WCU announces 2009-10 theater season

The department of stage and screen is kicking off Western Carolina University’s 2009-10 “Mainstage” theater season with the hip, dark comedy “Manuscript.” This season also will feature productions of Shakespeare’s classic “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning “A Chorus Line” and the futuristic “Natural Selections.”

First on the playbill, Paul Grellong’s “Manuscript” tells the story of three college freshmen who find an unpublished manuscript that will guarantee success. On their quest for fame and fortune, the three are pushed to acts of manipulation and vengeance. Directed by Peter Savage, visiting lecturer in the department of stage and screen, “Manuscript” will run Sept. 23-27.

Claire Eye, theater program director for the department of stage and screen, will be directing Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” which will run Oct. 29-Nov. 1. Eye will put a regional spin on Shakespeare’s classic comedy by setting the play in Appalachia, using the dialect and mannerisms of mountain people to tell this age-old, mystical love story with a contemporary zeal.

Hitting the stage March 18-21 is the hit Broadway musical “A Chorus Line” written by James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante, with music by Marvin Hamlish and lyrics by Edward Kleban. Revered as one of Broadway’s longest-running shows, “A Chorus Line” is the story of an audition for a Broadway musical. The play aims to show the determination of the performer and focus on the actor’s ongoing task of trying to land a job. Charlotte D’Amboise, two-time Tony Award nominee and star of “A Chorus Line” while featured on Broadway, will be directing this production.

Bringing the season to a close is Eric Coble’s “Natural Selections,” directed by D.V. Caitlyn, assistant professor in the department of stage and screen. In the play, set in an ultramodern and advanced world, a theme park curator must venture into the wastelands of what was once North America to find a genuine Native American in order to add luster to his park’s image. “Natural Selections” will stage on April 21-25. In addition to the “mainstage” performances, WCU faculty and staff who recreated the 1933 “War of The Worlds” broadcast last fall will be taking the audience back in time once again this season with “On The Home Front,” the re-creation of an entire Armed Forces Radio Broadcast program originally aired across Europe in November 1944. The Armed Forces Radio Broadcast programs helped keep American soldiers up-to-date with stateside news during World War II. The special Veteran’s Day performance will be held Wednesday, Nov. 11, at 7:30 p.m.

The season also will include “A Moveable Feast,” the annual spring dance concert scheduled for Monday, April 30, at 7:30 p.m.

Shows will begin at 7:30 p.m., with Sunday afternoon matinees at 3 p.m. Seasons tickets go on sale Tuesday, Aug. 11. Prices for season tickets are $20 for students, $40 for WCU staff and faculty and senior citizens, and $55 for adults. Tickets also may be purchased for individual performances. Patron Club memberships, which provide additional financial support for the university theater program and its student organization, the University Players and their activities, also are available. There are three levels of membership – Actor ($250), Director ($500) and Producer ($1,000). Each level of membership offers tickets to all productions, and a portion of the membership cost is tax-deductible.

For season tickets call the Fine and Performing Arts Center box office at 828.227.2479. For more information about season tickets or Patron Club memberships, contact the department of stage and screen at 828.227.7491, or visit theatre.wcu.edu.

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