500 Clown Frankenstein Winds Down the 2010-11 A&I Season

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The exciting antics of 500 Clown Frankenstein, an improvisational theater troupe from Chicago that the New York Times called “ribald and exhilarating,” will close the 2010-11 season for Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Arts & Issues series June 4 at the theater in SIUE’s Katherine Dunham Hall.

500 Clown Frankenstein promises to deliver a great evening of entertainment. Moving between planned elements and improvisation, this performance will leave its audiences excitedly uncertain as to what is and what is not planned.

The exciting antics of 500 Clown Frankenstein, an improvisational theater troupe from Chicago that the New York Times called “ribald and exhilarating,” will close the 2010-11 season for Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Arts & Issues series June 4 at the theater in SIUE’s Katherine Dunham Hall.

For more than a quarter of a century, SIUE’s Arts & Issues series has brought great performers and distinguished speakers to Southwestern Illinois. 500 Clown, which is being presented in conjunction with the 2011 Xfest at SIUE, will appear onstage at 7:30 p.m. that Saturday. Xfest, a collection of improvisational theater events, is sponsored by the SIUE Department of Theater and Dance.

The official media sponsors for Arts & Issues are the Edwardsville Intelligencer and KWMU-FM, while the series official hotel sponsor is Hampton Inn and Suites.

Arts & Issues Director Grant Andree said audiences are in for a treat with the quirky 500 Clown Frankenstein. “Improvisational theater can involve many aspects of theater,” Andree said. “In addition to a story line, there are moments of creative movement, dance and an air of uncertainty about how the evening will evolve.

“500 Clown Frankenstein promises to deliver a great evening of entertainment,” he said. “Moving between planned elements and improvisation, this performance will leave its audiences excitedly uncertain as to what is and what is not planned.”

In each show, an innovatively designed set piece (with hi- and low-tech mechanics) propels clowns into extreme physical behavior and rough-style acrobatics. Comic mayhem will be served abundantly to the Arts & Issues audience as our three clowns embark on a madcap journey to construct Dr. Frankenstein’s laboratory.

Stymied by elaborate and exaggerated period costumes, the clowns execute acrobatic feats in an extended battle with an unruly table and finally face a devastating climax when one clown is forced to play the role of the creature and suffer abuse and abandonment.

For more information, call (618) 650-5194. For additional information about the series and to buy tickets, call (618) 650-5774. More information and tickets are available through the Web site: artsandissues.com. To speak with Grant Andree, call (618) 650-2626.

EDITORS: The 2010-11 Arts & Issues photos suitable for print are available at http://www.siue.edu/artsandissues/PhotoIndex.shtml

Arts & Issues is a series of distinguished speakers and performers that supports the academic mission of the University. Students meet and discuss issues with renowned speakers in workshops, dinners, receptions and classes. Students in music, theater and dance work directly with visiting artists in master classes. Arts & Issues also gives students opportunities to gain experience in special events production, administration, fundraising and development.

SIUE offers the advantages of a small, liberal arts college with the low tuition rates of a state university. Our emphasis on undergraduate education, complemented by faculty research, creates practical applications for student learning. Located in the second most populated area of the state, this Illinois university draws students from all 102 Illinois counties, 42 states and 50 nations.

The SIUE College of Arts and Sciences combines foundational education with diverse and highly-specialized coursework. Faculty help students explore diversity of ideas, experiences and people while learning to think and live as fulfilled, productive members of a global society. The College offers 44 degree programs in the arts, humanities and social and natural sciences.

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