CULLOWHEE – Western Carolina University is ready to shine the spotlight on its 2005-06 theatre season as the University Players present the rollicking comedy “The Complete History of America (abridged),” the uplifting musical “Godspell,” William Shakespeare’s romantic tale “The Tempest” and the beloved Rogers and Hammerstein classic “Oklahoma!”
The University Players’ longtime home of Hoey Auditorium will house productions of “The Complete History of America (abridged),” “The Tempest” and “Godspell,” while the big musical performance “Oklahoma!” will be staged in the performance hall of Western’s new Fine and Performing Arts Center, a $30 million showcase for the arts and humanities set to open this fall.
All shows will feature evening performances and weekend matinees. Season tickets will go on sale in early September. Prices for season tickets are $45 for adults, $35 for senior citizens and Western faculty and staff, and $25 for students.
Charge cards may be used to make reservations and purchase advance tickets at the Fine and Performing Arts Center’s box office; however, they will not be accepted for “at the door” sales in Hoey Auditorium.
Memberships also are available for the Patron Club, which provides additional financial support to the University Players and its activities. Memberships are available at the Actor ($250), Director ($500) and Producer ($1,000) levels. All membership levels offer tickets to all productions, and much of the cost of membership is tax deductible.
Opening the season is “The Complete History of America (abridged)” by Adam Long, Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor. The comedy is a fast-paced, high-energy look at America, from the Ice Age to present day, told in the same zany spirit as the trio’s “The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (abridged)” and “All the Great Books (abridged).” The production runs Sept. 28-Oct. 2.
“Godspell,” produced in cooperation with Western’s musical theatre program and Black Theatre Ensemble, will hit the stage Nov. 16-20. Based on the Bible’s Gospel According to St. Matthew, “Godspell” utilizes clowning, pantomime, charades, acrobatics, vaudeville and pop music to tell the story of Jesus Christ. The show, written by John Michael Tebelak and featuring music by Stephen Schwartz, contains several memorable songs, including the hit “Day by Day.” “Godspell” will not be performed on the evening of Nov. 18.
“The Tempest,” a classic tale of romance, comedy and tragedy, comes to the stage Feb. 8-12. Shakespeare’s play tells the story of Prospero, the Duke of Milan, who is abandoned at sea with his 2-year-old daughter, Miranda. They find refuge on a mysterious island. Years later, a shipwreck brings to the island the only other human Miranda, now a young woman, has ever seen.
The season comes to a close with the toe-tapping musical “ Oklahoma!” from the team of Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein. The story of the efforts of young cowboys trying to woo their sweethearts despite an interfering ranch hand and a roaming peddler, the show features some of the best-known songs in American theatre, including “People Will Say We’re in Love,” “O What a Beautiful Morning” and “The Surrey with the Fringe on Top.” “Oklahoma!” will be produced March 23-26 in cooperation with Western’s musical theatre program.
For more information about season tickets or Patron Club memberships, contact the department of communication, theatre and dance at (828) 227-7491, or visit http://theatre.wcu.edu.