UW-Green Bay Theatre and Dance announces 2013-14 mainstage season

UW-Green Bay Theatre and Dance is preparing for a dynamic 2013-14 mainstage season featuring three plays, a musical and a live dance concert performance.

Beginning in October, the new season comes on the heels of three busy, successful years for the program. In 2010-11, the highly successful production of Almost, Maine earned numerous regional and national awards; and in April 2012, the large-scale UW-Green Bay Theatre and Music production of Cabaret was a hit on the mainstage of the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts — Theatre’s first production there in a decade. The 2012-13 mainstage season, the program’s first as the newly renamed Theatre and Dance, featured numerous highlights including a guest-directed production of Shakespeare’s Love’s Labor’s Lost, as well as the inaugural mainstage run for the University’s Danceworks dance concert.

UW-Green Bay Prof. Laura Riddle, Chair of Theatre and Dance and Director of the 2013-14 season’s musical, Avenue Q, said she is proud of the program’s past accomplishments and enthusiastically looking forward to the upcoming season.

“We’re very excited to continue to bring in professional guest artists to work with our students on productions,” Riddle said. “This year, Broadway costume designer Janice Pytel will design two productions; and puppet expert and professional actor Kevin Noonkester will be here for a weeklong ‘Puppet Camp.’ The company of Avenue Q will learn to work with the Muppet-like puppets featured in this musical, for what I anticipate to be a real highlight of a very entertaining season.”

The Theatre and Dance mainstage season will kick off in October with playwright Beth Henley’s Crimes of the Heart, the 1981 Pulitzer Prize for Drama winner that is a poignant yet hilarious look at family life for the Magrath sisters of Hazlehurst, Miss. That will be followed in November by the popular and funny musical Avenue Q, the “triple crown” Tony award-winning musical that addresses humorous adult issues in the style of a beloved children’s show. In February and March, Phylis Ravel’s Censored on Final Approach will take the stage, with the Danceworks dance concert and Alan Ayckbourn’s Communicating Doors to follow in April and May. In addition to the mainstage season, Theatre and Dance will present two student-directed productions, one each during spring and fall semesters.

The 2013-14 UW-Green Bay Theatre and Dance mainstage schedule is as follows:

Crimes of the Heart, by Beth Henley; directed by Associate Prof. John Mariano
Jean Weidner Theatre, Weidner Center, Oct. 17-19 and 23-26, 2013, 7:30 p.m.
The scene is Hazlehurst, Mississippi, where the three Magrath sisters have gathered in the family home. Lenny, the oldest sister, is unmarried at thirty and facing diminishing marital prospects; Meg, the middle sister, is back after a failed singing career on the West Coast; while Babe, the youngest, is out on bail after having shot her husband in the stomach. Their troubles are grave and yet, somehow, hilarious. This winner of the 1981 Pulitzer Prize for Drama is poignant and filled with humor.

Avenue Q, The Musical, music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx; book by Jeff Whitty; directed by Laura Riddle; musical direction by Assistant Prof. Courtney Sherman; choreography by Denise Carlson-Gardner
University Theatre, Theatre Hall, Nov. 21-23, 2013, 7:30 p.m., and Nov. 23, 3 p.m.
Winner of the Tony “Triple Crown” for Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book, Avenue Q is a gut-bustingly hilarious modern musical focusing on a group of unique 20-somethings making their way in the big city, seeking their purpose in life. Although the show addresses humorous adult issues, it is similar to a beloved children’s show; a place where puppets are friends, monsters are good and life lessons are learned.
NOTE: Rated R for strong language and adult themes.

Censored on Final Approach, by Phylis Ravel; guest directed by Shifra Werch
Jean Weidner Theatre, Feb. 27, 28 and March 1 and 5-8, 2014, 7:30 p.m.
During World War II, an elite group of female pilots, championed by pioneer American aviator Jacqueline Cochran, were selected to serve as WASPs, Women Airforce Service Pilots. They were not embraced by their male counterparts and struggled for acceptance on a daily basis. Censored … brings to life a dark time of bigotry, sabotage, and the consequent cover-up of an all but forgotten chapter of American history.

Danceworks, a dance concert; directed by Denise Carlson-Gardner
University Theatre, April 4, 2014, 7:30 p.m., and April 5, 2 p.m.
Join us as we celebrate dance in a concert of faculty and student choreography representing a diverse medley of styles.

Communicating Doors, by Alan Ayckbourn; directed by Associate Prof. John Mariano
University Theatre, April 25 and 26 and May 1-3, 2014, 7:30 p.m.
An intricate time traveling comic thriller. A London sex specialist from the future stumbles into a murder plot that sends her, compliments of a unique set of hotel doors, traveling back in time. She and two women who were murdered in the same room decades earlier, race back and forth in time trying to rewrite history and prevent their own violent ends. Playwright, Sir Alan Ayckbourn (Bedroom Farce), is a master of farcical comedy and the recipient of both the Olivier and Tony Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Tickets for all performances are available through University Ticketing Services in the University Union (www.uwgb.edu/tickets/), with discounts available for advance purchase, groups and season packages. For more information about UW-Green Bay Theatre and Dance, visit www.uwgb.edu/theatre.


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