Stage and Screen announces Mainstage productions for 2018-19

The School of Stage and Screen at Western Carolina University has announced its Mainstage season for 2018-19, featuring an array of musical theatre classics, a laugh-out-loud farce, a beloved Shakespearean comedy, an important new work, the annual film festival, and a first-of-its-kind interpretive dance-movement show set to a concept album from a major art rock band.

“The season opens with the surprisingly timely musical ‘Cabaret,’” an exploration of the loss of freedom and the willful ignorance of totalitarianism in Nazi Germany, said Jayme McGhan, director of the School of Stage and Screen. The production will be directed and choreographed by Ashlee Wasmund, coordinator of WCU’s dance and musical theatre programs, with musical direction by Kristen Hedberg, assistant professor of musical theatre. “Cabaret”will run Sept. 27-30 in Hoey Auditorium.

Next up is a hysterical ode to the theatre itself in the much-loved farce, “Noises Off,”directed by theatre instructor Colin Wasmund. It will be staged Nov. 8-11 in Hoey Auditorium.

The fall semester closes with a one-of-a-kind interpretive dance piece set to the beloved rock band Cloud Cult’s 2010 concept album “Light Chasers,” “an immensely beautiful and moving soundscape of love, loss and redemption,” McGhan said. “Light Chasers”will be directed by McGhan, with choreography by Ashlee Wasmund and dance instructor Liz Borom. The show will run Dec. 6-8 in Hoey Auditorium.

The spring semester of 2019 kicks off with Shakespeare’s most celebrated comedy, “Twelfth Night,” a gender-swapping tale of mistaken identity and mischievous high jinks, directed by Claire Eye, coordinator of the theatre program. “Twelfth Night”will be produced Feb. 14-17 in Hoey Auditorium.

Next up is the new Pulitzer Prize finalist, “The Wolves,” a fly-on-the-wall look at the internal lives of modern teenage girls on a soccer team, directed by Dustin Whitehead, assistant professor of acting. “The Wolves”will be staged Feb. 28-March 3 in the Josefina Niggli Studio Theatre in the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center.

Completing the theatre season is Disney’s sweeping “Beauty and the Beast,” directed by Terrence Mann, WCU’s Phillips Distinguished Professor of Musical Theatre who originated the role of the Beast on Broadway. “Beauty and the Beast”will be produced April 11-14 in the Bardo Arts Center performance hall, with special matinees for area schools scheduled.

“Rounding out the 2018-19 Mainstage season is the most exciting single night of the academic year, the Controlled Chaos Film Festival, a celebration of numerous narrative and documentary films created by the students in the Film and Television Production Program,” McGhan said. The festival is set for May 3 at the Bardo Arts Center.

For tickets and more information, visit the website of the School of Stage and Screen.