MANKATO — In addition to its characteristically high levels of production and variety, this year's edition of Minnesota State University's Highland Summer Theatre has another catch:
"Out of the four shows we're doing, all of them are debuts," said Paul Hustoles, chair of MSU's Department of Theatre and Dance. "That's very exciting."
And somewhat unusual, too, for a summer theatre series entering its 48th season.
Highland season tickets are on sale to Friends of the Theatre until May 1. After that, ticket orders will be processed in the order they were received. Individual tickets for all shows go on sale May 13.
This year's lineup includes:
■ "Rope" (May 27-31, Andreas Theatre): A taut murder-thriller in which two college roommates conspire to kill a classmate. The homicidal pair then display their intellectual superiority by hosting a dinner party upon the very chest in which their victim has been hidden.
■ "Next to Normal" (June 11-14, Ted Paul Theatre): This contemporary rock musical that won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama (the first musical to win the award since "Rent" in 1996), centers around a mother's bipolar disorder and its emotional and complex effects on her family.
■ "Boeing-Boeing" (June 24-28, Andreas Theatre): A Parisian womanizer's arrangement with three lovely stewardesses is thrown into discord by the visit of a friend and the advent of a faster jet in this classic French farce.
■ "Hairspray" (July 10-12 and 16-19, Ted Paul Theatre): In this popular and award-winning musical set in Baltimore circa 1962, the lovable and portly teen Tracy Turnblad uses her newfound fame from appearing on the "Corny Collins Show" to make friends, win love and integrate the TV network.
For more information, visit MSUTheatre.com or call 507-389-6661.