Iowa State Theatre to perform Street Scene Opera this weekend


ISU Theatre, Opera Studio and the ISU Symphony Orchestra will perform the opera “Street Scene” this weekend at Fisher Theater.

Olivia Jackovin

The Iowa State Theatre will perform the opera “Street Scene” in collaboration with Opera Studio and the Iowa State Symphony Orchestra this weekend.

The opera will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at Fisher Theater.

Tickets are free for Iowa State students and children, and adult tickets will be sold for $25. Tickets can be bought at the door or online.

This production is based on a play originally written in 1929 by Elmer Rice. The opera focuses on a community in an apartment building in New York City.

The play shows a day and a half in the life of this community, zooming in and out of different stories within the lives of the townspeople.

“It’s really about looking at community and how communities function and how they don’t function,” Brad Dell said, department chair of the music and theater department. “The pain, drama and suffering that is existing within that one family and then how the rest of the community supports and does not support that family.”

This year’s cast features 40 members, not including any of the orchestra. This is one the largest operas that the department has done.

The cast has been preparing for the show with tech week, which is when all of the different parts of the show are finally put together.

“We’re always focused on the musical side, like making sure they got the right pitches, making sure they know where to go for blocking and choreography. So tech is when we start introducing the sound, the mics, the lights,” said Ashley Oxenreider, the assistant stage manager for the opera and a senior majoring in performing arts. 

This is the first year tickets will be free for Iowa State students, making the show accessible to all students.

The music is very diverse, from classic opera music all the way to jazz music.

“Some pieces are just pure musical theater, while other ones are still to the core opera with some jazz influences in it,”  Robert Wise, a cast member and senior majoring in software engineering, said. “I’d say it’s a more palatable version for a lot of people and hopefully something that a lot of people can find something they like.”