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The Optimist

The Optimist

October 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, and 12, 2013 at 8:00 p.m.
October 6, 2013 at 2:00 p.m.
Waller Hall Mainstage, IUP Performing Arts Center

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Over the course of one tumultuous weekend, Noel returns to his hometown to confront the sudden death of his best friend, the wedding of his philandering father, and the reemergence of his one true love, Nicole.

A hilarious, poignant journey punctuated by the childishly silly antics of Noel's fraternal twin brother, Declan, The Optimist follows three young people into a rundown motel room where they tackle unfinished romance, the imminent arrival of a rampaging patriarch, and the threat of impending adulthood.

Over four tumultuous days, our twenty-something hero doggedly fights to conquer the beasts of nostalgia in order to plunge ahead into a future filled with uncertainty and change. Questions arise. Will Noel and Nicole find their future together? Is there hope for humanity? How does one come to terms with the inevitability of death and remain a joyful and willing player in the game of life? Why does it seem like some of us are fated to be the carriers of memory, while others appear to pass blissfully-and painlessly-through love and loss?

Described in the New Yorker as "compelling drama" and "deliriously entertaining," the play is compulsively smart, occasionally dirty, and thoroughly addictive.

This play contains language and situations to which some audience members may object. It is not recommended for younger audiences.

Tickets are priced at $14 (regular), $12 (discount for senior citizens and groups of 15 or more), and $9 (I-Card holder, students, and children).

  • The Lively Arts
  • Performing Arts Center, Room 202
    Fisher Auditorium
    403 South Eleventh Street
    Indiana, PA 15705-1008
  • Phone: 724-357-2787
  • Fax: 724-357-7899
  • Office Hours
  • Monday through Friday: 8:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
  • Summer Hours
  • Monday through Friday: 8:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.