JMU Theatre students spoof theatre in comedy performance

jamesmadisonlogopurplepcThe James Madison University School of Theatre and Dance’s will present Anton in Show Business Tuesday through Saturday, September 29 through October 3, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, October 4 at 2 p.m. at the Forbes Center for the Performing Arts.

Attendees can expect to see theatre students making fun of themselves and their chosen craft in a comedy full of theatrical surprises and more than two dozen set changes. This fast-paced production follows the joys, pains and absurdities of three actresses cast in Anton Chekhov’s Three Sisters at a regional theatre in San Antonio, Texas.

The “three sisters,” Holly, Lisabette and Casey, are played by junior Emily Hinz, senior Chrissy Johnson and junior Katherine Lyle, respectively, in an all-female cast of seven theatre and musical theatre majors. The play takes audiences on a wild, behind-the-scenes journey from auditions through opening night, while also shedding light on the state of American theatre.

“Theatre is becoming flooded with women, so it is difficult for them to get roles,” says JMU faculty director Ingrid De Santis. This story speaks to empowering women—and to theatre artists in general, who fight to survive in a profession that struggles to attract audiences and rally support. Despite the low pay and challenges that come with a career in theatre,

De Sanctis says, “people love it so much that they give up a lot to do it.”

Those “people” include De Sanctis and the rest of the artistic staff of Anton in Show Business: JMU faculty member John Burgess (Set Design) and JMU alumni Lizzie Donelan (Costume Design) and Stephanie Freed (Lighting Design).

Tickets are $14-$15 and are available at or by calling the Forbes Center Box Office at (540) 568-7000.

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