Francis Marion University Theatre

The Fine Arts Department’s co-curricular production company, The University Theatre, offers three major productions each year and as many as 12 student directed experimental theatre productions. Each year more than 150 students from across the campus participate in The University Theatre’s productions. The productions act as the laboratory for the theatre majors and minors while serving the entire campus and community. Student actors and technicians learn to sustain high standards of performance through exposure to a large and demanding audience.

Fall Production

John Cariani LoveSick poster

John Cariani’s Love/Sick

directed by Professor A. Glen Gourley

Thursday – Saturday, October 19-21, 2017, 7:30 pm
Fine Arts Theatre, Hyman Fine Arts Center

The Francis Marion University Theatre will open its 2017-2018 season with John Cariani’s Love/Sick.

THE STORY: A darker cousin to Almost, Maine, John Cariani’s Love/Sick is a collection of nine slightly twisted and completely hilarious short plays. Set on a Friday night in an alternate suburban reality, this 80-minute romp explores the pain and the joy that comes with being in love. Full of imperfect lovers and dreamers, Love/Sick is an unromantic comedy for the romantic in everyone.

“Sometimes playwright John Cariani looks at the world—actually the worlds—of love and relationships through rose-colored glasses. Just as often he views those worlds through lenses tinted a middling-to-dark-gray or maybe a jaundiced yellow…While poking fun at the happily-ever-after notion by means of a strong dose of happily-never-after, Cariani shoots his cockeyed valentines with a quiver full of funny lines. He knows how to keep audiences laughing while passing along disappointing news.” —The Huffington Post.

“…Whimsical romantic comedy. In the nine vignettes that make up [the] play, couples meet [or] break apart or learn to love each other more…the jokes here are easygoing and snark-free.” —The New York Times.

“[Love/Sick brings] to light the complexity of communication and what it means to not only love someone else, but yourself as well…Truly beautiful.” —

“A dark, amusing look at romance… strikes just the right balance between wisdom and whimsy…light, bright, anti-romantic, and engaging.” —The Hartford Courant.

“Entertaining and fun. A satisfyingly dark look at this thing we call love.” —

RESERVATIONS: Reservations may be made by calling 843-661-1365 between 1:00 and 5:00 pm. Thanks to Department of Fine Arts sponsorship, admission is free.

Winter Production

Moliere’s The Miser

directed by D. Keith Best

Performing Arts Center/Downtown Florence
February 7-10, 2018
7:30 pm Wednesday-Friday, 2:00 pm Saturday

The Francis Marion University Theatre’s winter production will be Moliere’s The Miser directed by professor Keith Best.

THE STORY: The widower Harpagon, so cheap he’d swipe the pennies off a dead man’s eyes, rules his roost with a tight, iron fist. His son, Cléante, has fallen in love with the beautiful but penniless Mariane; his daughter, Elise, has secretly promised to wed Valère, a young charmer of unknown parentage who has flattered his way into being Harpagon’s chief steward. When Harpagon reveals his plan to wed Mariane himself and yoke Elise to the wealthy but aged Seigneur Anselme, children, suitors, disgruntled servants, and the wily Jill-of-all-trades Frosine conspire to foil him. The miser’s treasure is stolen from its backyard hiding spot, and Harpagon rounds up all the suspects—including the audience—and threatens torture and imprisonment. Only the last-minute arrival of Seigneur Anselme, bearing secrets of his own, can unite the proper couples and restore Harpagon to his one true love—forty-thousand pounds in gold.

Harpagon.........................Malcolm Parker
Cléante..........................Kevin Holloway
Valère.......................Christopher Steele
Master Simon/La Merluch........Jessica Sistrunk
Master Jacques.................Indianna Watford
La Flèche........................Charday Sparks
Brindavoine/Anselme............Arielle Thompson
Élise.............................Melissa Gragg
Marianne..............................Joy Price
Frosine.........................Aaliyah Broadus

“…highly accessible new translation…takes bold chances without ever losing sight of Molière’s original intent…A MISER in which more is always more—what could be more fitting for a play about greed?” —Sun (Baltimore).

“The saucy serving of THE MISER…is for those who like their French fare spicy and au courant. The veteran translator James Magruder provides a burlesque kick to Molière’s 336-year-old farce, and the result is a delectable evening of shameless off-color gags and timeless double-entendres.” —Washington Post.

“Magruder has done a wonderful job of tweaking and freshening the 17th-century French farce. It is downright beautiful to behold and marvelous to hear…this [play] is laugh-out-loud funny, and the topical references are fresh, not forced.” —Baltimore Guide.

“…[THE MISER] is generous in its amorous plotting and slapstick-level humor. It’s so fast and silly that no dust could possibly settle on Molière’s classic play. Much of that lively spirit is due to a new translation and adaptation by James Magruder…though still presented as a period piece, this translation isn’t afraid to speak in today’s language…you’ll laugh at every scheme and revelation along the way.” —

RESERVATIONS: Reservations may be made by calling the FMU Performing Arts Center at 843-661-4444 between 12:00 and 5:00 pm.

Poster of The Miser

Spring Production

Steven Dietz Rocket Man poster

Steven Dietz’s Rocket Man

Dr. L. Dawn Larsen, director

Fine Arts Theatre, Hyman Fine Arts Center
7:30 pm Thursday-Saturday, April 12-14, 2018

The Francis Marion University Theatre will close its 2017-2018 season with Steven Dietz’s Rocket Man.

THE STORY: ROCKET MAN is a serious comedy about the road not taken. Donny Rowan has placed everything he owns on his front lawn, along with a sign that reads: “Here’s my life. Make an offer.” He has cut a skylight into his attic and placed his E-Z Boy recliner underneath—where he can sit, staring at the stars. Somewhere in the universe, Donny believes, is a place where all the roads we never chose converge. ROCKET MAN explores one man’s obsessive desire to find this “parallel world”—and the profound effect of his decision on his family and friends.

“Incredibly creative and daringly different, be prepared to embark on a voyage into those secret spaces within in the human mind which most of us never unlock.” —Arizona Daily Wildcat.

“An engaging investigation into one man’s crisis of faith and the consequences of his actions.” —Arizona Daily Star.

RESERVATIONS: Reservations may be made by calling 843-661-1365 between 1:00 and 5:00 pm. Thanks to Department of Fine Arts sponsorship, admission is free.

Past Productions

Click here to view The University Theatre’s past productions.