sons. Their discussions run the gambit of emotions, from pleasantries to an all-out battle of wits.

Pictured are Emily Dorsett (as Annette Raleigh), Patrick Beasley (as Alan Raleigh), Kendra Bolan (as Veronica Novak), and Cody Strand (as Michael Novak).

The original 2009 Broadway production of "God Of Carnage" won three Tony Awards including Best Play, Best Actress in a Play (Marcia Gay Harden) and Best Director of a Play (Matthew Warchus). A film adaptation of the story, entitled "Carnage," is expected early winter and features Jodi Foster, Kate Winslet, John C. Reilly and Christoph Waltz under the direction of Roman Polanski. USD Theatre's production of "God Of Carnage" is an area premiere. Ms. Reza, a French playwright of international reknown, is also the author of "Art," which won the 1998 Tony Award for best play and went on to be translated into more than 30 languages.

"God Of Carnage" is set in the Brooklyn home of Michael and Veronica Novak (Kendra Bolan, Lincoln, NE and Cody Strand, Brandon Valley), where Alan and Annette Raleigh (Patrick Beasley, Lincoln, NE and Emily Dorsett, Sioux City, IA) have been invited to discuss how best to resolve the conflict between their sons which has resulted in Henry, the Novak's boy, losing two teeth. While the couples feel that they are mature enough to find a solution, initial pleasantries soon give way to conflict as disruptive phone calls, panic attacks and alcohol fueled emotional outbursts lead to a humorous four way prize fight.

Emotions run high, private matters become public, and we are left with the idea that even well-educated, well-intentioned people, are capable of unusual and uncivilized behavior when minor irritations are handled badly.

"God Of Carnage," which contains strong language, performs Sept. 29, 30, Oct. 1 and 3 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 2 at 2 p.m. in the Wayne S. Knutson Theatre on the USD campus. Tickets ($15 Adults, $9 K-12 & non-USD students with ID, and $4 USD students with ID) can be reserved in the afternoons (12 – 5 p.m.) starting Sept. 22 by calling the USD Theatre Box Office at (605) 677-5400 or online at www.usd.edu/theatre.

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