Literally: An “All New” Season
Who: Weber State University Department of Performing Arts
What: A Season of Premiere Productions
Where: WSU Theaters, Val A. Browning Center for the Performing Arts
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
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
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
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
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.
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.