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Rogues, rebels and renegades

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The UIC Theatre production of "Cloud 9" opens Oct. 5.

Video: Joshua Clark/Editing: Alex Rauch

Professional directors lead student actors in European comedies and American parables at UIC Theatre, where the season's theme is "Rogues, Rebels and Renegades: A Geography Of Yearning."

Tickets for all shows are $16, $14 for UIC faculty and staff, and $11 for UIC students. For information, call the UIC Theatre box office at 312-996-2939.

"Cloud 9" by Caryl Churchill
Directed by Luigi Salerni, UIC professor of theatre. Oct. 5, 6, 11, 12, 13 at 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 7, 14 at 2 p.m.; Oct. 10 at noon

During a Victorian-era Christmas, Clive and his family of English ex-pats in Africa host an explorer and a widow seeking refuge from a hostile tribe. The visitors set off a rash of secret dalliances in the house, with partners varying in age, sexual orientation and social position. In the second act, set in Thatcher-era London, the characters all reappear. They've aged only 25 years, and the actors have switched roles in more ways than one. This Obie-winning comedy has been called "a testament to self-acceptance."

"Dying for It" by Moira Buffini
Directed by Timothy Douglas, adjunct lecturer in theatre and former artistic director, Remy Bumppo Theatre. Nov. 9, 10, 15, 16, 17 at 7:30 p.m.; Nov. 11, 18 at 2 p.m.; Nov. 14 at noon

Josef Stalin banned the original version of this raucous satire and exiled its author, Nicolai Erdman, to Siberia. Its protagonist, the unemployed Semyon, is miserable and announces his impending suicide.
Word gets out to a variety of zealots, each of whom urges him to die for a different cause. Their attention boosts Semyon's self-esteem so much that he reconsiders his suicide, but he's already set a date, and his supporters are planning a party.

"The Bluest Eye" by Toni Morrison
Directed by Derrick Sanders, assistant professor of theatre and former artistic director, Congo Square Theatre. Feb. 22, 23, 28, 2013, and March 1, 2 at 7:30 p.m.; Feb. 24 and March 3 at 2 p.m.; Feb. 27 at noon

In 1941 Ohio, 11-year-old Pecola believes blue eyes and white skin would save her from her alcoholic father's incest, her mother's bitterness, and continual taunts that she is ugly. Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre commissioned this adaptation by Lydia Diamond of Toni Morrison's first novel, in which Pecola's story is narrated by her friend Claudia.

"The Time of Your Life" by William Saroyan
Directed by Yasen Peyankov, UIC director of theatre studies and ensemble member, Steppenwolf Theatre. April 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.; April 24 at noon; April 21, 28 at 2 p.m.

So an Eastern philosopher and Kit Carson walk into a bar, where they meet a beleaguered cop, a frustrated dancer, a prostitute and a bunch of other San Francisco denizens. At Nick's Pacific Street Saloon, the independently wealthy Joe indulges his whims and those of his acolyte Tom and anyone who has a dream. This Pulitzer-winning play evoked optimism at the end of the Great Depression, and still does so today.

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