After ending the 2009-2010 theater season with two Shakespearean shows, West Chester’s University Theatre is now focusing on auditions and rehearsals for their fall semester events.The Executive Council of the UT 2010-2011 Council are: Peter Collier, President; Jim Vadala, Vice-President; Frank Schierloh, Treasurer; Doug Atkins, Secretary; Briana Choynowski, Historian, and Kristie Perrotti, Parliamentarian. Each officer holds their own responsibilities; for example, the president position is generally in charge of the organization and creates the semester’s schedule, while the vice-president is in charge of organizing each production’s set strike.
Now that the school year is beginning, the council and the rest of University Theatre are preparing for auditions for each respective production. The first of these auditions will be held Tuesday, Aug. 31st at 7 p.m. for “Reception/Perception.” This dance show will include choreography from WCU students and faculty, as well as several guest artists from the Philadelphia area, and will open on November 19th.
On September 1-2, auditions will be held for the season’s musical, “The Pajama Game.” Taking place in the Sleep-Tite Pajama Factory, this musical focuses on the ups and downs of office (or factory) relationships, culminating in conflict during a worker’s strike. The play is originally based off of the novel “7 Cents” by Richard Bissell, which is named after the pay increase the workers in The Pajama Game are striking for. The musical will open on October 22nd and run for two weekends.
Continuing in a department tradition, UT will hold their student-written one acts from November 11-13. This shorter series of shows features one-acts written, performed, and directed by WCU theater students.
Each show is written and graded in the previous spring semester, and a small handful of shows are picked by theater department faculty to perform in the fall showcase.
Auditions for these shows will be held October 6-7, leaving just over a month for each act to cast, design and perfect their scenes.
The fall production that will be performed last in the fall semester is Sorrows and Rejoicings, written by South African playwright Athol Fugard. This production will be the first completed show this season, with shows starting September 29. Directed by professor Leonard Kelly, this production revolves around the complexities of grief and joy, as an exiled man passes to death, leaving his wife and his mistress to reflect upon their lives and memories of him.
Due to the renovations at the E.O. Bull Center over the past few semesters, theater classes were moved to other academic buildings, mainly in Anderson Hall.
The theater department has also been forced to find new production venues for shows and events, reaching out the theater space in Brandywine Hall and using a classroom on the first floor of Goshen for rehearsals.
These spaces will be used again this season while renovations continue on the E.O. Bull Center. Sorrows and Rejoicings, along with the student-written one-acts, will be held in the Goshen studio theatre.
Students interested in participating in University Theatre may contact any of the officers, or attend one of the organization’s weekly meetings, which take place at 10 p.m. on Mondays on the first floor of Anderson.
Tara Tanzos is a fourth-year student majoring in English and minoring in creative writing. She can be reached at TT649875@wcupa.edu.