With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by John Weidman, “Assassins” is what it sounds like but contains so much more.

Going to a fair can be wonderfully entertaining. From the rides, exhibitions, games -- even the food can all create a memorable experience for the fairgoer. There even seems to be a different feel to the fairgrounds themselves, full of energy and amusement. However, when the show opens there appears to be something deeper going on here; it doesn’t seem to have the same feeling as a favorite summer pastime. From the opening moment, the audience knows they are about to enter into a fairground that is anything but normal. That’s immediately evident through the shooting gallery that introduces the audience to historical figures such as Leon Czolgosz, John Hinckley, Samuel Byck, Lynette Fromme, John Wilkes Booth and many other assassins or would-be assassins.

A panel discussion will follow the Saturday, April 16 performance. The panel, which will consist of USD students and faculty, will tackle questions raised in the show. Moderator (and director) Raimondo Genna, Ph.D., will lead a discussion around the cultural fascination of the American Dream as presented in “Assassins” and the distortion of that idea by the media. The panel will also explore the importance of that topic in the 2016 election year. The discussion will follow the performance and be open to all audience members that night.

“Assassins,” which contains adult theme and language, performs April 14-16, 20-23 at 7:30 p.m. and April 17 and 24 at 2 p.m. in the Wayne S. Knutson Theatre on the USD campus. Tickets -- $15 adults, $12 senior citizen (62+), $10 K-12 and non-USD students with ID, and $5 USD students with ID -- can be purchased in the afternoons (12-5 p.m.) by calling the USD Theatre Box Office at 605-677-5400 or online at www.usd.edu/theatre.

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