CSUSB’s Department of Theatre Arts returns to the Barnes Theatre this April to wrap up its Season of Light with two fun productions designed as an escape from reality.

From April 22 to May 15, the theatre department will run a futuristic adaptation of William Shakespeare’s comedy, “The Two Gentlemen of Verona,” alongside the musical comedy “Lucky Stiff.” Both plays utilize the same stage, with minor set decoration changes between shows. The cast of one show operates as the crew of the second show and vice versa, creating a truly unique experience for both patrons and students.

Opening Friday, April 22, is William Shakespeare’s comedy “The Two Gentlemen of Verona,” directed by professor Tom Provenzano. The “Two Gentlemen of Verona” is the story of Valentine, who travels from the barren, desert world of Verona to escape his humdrum life, leaving his best friend Proteus behind. Proteus soon follows, leaving his betrothed Julia, who, disguised as a man named Sebastian, is not far behind! Valentine, Proteus and “Sebastian” all find themselves in the court of the Emperor of the metropolitan world of Milan, where both Valentine and Proteus attempt to court the Emperor’s daughter Silvia. Broken hearts, romantic entanglements, mistaken identities and a gang of marauding outlaws round out the intergalactic adventure.

The next day…

“It’s like ‘Weekend at Bernie’s,’ but it’s a musical set in Monte Carlo!” says theatre arts professor Kathryn Ervin.

The Ellen Weisser Endowed Theatre Showcase presents the musical comedy “Lucky Stiff,” opening Saturday, April 23, book and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens with music by Stephen Flaherty and directed by professor Kathryn Ervin, takes center stage! “Lucky Stiff” is a raucous, quirky murder mystery parody, complete with mistaken identities, 6 million in diamonds and a corpse in a wheelchair. Harry Witherspoon is a simple English shoe salesman who stands to inherit a fortune if he can pass his recently murdered uncle off as alive while on a vacation to Monte Carlo. If he succeeds, all of his troubles vanish; if he fails, the money goes to the Universal Dog Home of Brooklyn or his uncle’s gun-toting ex!

Visit the theatre arts website for the complete schedule of the repertory shows “Lucky Stiff” and “The Two Gentlemen of Verona.”

Individual and season tickets can be purchased from the CSUSB Theatre Arts Box Office, or online

at theatre.csusb.edu. Individual tickets at $6 for students and children under 17; $12 for faculty, staff, senior citizens and military; $15 for adults. Performances take place in the Ronald E. Barnes Theatre on the CSUSB campus. Parking at CSUSB is $6 Monday-Friday and $3 on the weekend.

All production dates and times are subject to change to coincide with any health and safety guidelines established by the CDC. Follow the theatre’s Facebook account for the most up-to-date information.

For additional information, please contact the Theatre Box Office at (909) 537-5884 or theatrearts@csusb.edu.