September 10, 2021

Purdue Department of Theatre to open 2021-22 season with live and digital performances of ‘Sweat’

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Purdue University Department of Theatre is presenting “Sweat” by Lynn Nottage, directed by William P. Caise, as the first production of the 2021-22 Theatre Season. This production will be offered both in person at the Nancy T. Hansen Theatre in Pao Hall and virtually Sept. 24-Oct. 3.

As part of Protect Purdue protocols to keep the campus community safe, face masks are required inside any campus building regardless of vaccination status. Opening night will be performed and livestreamed at 7:30 p.m. ET Sept. 24, followed by live performances and digital recordings at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 25, Sept. 30 and Oct. 1-2, and matinees at 2:30 p.m. Sept. 26 and Oct. 3.

The livestream for “Sweat” will be created using a three-camera setup similar to the 2020-21 season, with captioning available in all digital formats.  

Tickets may be purchased at the campus Loeb Playhouse box office in Stewart Center, by phone at 765-494-3933 or online, and are $19.50 (adults), $15.50 (adults 62+), and $12.50 (students).

Filled with warm humor and tremendous heart, this 2017 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama tells the story of a group of friends who have spent their lives sharing drinks, secrets and laughs while working together on the factory floor. But when layoffs and picket lines begin to chip away at their trust, the friends find themselves pitted against each other in a heart-wrenching fight to stay afloat. Inspired by true stories of union workers in Reading, Pennsylvania, “Sweat” explores the underlying connections between racism and economics in a post-industrial United States.

Scenic design is by Rusty Jones (faculty); costume design by Kaylee Granger (BA, theatre ’22); lighting design by Michael McNamara (faculty); and sound design by Mark Jamerson (Chicago-based guest artist).

The production’s director, William P. Caise, is interim director of Purdue’s Black Cultural Center and holds adjunct teaching positions within Purdue’s theatre department and the African American Studies and Research Center.

With generous support from Vice Provost John Gates and the Division of Diversity and Inclusion, the production welcomes two guest actors to the cast: Sylvester “Sly” Little Jr. (AEA) and Eric M. Millard. Little is a graduate of Purdue Theatre’s Professional Actor Training Program, receiving his M.F.A. in 2016. Since then, he has moved to Cincinnati where he works as a professional actor, and recently played the Rev. Martin Luther King in “All The Way” with Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. Millard is an active volunteer at the Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette, with his recent productions including “Mamma Mia!” “Into the Woods” and “Annie.”


Source: Ann Shanahan, Department of Theatre Chair and Professor,

Note to journalists: Journalists visiting campus should follow visitor health guidelines.

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