WMU News

University Theatre announces 2002-03 season

April 22, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- WMU's University Theatre always strives to offer a wide variety of genres and performance styles in its season series, one of the more diverse theatre packages available in West Michigan. The 2002-03 season is no exception.

Season subscriptions are available by calling 269 387-6222, Monday through Friday, noon to 5 p.m. Individual tickets will be available after Labor Day, beginning Sept. 3. All productions are held in the Gilmore Theatre Complex, which includes the Multiform, Shaw and York Arena Theatres. The Multiform and Shaw Theatres are handicapped accessible. For the York Arena Series, accommodation for those with disabilities will be provided upon request.

The season opens in mid-September with a special guest. Tony Award winning performer Ruben Santiago-Hudson will be in residence for a week to meet with classes and perform his one-man show, "Lackawanna Blues." The performance is a tribute to Santiago-Hudson's childhood neighborhood and the woman who raised him. In the show, he portrays more than forty characters. Performances are scheduled for Sept. 19-21 at 8 p.m. and Sept. 22 at 2 p.m. in the Multiform Theatre.

"Kiss of the Spiderwoman," the stunning Tony Award winning musical with book by Terrence McNally, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb, will be performed in the Laura V. Shaw Theatre on Oct. 10-12 and 17-19 at 8 p.m. and Oct. 13 at 2 p.m. Based on the play by Manuel Puig, this musical relates the story of a South American political prisoner who learns to build a friendship with his gay cellmate. The production is directed by Todd Neal. Spiderwoman contains adult themes and language.

Suspicion abounds in Arthur Miller's "The Crucible," directed by James R. Daniels. This Tony Award winning drama about the Puritan purge of witchcraft in old Salem is both a gripping historical play and a parable of American society during the 1950s era of Joseph McCarthy and the hearings of the House Un-American Activities Committee. Performances are scheduled for Oct. 31-Nov. 2 and Nov. 7-9 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 3 at 2 p.m. in the Multiform Theatre.

"Six Degrees of Separation," by John Guare, is an examination of the threads of chance which link one person to another. The title refers to a statistical theory that any two people in the world can be connected through only six other people, and the theory is put to a real-life test when a wealthy New York couple are conned by Paul, a young black man who claims to be the son of actor Sidney Poitier. The production is directed by D. Terry Williams and will take place in the Laura V. Shaw Theatre on Nov. 14-16 and 21-23 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 17 at 2 p.m. "Six Degrees of Separation" contains adult themes, language and nudity.

During the holidays, many people enjoy nostalgic pieces that bring back memories from years past. This season, the University Theatre is presenting a musical revue of composer/lyricist Jerry Herman's best songs. "Jerry's Girls" will be directed by guest artist Dee Dee Sandt and features familiar tunes from such musicals as "Mame," "La Cage Aux Folles" and "Hello, Dolly!" Performances will be held Dec. 5-7 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. in the Multiform Theatre.

The winter semester gets started with a production of Steve Carter's play "Eden," under the direction of Von H. Washington. A family struggles with cultural balance as a father tries to hold onto his West Indian culture while his children become more Americanized every day. The play is set against the backdrop of 1920s New York and the political upheaval of Marcus Garvey's protests of black discrimination. Performances are scheduled for Feb. 20-22 and Feb. 27-March 1 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 23 at 2 p.m. in the Laura V. Shaw Theatre.

"The Marriage of Figaro" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart will be produced in cooperation with the WMU School of Music. This famous tale of sex and lies will be updated by director Carl Ratner to focus on sexual harassment in the American political arena. The opera will take place in the Multiform Theatre on March 20-22 and March 27-29 at 8 p.m. and March 23 at 2 p.m.

Rounding out the season is the hilarious French farce "A Flea in Her Ear" by Georges Feydeau. A wife attempts to catch her husband at cheating, but her scheming gets her friend in trouble instead. Performances will be held in the Laura V. Shaw Theatre on April 3-5 and April 10-12 at 8 p.m. and April 6 at 2 p.m. The production will be directed by new faculty member Mark Liermann.

In addition to the regular season, the University Theatre is continuing its York Arena Series. This year the series will focus on one-act plays. David Ives' "All in the Timing," directed by WMU Theatre alumnus Brian Sage '99 is a series of comedic vignettes. Performances will be held in the Zack L. York Arena Theatre on Sept. 26-28 and Oct. 1-5 at 8 p,m, and Sept. 29 at 2 p.m.

In the winter semester, faculty member Todd Neal will direct "Sand," three one-acts by Edward Albee: "The Sandbox," "Box" and "Finding the Sun." The plays will be staged on Feb. 6-8 and Feb. 11-15 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 9 at 2 p.m.

Media contact: Shauna Thieman, 269 387-6222, shauna.thieman@wmich.edu

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