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University Theatre announces 2006-07 season

April 18, 2006

KALAMAZOO--University Theatre at Western Michigan University has announced its 2006-07 season, and subscription packages for the nine productions are now on sale through the Gilmore Theatre Ticket Office.

The newly announced season features a blend of contemporary and classic works.

"Remnants From Senegal" by Von Washington opens Sept. 28.
"The Lion in Winter" by James Goldman opens Oct. 5.
"Crimes of the Heart" by Beth Henley opens Oct. 19.
"A Little Night Music" by Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler opens Nov. 9.
"Next Stop Broadway" opens Dec. 7.
"Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead" by Tom Stoppard opens Feb. 8.
"The Pillowman" by Martin McDonagh opens Feb. 22.
"Once on this Island" by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty opens March 22.
"Doctor Faustus" by Christopher Marlowe opens April 12.

In "Remnants From Senegal," Director Von Washington will work with the cast to develop the script containing tales from Africa and its diaspora in the Americas. "Remnants From Senegal" will unveil the pleasant and painful truths of one family, Sept. 28 through Oct. 8.

Next, audiences will travel back to the year 1186. It's Christmastime in England, and King Henry's life has become a chess game in James Goldman's "The Lion in the Winter." Avoiding the traps of three eager sons and a clever wife, he must choose a successor to keep his kingdom whole. The complex relationships and double dealings in this riveting comedy have inspired an Academy award-winning film. "The Lion in the Winter" is presented Oct. 5-15.

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Beth Henley's "Crimes of the Heart" exposes the gravity and hilarity of a spur-of-the-moment family reunion. This comedy tells the story of the three zany sisters who reconvene after the youngest gets into trouble with a gun. "Crimes of the Heart" runs Oct. 19-29.

Jilted lovers, an actress at the end of her career and a cello-playing youth caught between clerical vows and lust make "A Little Night Music" by Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler warm, witty and wise. This classically-inspired musical--featuring Sondheim's hit "Send in the Clowns"--will be produced in collaboration with the WMU School of Music and will play Nov 9-19.

"Next Stop Broadway" will close 2006 in New York style! This Broadway cabaret will feature the talents of graduating WMU Music Theatre Performance students alongside a special guest from New York who will be in residency at University Theatre. The evening of show tunes runs Dec. 7-10.

Tom Stoppard's laugh-filled spoof of Hamlet, "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead," tells the story of two comedic courtiers who set out to find the cause of young Hamlet's madness, but end up buried in their own craziness. Directed by department Chair Joan Herrington, "Rosencrantz and
Guildenstern are Dead" will be staged Feb. 8-18.

A gripping drama set in a totalitarian state, Martin McDonagh's "The Pillow Man" investigates a series of gruesome child murders that resemble short stories penned by a local author. Once under interrogation, the writer and the police all reveal startling secrets. Directed by Terry Williams, "The Pillow Man" is suitable for mature audiences and runs from Feb. 22 until March 3.

"Once on this Island" tells of the separation between poor, laboring peasants and wealthy, careless grands homes. The family musical by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty is set in the Carribbean and shares the story of a young girl's first love and her quest to conquer death. "Once on this Island" will be presented from March 22 through April 1.

The 2006-07 season closes with "Doctor Faustus," the classic tragedy by Christopher Marlowe. Selling his soul to the devil in hopes of achieving limitless power and knowledge, Faustus spirals into a hell of his own creation. Guest director Leon Ingulsrud from New York's acclaimed SITI Company and the design team will adapt the latest in digital media technology to make the fire and brimstone burn! "Doctor Faustus" runs April 12-22.

Season subscription packages are on sale, and tickets to individual performances will be available starting Sept. 5. Standard subscriptions cost $99. Senior citizens and WMU employees receive a discounted price of $76.50 for the season. Student subscriptions for all nine shows run $54. To order tickets or to get additional information, call the Gilmore Theatre Ticket Office at (269) 387-6222, Monday through Friday between noon and 4 p.m.

Several productions in the University Theatre's 2006-07 season are made possible in part through the sponsorship of Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan.

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

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