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Thursday, April 25, 2013

NEWS: Weber State University Department of Performing Arts

Literally: An “All New” Season

Who: Weber State University Department of Performing Arts
What: A Season of Premiere Productions
When: 2013-14 
Where: WSU Theaters, Val A. Browning Center for the Performing Arts

Weber State University Department of Performing Arts announces its 2013-14 season. The entire year is comprised of premiere performances of new works, three of them by local artists. One of the plays, a musical, is written by WSU faculty member Jim Christian and his “Sleepy Hollow” co-creator, Tom Edward Clark. Jennifer Kokai, also a WSU theatre faculty member, has written the play produced by A.A.T. (Associated Actors and Technicians). Julie Jensen, resident playwright for Salt Lake Acting Company is also represented in this line-up.

 The Plain Princess, Book and lyrics by Jim Christian, Music by Tom Edward Clark, Oct.4-12, 2013
Adapted from the children’s book by Phyllis McGinley
Young Princess Esmerelda seems to have everything that a young princess should…except that she is “plain.”  In order to overcome her dilemma, the King and Queen seek the help of anyone who can remedy their daughter’s situation.  After all of the wizards and physicians refuse the challenge, a clever widow accepts the task and takes Esmerelda to live with her and her five charming daughters.  The result is a special kind of magic that works a miracle.

Of Myth and Mud, By Sarah Saltwick, Directed by Jenny Kokai, Nov. 8-16, 2013
Old creatures, new stories. This collection of nine short plays journeys through classical mythology begins with Pandora and the jar of Hope. The play arrives at new understandings of  love, faith, death and family. Among the characters we meet are: Cecilia the Selkie, before her transformation into a seal; Dahlia the dragon, on her wedding day; and Medusa the Gorgon, in her cave. There is wild humanity in these worlds.

Girl of Glass, By Jennifer A. Kokai, AAT (student production), Directed by student TBA, Feb. 4-8, 2014
Due to a misread package Edgar, a delivery man, meets Truly who works in a strange florist’s shop filled with glowing glass jars. Every week Edgar visits her at the shop, falling more and more in love. But what is in the glass jars and who is Truly?

Picnic at Hanging Rock, Book, music & lyrics by Daniel Zaitchik, Directed by Jim Christian, Feb. 28-March 8, Adapted from the novel by Joan Lindsay
Set in Victoria, Australia on Valentine’s Day, 1900, the girls from Appleyard College are released from their studies for an afternoon picnic.  The wilderness is seductive and the girls are enraptured.  However, the mystery begins when two of girls inexplicably vanish sending everyone into a maelstrom of fear, anxiety and intrigue.  Based on one of Australia’s most treasured novels.

Mockingbird, By Julie Jensen, Directed by Tracy Callahan, March 28-April 5, 2014
Based on the 2010 National Book Awards book by the same name written by Kathryn Erskine.
Caitlin, a bright, talented 10-year-old girl with Asperger’s Syndrome, is trying to understand the world around her, especially how to make friends and fit in at school. She also has to deal with the tragic shooting death of her brother, who had been her main support, and the pain of her father, who seems lost in grief over the killing of his son. As is true with most people with Asperger’s, Caitlin is intelligent but “getting it,” that is, understanding emotion or interpreting social behavior is almost impossible. She has to use her intellect, the Facial Expressions Chart, and much verbalizing to herself to get it right. We hear the story through Caitlin’s mind, and it could not seem more real. Finally, with the help of her very understanding school counselor, the friendship of a younger boy, and the kindness of one of her classmates, she breaks through, and begins to understand empathy. As Caitlin starts to “get” compassion, she teaches those around her important lessons about acceptance and understanding.

1 comment:

  1. Thank You for the information.

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