WMU News

University Theatre announces 2004-05 season

April 12, 2004

KALAMAZOO--University Theatre at Western Michigan University has announced its 2004-05 season, featuring a diverse blend of classic and contemporary works:

"God's Country" by Steven Dietz
"Metamorphoses" as adapted by Mary Zimmermann
"Settling Sophia" by Cherryl Floyd-Miller
"Othello" by William Shakespeare
"1940's Radio Hour" by Walton Jones & Carol Lees
"Anton in Show Business" by Jane Martin
"Charley's Aunt" by Brandon Thomas
"Dr. Miracle" by George Bizet
"The Old Maid and the Thief" by Gian Carlo Menotti
"Brigadoon" by Alan Jay Lerner & Frederick Loewe.

The season begins with Steven Dietz's "God's Country," opening Sept. 23 and playing through Oct. 2 in the York Arena Theatre. Directed by Professor Mark Liermann, this gripping drama traces the rise and fall of a racist organization known as The Order, which in September 1983 began robbing and murdering so-called "enemies of the white race" in an effort to ignite a "white revolution." Dietz's script is drawn entirely from actual eyewitness accounts, news archives, and court testimonies.

The new Broadway hit play "Metamorphoses" will take the stage in the Multiform Theatre in October. Mary Zimmermann's brilliant adaptation of Ovid's tales weaves a contemporary and frequently humorous sensibility through ancient myths of love and loss, triumph and transformation. Set in and around a large pool of water in the center of the stage, the play combines captivating storytelling and clever stagecraft. Directed by D. Terry Williams, chair of the Department of Theatre, "Metamorphoses" runs Oct. 7 through 16.

In Cherryl Floyd-Miller's new play, "Settling Sophia," racism and self-identity are examined through a woman in a quiet rural North Carolina town. Everyone in Sophia knows the secret about Chelsea except Chelsea herself. The Dalton Center's Multimedia Room will house "Settling Sophia," directed by Von Washington, director of multicultural theatre, Oct. 28 through Nov. 6.

A classic Shakespearean tragedy comes to Shaw Theatre Nov. 11 through 20. In the Bard's "Othello," the title character is a Moorish war hero whose life is ruined by the evil Iago. Iago manages to convince Othello that his wife is unfaithful by suggesting she is having an affair with Othello's own lieutenant. Directed by Professor James Daniels, "Othello" is a masterful tale of deceit and betrayal.

Closing out 2004 is the nostalgic "1940's Radio Hour," by Walton Jones and Carol Lees. The time is December 1942 and the Mutual Manhattan Variety Cavalcade is on the airwaves, singing memorable '40s tunes like "Strike Up the Band" and "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy." Behind-the-scenes hijinks and drama bring the magic of New York City's WOV radio station to life in this production directed by Jay Berkow, director of music theatre performance . "1940's Radio Hour" runs Dec. 2 through 5 in the Multiform Theatre.

To start off 2005, University Theatre offers "Anton in Show Business" Jan. 27 through Feb. 5 in York Arena Theatre. Directed by Professor James Daniels, this hilarious comedy by Jane Martin follows three actresses as they work to put on a classic Chekhov play in a small Texas town.

In Brandon Thomas' farce "Charley's Aunt," two schoolboys convince an older chum to dress up as their aunt and act as a chaperone so that they may court their sweethearts undisturbed. When the real aunt finally arrives, however, comedic confusion ensues as the lies come unravelled. "Charley's Aunt" will play Feb. 17 through 26 in the Multiform Theatre under the direction of Professor Mark Liermann.

A pairing of one-act comic operas--"Dr. Miracle" and "The Old Maid and the Thief"--will be staged in the Multiform Theatre by Carl Ratner of WMU's School of Music. "Dr. Miracle," by George Bizet, is set in the home of a respectable English mayor who is tricked by his daughter's suitor. In
"The Old Maid and the Thief," by G.C. Menotti, Miss Todd (the old maid) welcomes a tramp into her home as a lodger. She treats him like royalty, but in order to satisfy his increasing demands she resorts to stealing. Playing March 17 through 24, these hilarious operas will be performed together each night.

To close out the 2004-05 season will be the enchanting musical "Brigadoon." Created by the brilliant musical theatre team of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, Brigadoon revolves around two American tourists who stumble upon a misty little Scottish town. One of the men falls for a local lass, only to discover that the mysterious town only reawakens for one day every hundred years. Directed by Jay Berkow, "Brigadoon" plays April 7 through 16 in Shaw Theatre.

2004-05 Season subscriptions also include access to two dance concerts offered by the WMU Department of Dance. "Namely Muscles," by Claire Porter, will be performed Oct. 5 and 6 in the Dalton Center Recital Hall. The annual "Winter Concert of Dance" will take place Feb. 10 through 12 in Shaw Theatre.

Season subscription packages are on sale now, and individual tickets will be available Aug. 15. Orders for subscription packages placed by April 23 will receive a 10 percent discount. For tickets or additional information, call the Gilmore Theatre Box Office at 269 387-6222,
weekdays noon to 5 p.m.

Media contact: Patrick Donnelly, 269 387-6222, patrick.donnelly@wmich.edu

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