Mainstage season features ‘Streetcar,’ new adaptation of ‘Hamlet’

The 2019-20 Mainstage theatre season at Western Carolina University includes presentations of Tennessee Williams’ iconic American play “A Streetcar Named Desire” and a new adaptation of William Shakespeare’s classic tragedy “Hamlet” by George Brown, dean of WCU’s Belcher College of Fine and Performing Arts.

The new season begins with a murder mystery, Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap,” which has the longest initial run of any play in history. Directed by Terry Martin, director of WCU’s undergraduate program in stage and screen, the play will be staged in Hoey Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26, through Saturday, Sept. 28, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 29.

Next up is the contemporary comedy “Urinetown: The Musical.” The production is set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7, through Saturday, Nov. 9, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10, in Hoey Auditorium. It will be directed and choreographed by Ashlee Wasmund, director of the musical theatre and dance programs at WCU, and music direction will be provided by Kristen Hedberg of the musical theatre faculty.

“A Streetcar Named Desire,” Williams’ play set in post-World War II New Orleans, will be staged at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, through Saturday, Feb. 15, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16, in Hoey Auditorium. The production will be directed by Colin Wasmund, director of the acting program in the School of Stage and Screen.

WCU’s Brown is providing the adaptation of “Hamlet” that will be presented in early March, but he also will direct the play, which is the story of Prince Hamlet’s descent into madness after vowing revenge following his father’s murder at the hands of his uncle. The production will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 4, through Friday, March 6, and at 3 p.m. Saturday, March 7, in the Josephina Niggli Studio Theatre at the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center.

Completing the theatre season at WCU will be “Bring It On: The Musical,” directed by Terrence Mann, the university’s Phillips Distinguished Professor of Musical Theatre. A story about the challenges and bonds created in the world of competitive cheerleading, the presentation is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 2, through Saturday, April 4, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 5, in the performance hall of the Bardo Arts Center.

Rounding out the Mainstage schedule is the Controlled Chaos Film Festival, a celebration of the narrative and documentary films created by students in WCU’s Film and Television Production Program. The event will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 1, in the Bardo Arts Center performance hall.

For tickets and more information, visit this School of Stage and Screen web page.