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?Up and Away? poster The 10th installment in Carthage College’s New Play Initiative, “Up and Away” by Oscar-winning writer Eric Simonson, premieres Nov. 9 in Wartburg Theatre in the David A. Straz, Jr. Center.

Performances are scheduled at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 9-10 and Nov. 15-17, with a 3 p.m. showing Nov. 11.

Up and Away,” directed by Professor Herschel Kruger, is a drama set in rural Wisconsin. It tracks up-and-coming YouTube star Madison, whose attempt to rise out of poverty and isolation is threatened by drug addiction. Will she and her friends break free from their circumstances or tumble down like so many before them?

Eric Simonson The play serves as a timely call-to-action about the rising heroin epidemic and the lives it impacts. Talk-back sessions featuring a variety of local health organizations will follow each performance.

Every year, Carthage commissions an acclaimed playwright to create an original script and work with students to stage it. For the 10th production in the New Play Initiative, the Theatre Department welcomed back Simonson, whose play “Honest” launched the project in 2009.

Simonson has been a writer and producer for Amazon original shows “The Man in the High Castle” and “Homecoming,” and he won an Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject) in 2006. His Broadway credits include “Lombardi,” a hit play about the legendary Green Bay Packers coach; and “The Song of Jacob Zulu,” which was nominated for six Tony awards. Eric Simonson

Tickets for “Up and Away” can be purchased online at or at the Fine Arts box office from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Ticket prices are $14 for adults, $10 for seniors (55 and older), and $8 for students with a valid ID.

For any questions, contact the Fine Arts Box Office at or 262-551-6661.