418 South Illinois Avenue, Carbondale, Illinois 62901, United States

(618) 457-5353

A historic visual and performing arts venue in downtown Carbondale, IL.


Theater: The Yellow Wallpaper


7 p.m. Thurs-Sat, Sept. 26-28
2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 29
$10 or $7 for students with ID
Doors and Varsity Bar 30 minutes 

before performances

The Varsity is pleased to present the premier of a new production of “The Yellow Wallpaper.” The one-woman play features local actor and educator Elyse Pineau; Kevin Purcell is directing.

“The Yellow Wallpaper” is a landmark feminist story that helped change the way women were diagnosed and treated for “nervous frailty,” including post-partum depression.

This production was adapted from a short story written in 1892 by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, based partly on her own experience. It tells the story of a Victorian woman with a “nervous disorder,” whose physician-husband orders bed rest and isolation, refusing to let her read, write or care for their young child. Trapped in her bedroom with nothing to do, she slowly, methodically, becomes increasingly unstable.

Pineau is a retired faculty member in SIUC’s Department of Communication Studies. She recently directed “The Crucible” and appeared in Purcell’s production of “Agnes of God,” both for The Stage Company. In May, she performed her original one-woman show, “Nursing Mother,” at SIU’s Marion Kleinau Theatre. 

“The Yellow Wallpaper” will be performed at 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 26-28, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 29. 

Advance tickets are not available at the venue but will be available on show dates when doors open 30 minutes before performance times. The Varsity Bar also will be open at that time.

Invincible Czars, "Dr. Caligari"


10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26
$12 in advance / $15 night of show

Doors and Varsity Bar at 9 p.m. 

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the German silent film “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari,” Austin’s most adventurous band, the Invincible Czars, have created their own modern score for the picture, and they’ll be making a tour stop at The Varsity.

As part of Carbondale’s downtown Halloween celebration, the Invincible Czars will perform their score to accompany the film at 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26. This is the band’s third appearance at the downtown venue, and they’re always a sell-out. Purchasing tickets in advance is recommended.

“Dr. Caligari” is considered by many to be the first German Expressionist film and the first great motion picture in the horror genre. The film tells the story of a mysterious traveler who arrives in a small village to showcase his Somnabulist (sleepwalker) at the local fair. Shortly after, a series of murders lead people to believe Dr. Caligari and his sleepwalking assistant might be responsible; but, something’s not quite right, and the conclusion is surprising.

The Invincible Czars have been performing their own scores for early 20th century silent films for nearly a decade. Fans, theaters and media have praised the group for making these old, silent movies actually scary for modern audiences, employing costumes, sound effects and audience interaction, in addition to performing their scores, which complement the tone and emotion on-screen at any given moment. 


The band employs a mix of acoustic, electric and synthesized instruments including violin, glockenspiel, organ, vocals, loops, electric guitar and bass. The Invincible Czars are Phil Davidson on violin, keyboards,glockenspiel; Josh Robins on guitar, bass, percussion, loops; Aaryn Russell on bass; and Skunk Manhattan on keyboards and guitar synthesizer.

Advance tickets are not available at the venue, but can be purchased for $15 at the door when doors and the Varsity Bar open at 9.

Art: Gregory Wendt Photography

Bavarian landscape by Gregory Wendt

Photography Exhibit
Closing Night Reception
5-7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4

The Varsity is pleased to exhibit of the work of Gregory Wendt, a photographer, filmmaker, director, artist and performer. Gregory’s career began in the New York film industry, but he later found himself in Southern Illinois, where he resides today. 

He has taken many trips to Bavaria, Germany, and the nearby Alps, where the landscape has some striking similarities to the rolling hills of Southern Illinois. Photographs from these regions and more are featured in this exhibit.

The exhibit opens Friday, Sept. 13 and will be up until Oct. 6. A closing reception will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4. Admission is free. The evening will also feature a selection of short films made in Southern Illinois and Bavaria. The exhibit will be up through Oct. 6 and can be viewed during events at The Varsity.

More about Gregory can be found at gregorywendt.com.