The Illinois State University School of Theatre and Dance will present Neil Simon’s comedy Brighton Beach Memoirs, September 23 to 27, in the University’s Center for the Performing Arts Theatre.

Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. September 23, 24, 25, 26, and 27, with a 2 p.m. matinee performance on September 26. Tickets are $17 for adults and $12 for students and seniors. For tickets or information, contact the College of Fine Arts Box Office, located in the Center for the Performing Arts, at (309) 438-2535, or purchase tickets online by visiting

Brighton Beach Memoirs is part one of Neil Simon’s autobiographical trilogy: a portrait of the writer as a young teen in 1937 living with his family in a crowded, lower middle-class Brooklyn walk-up. Eugene Jerome, standing in for the author, is the narrator and central character. Dreaming of baseball and girls, Eugene must cope with the mundane existence of his family life in Brooklyn.

“Why should we care about a Depression era family in 2015?,” asks the play’s director Jonathan Hunt Sell, a graduate student in the School of Theatre and Dance. ”Because the themes are universal and timeless—a family faced with unemployment and keeping a roof over their heads and food on the table, faced with the possibility of war overseas, and children faced with the threat of losing their innocence. Neil Simon’s genius of sharing these serious themes through uproarious comedy and heartfelt storytelling makes this play timeless.”