by Sam Houston State University Theatre Department

Oct. 09 - Oct. 12, 2019

Nearly thirty years after its premiere, Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins still astonishes. Assassins is a meet-up of nine successful and would-be presidential assassins - from the audaciously rebellious John Wilkes Booth to the unassuming Lee Harvey Oswald - bending the rules of time and space in a roller coaster ride though different historical periods. They meet, interact and inspire each other to harrowing acts in the name of the American Dream. 

Whether motivated by real-life political grievances or their own messianic delusions, each of the assassins forces us to think about why and under what circumstances an ordinary individual would attempt such an extraordinary act.
Director Penny Hasekoester said of the show, “This musical does not glorify the assassins. It does not excuse them. It holds, as Shakespeare said ‘the mirror up to nature’. How as a society do we aid and abet this mindset and this violence? We are all part of the problem. This is not simply a group of deranged individuals who make dreadful, unthinkable choices on a whim. These choices spring out of their struggle to achieve what for many is unachievable.” Dark as that sounds, the show’s revue-like format allows the authors to vary the palette with mad scenes, melodrama, minstrelsy and vaudeville.
Stephen Sondheim’s score incorporates musical styles inspired by the different historical periods in which the show is set. The music is richly melodic and the lyrics witty and provocative. The book by John Weidman is original, disturbing and alarmingly funny.
(cast photo via SHSU Theatre Dept)
Click for additional information, cast and crew listings, at the website



Music and Lyrics by

Book by

Orchestrations By Michael Strobin 
ASSASINS is based on an idea by Charles Gilbert, Jr. 
Playwrights Horizons.Inc - New York City produced ASSASSINS Off-Broadway in 1990


by Sondheim and Weidman
Sam Houston State University Theatre Department

October 09 - October 12, 2019
Erica Starr Theatre
1740 Bobby K. Marks Drive
Sam Houston State University Theatre Center at 17th Street between the Gresham Library and the Gaertner Arts Center
Huntsville, TX, 77340

America’s “most wanted” musical takes on an urgent new life at Sam Houston State University’s Department of Theatre and Musical Theatre’s Erica Starr Theatre October 9-12, 2019 with evening performances at 7:30 p.m. and a Saturday matinee performance at 2:00 p.m. Assassins is directed by Penny Hasekoester with music direction by Dr. Laura Avery.

Call the BOX OFFICE at 936.294.2339 or visit to purchase your tickets online. Tickets are $12 if purchased in advance, $15 at the door. SHSU Students can obtain one free ticket the week of the show online at