Carnegie Mellon University
February 13, 2012

Press Release: CMU's School of Drama Opens 2012-2013 Season With British Comedy "The Rivals," Guest Director Annie Tyson

Contacts: Dennis Schebetta / 412-268-2068 /
Teresa Thomas / 412-268-2900 /

Peter CookePITTSBURGH—A stylish, sexy and funny production of "The Rivals," directed by renowned guest artist and British director Annie Tyson, is among the highlights of the 2012-2013 season for Carnegie Mellon University's School of Drama.

In addition to "The Rivals," the School of Drama's Subscriber Series includes the Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning "Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches" by Tony Kushner; the new musical version of "Spring Awakening" by Frank Wedekind with music and lyrics by Duncan Sheik and Steven Stater; a modernized version of William Shakespeare's "Romeo & Juliet"; "Macbett" by Eugene Ionesco; and "As You Like It or Make it Hurt," adapted from Shakespeare by Jessica Mills.

The new season also includes a seven-play Directors Series and a New Works Series of six plays, which will be directed by students in The John Wells Directing Program, named for the legendary Hollywood producer and School of Drama alumnus John Wells (A'79).

"From 'The Rivals' to the musical 'Spring Awakening,' from a series of new works to 'Angels in America,' this season offers a window into what it is to be a creative artist in this amazing decade of change and innovation," said Peter Cooke, head of the School of Drama. "With renowned London-based director Annie Tyson, this is sure to be a season of theatrical invention, revelation and hopefully ovations."

"I am delighted to come to Carnegie Mellon University to direct one of my favorite plays, 'The Rivals,'" said Tyson, who performed in the celebrated production of "The Rivals" at the National Theatre of London in the 1980s and has taught classical acting at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and the Drama Centre in London. "I love 'The Rivals' because it is a perfect example of classical English high comedy — stylish, but robust, sexy, witty and satirical, achieving a balance of all these elements together with recognizable humanity making it very funny."

Students in the Dramaturgy Program will hold regular post-performance talkbacks with the audience, casts and crews following Tuesday evening performances. The dramaturgs are also available to discuss the plays with classes, student groups and public organizations. Contact Michael Chemers, dramaturgy option coordinator, at or 412-268-2399 to schedule a session with a dramaturg.

All Subscriber Series performances take place at 8 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and 2 and 8 p.m. on Saturday in CMU's Purnell Center for the Arts. Performances will be held in the Philip Chosky Theater, the Helen Wayne Rauh Studio Theater and the John Wells Video Studio.

Subscriptions to the 2012-2013 season will be available in March. For package options or to place a subscription order, call the box office at 412-268-2407 between noon and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Special discounts are available to all Carnegie Mellon alumni.

For more information about the School of Drama, visit


Pictured above, Peter Cooke, head of the School of Drama, announces the 2012-2013 season.