Meld classic Shakespearean poetry with the musical genius of Cole Porter and what do you get? A witty and beloved play within a play that’s full of unexpected twists, rekindled love affairs, wacky antics, exciting musical numbers and a spectacle you won’t want to miss.

The West Virginia University School of Theatre and Dance will present the classic and thrilling musical, “Kiss Me Kate,” by Samuel and Bella Spewack with music and lyrics by Porter. The play is directed by Bryce Britton with choreography by General McArthur Hambrick, musical direction by James Kenon Mithcell, and vocal direction by Robert Chafin, and will be presented in the Lyell B. Clay Theatre on Oct. 22-24 at 7:30 p.m. and October 25 at 2 p.m.

Cole Porter’s “Kiss Me Kate” was an instant success when it opened on Broadway in 1947. It ran for 1,077 performances at the New Century Theatre and, since then, it has been produced worldwide and revived multiple times on Broadway and London stages.

Its most recent Broadway revival came in 1999 at the Martin Beck Theatre, earning the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical. The mixture of Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew” and Cole Porter’s timeless music makes this musical an enduring classic.

Director and assistant professor of musical theatre Bryce Britton is excited to work on the show, given his passion for musical theatre and Shakespearean text.

“This is going to be a really fun show, and it will allow the audience to access Shakespeare in a way they may not have been able to before,” Britton said.

Scenic design is by Robert Klingelhoefer. Costumes are by M.F.A. student Cecelia Hill. Lighting is by Alan McEwen, and sound is by Ricky Moats, an undergraduate design and technology student.

The cast features M.F.A. Acting students Cassandra Hackbart and Rick Mugrage as Lilli Vanessa and Fred Graham, respectively. Also featured are Ashely Koon, Dominic Massimino, Mallory Robson, Zach Powers, Alec Tincher, Luigi Pagano, Patrick J. Clarke, Ashley Mangie, and Madilyn Carothers.

Tickets are $25 dollars for the general public and $20 for students, senior citizens. Tickets are $15 per person for groups of ten or more.

For more information on this production of “Kiss Me Kate” please visit the theatre website, call 304-293-2020, or email For tickets, visit or call 304-293-SHOW (7469).



CONTACT: David Welsh, College of Creative Arts

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