Sun. Jan 16th, 2022

Within weeks of this fall semester, it may seem that one can only watch “Tropic Thunder” and “Pineapple Express” so many times before the classic hype of entertainment wears off. It is simply an awful time of the year when mainstream media is concerned; being lodged between the Summer and holiday seasons, the Fall usually is dismissed as a time of anticipation.

That being said, it is with great anticipation that the Theatre and Dance Department of WCU offer a wide array of events to liven things up throughout the course of the semester.

From Stephen Sondheim’s concept of the American Dream to student playwrights, there is little to be bored with as far as the Theatre can offer. So, here is a guide to what is in the works at WCU’s Theatre and Dance Department.

To be performed from Sept. 24-28, John Patrick Shanley’s “Psychopathia Sexualis,” depicts the everyday life – and forthcoming marriage – of Arthur, an obscure young painter struggling in the art world of Manhattan.

Arthur is thrown into a bullring of opportunity and mishap when he “announces to his self-satisfied friend, Howard, that he is engaged to be married. “To whom,” asks Howard.

The answer is to Lucille, a powerful, attractive, no-nonsense Texas socialite, a kind of wealthy Annie Oakley.” The play counters Arthur, his fiancée Lucille, and Howard against a shrewd psychiatrist named Dr. Block in a drama of love, fetishes, and a certain pair of argyle socks.

“Psychopathia Sexualis” will be performed at the E.O. Bull Main Stage on Sept. 24 & 25, at 7:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, Sept. 26 and 27 at 8:00 p.m. and on Sunday, Sept. 28, at 2:00 p.m..

From Oct. 2-5, student playwrights from WCU will be able to witness their scripts come to life as the Theatre and Dance department performs student-written plays.

Performing at the J. Peter Adler Studio Theatre, this series of performances will surely add several peaks of variety and originality from cutting-edge minds.

The student written one-acts will be performed at the J. Peter Adler Studio Theatre on Thursday, Oct. 2, at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 3, at 8:00 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 4, at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 5, at 2:00 p.m.

And finally, the weekend of Nov. 5-9 turns Madeleine Adler Wing Theatre into the sociohistorical crime scene of ‘Assassins’ which has been denoted in appraisal as “the most controversial musical ever written.” Written by the acclaimed Sondheim and John Weidman in 1990, “Assassins” exposes the lives of nine individuals who either attempted to or successfully assassinated an American president, however, there is a twist.

This musical allows each individual, from John Wilkes Booth to Lee Harvey Oswald, to interact in the same time, developing their own twist on the ideal of the American Dream.

The New York Times had this to say of “Assassins”, “Of course, a work that sets to song the thoughts of John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald and John Hinckley, among others, is still bound to give some theatergoers the creeps. . . Yet let it be stated that ‘Assassins’ does not celebrate its homicidal subjects.”

Sondheim and Weidman are simply posing a question that arises in many people’s minds when they read accounts of shocking, irrational crimes, ‘Why would someone do that?”’

“Assassins” will be performed at the Madeleine Wing Adler Theatre on Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 5 and 6, at 7:30 p.m., Nov. 7 and 8, at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 9, at 2:00 p.m.

Obviously, with such an amalgam of bizarre, controversial, and original pieces being performed by the Theatre and Dance Department, this is not a season of boredom upon WCU.

So put the DVD’s away for a few nights this semester and be prepared for some of the most entertaining performances to be witnessed this year.

For more information or ticket reservations, call the Department of Theatre and Dance box office at 610.436.2533.

Dave Hogg is a first-year student majoring in Professional & Secondary Education major. He can be reached

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