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Willamette Theatre presents "The Sand Box" and "The American Dream"

Willamette Theatre explores American society’s hollowness and materialism through Edward Albee’s two one-act comedies, “The Sandbox” and “The American Dream,” showing at Willamette University Feb. 16-25.

“I hope the plays will make people think about their own lives,” Director Jonathan Cole says, adding that the humorous themes will resonate with audiences. “The plays are a call to action for people to return to engaging with those around us.”

The same dysfunctional family is featured in both plays — along with an evolving tale of murder and morality. Simultaneously artificial and wickedly funny, Cole says the characters give a cartoonish portrayal of American norms.

“They are living behind a hazy veneer of appropriateness,” he says. “I think the audience will judge them mercilessly, yet identify with them uncomfortably at the same time.”

A preview performance is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Feb. 16; tickets are $8. The remaining performances are set for 2 p.m. Feb. 19 and 25 and 7:30 p.m. Feb. 17, 18 and 23-25. Tickets for these showings cost $12 for general admission, $8 for students and seniors 65 and older, and $10 per person for groups of 10 or more.

All performances will be staged in the M. Lee Pelton Theatre at Willamette University, 900 State St. in Salem.

Tickets may be purchased at the door and by calling the WU Theatre Box Office at 503-370-6221. They are also available at Travel Salem, 181 High St., 503-581-4325, and online at willamette.edu/arts/theatre.



02-07-2012