Ashland University Theatre has released its 2018-19 season themed "Treasured Classics Renewed" as it brings three literary classics to life. Audiences will journey back to the Victorian era filled with drama, mystery, romance, comedy, adventure and farce as AU Theatre revisits the classics through the eyes of today’s ground-breaking playwrights and composers including:

? Louisa May Alcott’s American classic of the March sisters in a musical written by the creative team of Howland, Dickstein and Knee

? Anton Chekhov’s Russian drama masterpiece brought "to life as if it were taking place today. And 110 years ago" through Sarah Ruhl’s translation

? Sir Arthur Conan Doyles’ most famous Sherlock Holmes mystery transitioned to a fast-paced, madcap comedy by Tony-winning playwright Ken Ludwig.

The season opens with Little Women, the musical, Alcott’s timeless, captivating story of personal discovery, heartache, hope and everlasting love. Six generations have read the adventures of the March sisters (Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy) growing up during the Civil War. This generation will sing it as the musical’s powerful score soars with the sounds of a young America finding its voice. The musical’s writing team of Jason Howland, Mindi Dickstein and Allan Knee won a Richard Rodgers Musical Theatre Award for this musical. Directed by Robert Sean Parker, assistant professor of Theatre, the show is scheduled for Nov. 2, 3, 9 and 10 at 7:30 p.m.; and on Sunday, Nov. 4, at 2 p.m. in Hugo Young Theatre.

A special school matinee performance of Little Women is slated for Friday, Nov. 9, at 9 a.m. All seats for the school matinee are $2 and can be reserved by contacting Tricia Applegate, coordinator of Performing Arts Events, at tapplega@ashland.edu or 419.289.5950.

Three Sisters is the second show of the season and is a portrait of a family grappling with the bittersweet distance between reality and dreams. Transplanted from their beloved Moscow to a provincial Russian town, three sisters yearn for the city of their childhood where they imagine their lives will be transformed and fulfilled. Written by Chekhov, a Russian playwright and short-story writer who is considered to be among the greatest writers of short fiction in history, this translation is adapted by American playwright Sarah Ruhl, who is a Pulitzer Prize for Drama finalist and Tony Award nominee. The production is directed by Dr. Teresa Durbin-Ames, associate professor of Theatre and performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. curtains on Feb. 15, 16, 22 and 23; and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 17, in Hugo Young Theatre.

The season closes with the murderously funny adventure, Baskerville, which is based on Sir Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles. To find the Baskerville male heirs’ ingenious killer, Sherlock Holmes and Watson must brave the desolate moors before a family curse dooms its newest heir. Multi-award-winning playwright Ken Ludwig has transformed Doyle’s milestone in the field of crime fiction into a dizzying web of clues, silly accents, disguises, and deceit as five actors deftly portray more than 40 characters. AU Theatre will host guest director Rachael Endrizzi to stage Baskerville with evening performances at 7:30 p.m. on April 3-6 while the 2 p.m. matinee is on Sunday, April 7, in the intimate Studio Theatre.

Opening night receptions are scheduled for all three of the main stage shows. The receptions held on Nov. 2, Feb.15 and April 3 will begin immediately following the performances and offer the audience a chance to celebrate with the cast and crew. The receptions are free with admission to the performance.

Season tickets are now on sale and include admission to all three season productions at a reduced price compared to single tickets. Season tickets for all three productions are: $28 for adults; $24 for senior citizens, Ashland University faculty, staff and alumni; and $12 for non-AU students. Single tickets are: $12 for adult; $10 for senior citizens, AU faculty, staff and alumni; $8 for groups of 10 or more, $5 for non-AU students, and $2 for Ashland University students with ID.

In addition to the above events, the theatre department also will present three free events that are open to the public. On Saturday, Sept. 29, at 7:30 p.m. in the Studio Theatre, Alpha Psi Omega theatre honor society will present a performance of an original 24-hour theatre project. On Monday, Dec. 10, at 7:30 p.m. in the Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall, students from the directing class will present eight funny, serious, thought-provoking 10-minute scenes as the capstone to their class project. The Drop of a Hat Players musical theatre revue troupe will perform its annual spring showcase concert on Saturday, April 27, at 2 p.m. in the Studio Theatre. Although free and open to the public, admission to the 24-Hour Theatre Project and the Drop of a Hat Players Showcase requires a ticket secured through the University’s Box Office to guarantee a seat. The 10-Minute Play Festival does not require a ticket.

To order your tickets, call the Ashland University Box Office at 419-289-5125, Monday through Friday, noon to 6 p.m., or order online anytime at www.ashland.edu/tickets (additional fees apply). For more information, visit the Web site at www.ashland.edu/theatre or contact Tricia Applegate, coordinator of performing arts publicity and events, at 419-289-5950 or tapplega@ashland.edu.