ALTON — Bankside Repertory Theatre Company concludes its second season with August Strindberg’s classic play “Miss Julie” in a new adaptation by contemporary American playwright Craig Lucas.
“Miss Julie” will run two weekends: Thursday, March 30, Friday, March 31, and Saturday, April 1; Thursday, April 6, Friday, April 7, and Saturday, April 8. All performances are 7:30 p.m. at Jacoby Arts Center, 627 E. Broadway.
Directed by Bankside founding member Sue Ellen Coughtry, “Miss Julie” follows the dark hours of one midsummer night when Julie, mistress of the house, encounters her servant, Jean. His dream to rise above a servile station clashes with Julie’s desire to escape from high society. To what lengths will Julie and Jean go to be loved and to be free? Julie’s independence and free will are tested when questions of powerlessness, wealth, class and privilege explode with tragic consequences.
“I was drawn to this play because we are still struggling with many of the same issues today: entrapment in social class, psychological struggles and the need for love,” Coughtry said. “The characters are complex and struggle intensely, hoping for transformation and escape. They dream of a better version of their lives. But as we all know change is hard. For me, one of the central questions this play raises is: is it our responsibility to love and care for each other?”
Strindberg is considered one of theater’s first modern playwrights. Ignoring the rules of convention, he created theater that emphasized realistic emotions, social behavior, psychological motivation and the drive for survival. His intent was to challenge and confront the societal views of his audience.
This production of “Miss Julie” is produced by special arrangement with Playscripts Inc. Because of mature themes, “Miss Julie” is not suitable for children or teens younger than 16.
“Miss Julie” features St. Louis award-winning actors Léerin Campbell (Julie) and Jason Contini (Jean), as well as Bankside Theatre regular Andrea Beth Craig as Kristine and an ensemble cast.
Campbell’s professional credits include work with Actors’ Studio St. Louis and First Run Theatre. A graduate of Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn., she studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. St. Louis native Contini is a familiar presence in the Midwest theater community. Nominated for multiple St. Louis Theatre Circle Awards, he received the Circle Award for his role in “Death of a Salesman.” He recently co-wrote and starred in the feature film “Four Color Eulogy.”
Thursday performances are $10, reserved front-row seating $12; Friday and Saturday performances are $15, reserved front-row seating is $18. Students with a current ID pay $10 for all performances or rush $5 tickets nightly upon availability; line-up at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the door or jacobyartscenter.org/tickets. General seating admission is on a first-come, first-seated basis. Doors open 30 minutes in advance. A cash bar is available.