Continuing its tradition of bringing thought-provoking contemporary works and beloved classics to the stage, the West Virginia University School of Theatre and Dance has another exciting fall season in store for theater aficionados and newcomers alike.
The fall 2014 schedule includes the play “Seminar” by Theresa Rebeck; the classic opera “Street Scene,” with music by Kurt Weill, lyrics by Langston Hughes, and book by Elmer Rice; and, just before the holidays, William Shakespeare’s comedy “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
In “Seminar,” directed by theater professor Lee Blair, there is a dark side to achieving artistic greatness as four young writers gather in an Upper West Side apartment to attend a very high-priced seminar on fiction writing by a very acclaimed, yet dominating literary giant. As egos clash with sexual politics and debates become more personal than professional, which writer will end up on top?
“Seminar” opens in the Gladys G. Davis Theatre in the Creative Arts Center on Sept. 26 and runs through Oct. 4.
The opera “Street Scene” will be directed by Bryce Britton, the new director of Musical Theatre in the School of Theatre and Dance, with musical direction by Marcello Cormio, visiting assistant professor and interim director of Opera Theatre in the WVU School of Music.
The setting is a tenement building on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in the 1940s where the residents are coping with the summer heat and filling their days with gossip and plenty of squabbles. Amidst the hubbub of this community, Anna Maurrant is a discontented housewife while her daughter Rose is finding romance with the boy next door. As tensions build between neighbors and families alike, this beautiful tragedy showcases how little we can truly know about people behind closed doors until it is too late.
From beautiful arias to classic show tunes, “Street Scene” creates a portrait of a not-too-distant American past. The show runs Oct. 23-26 in the Lyell B. Clay Concert Theatre in the Creative Arts Center.
Opening just before Thanksgiving is Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” directed by theater professor Jerry McGonigle. This delightful play is one of the Bard’s most well known comedic romps. Four young lovers have their night turned upside down by a mischievous fairy, while a braying amateur actor gains a new perspective on life after being transformed into the object of the Fairy Queen’s obsession. With twists and turns only a hilarious fairytale could bring, “Midsummer” proves that what was funny 400 years ago can still make audiences roll in the aisles today.
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” opens on Nov. 19 in the Gladys G. Davis Theatre in the Creative Arts Center and continues after Thanksgiving break until Dec. 7.
Also, be sure to look for the School of Theatre and Dance spring 2015 shows, including the 60th annual dance concert, “Dance Now!,” the farcical black comedy “Arsenic and Old Lace,” by Joseph Kesselring; and famous anti-war play “Mother Courage and Her Children” by Bertolt Brecht.
Tickets for all the shows are $20 for the general public and $15 for senior citizens and students. There is a group rate of $10 per ticket for groups of 10 or more.
For more information on the 2014-2015 season please theatre.wvu.edu or visit call 304-293-2020, or email email@example.com.
An ongoing rehearsal blog is available on the School of Theatre & Dance website at http://ccarts.wvu.edu/theatreanddanceblog.
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