The spring semester has begun. Classes are underway. Hollinger Field has been closed off as well as the basketball court and the volleyball court. As the semester progresses, students seeking an escape from the work of the semester could find themselves an entertaining time at West Chester’s University Theatre. Students can watch every Shakespeare play in 90 minutes, a play about the dangers of dating, a farce-within-a farce or the dance company dancing!The Quad met up with Jay Berkowitz, chairperson of the department of Theatre and Dance, and Leonard Kelly, faculty member and supervisor of the “The C’mpleat Worx of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged)” to discuss what the theatre has planned for the Spring of 2008.
The first play of the semester is “The C’mpleat Worx of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged)” which will be performed in the J.P. Adler Theatre. Kelly describes it as “Saturday Night Live meets William Shakespeare.” For example, Titus Andronicus, Shakespeare’s goriest play, is set as a cooking show and the history plays are set as a football game.
Originally, the play was performed by three people (who also wrote the play), but at University Theatre, the cast has been expanded to five people because of the “flexibility of the script,” as Kelly explained. Kelly also described the play as a “great learning tool” because the play does not limit the actors’ individual personalities from shining through.
The play is directed by Patrick Kane, and if you are a fan of the works of Shakespeare or comedy or are simply looking for a great night of fun, check out this play which begins on Feb. 1 and ends on Feb. 3. Pick up your tickets now because seating is limited.
The second play of the semester is a thoughtful, somber play written by Rebecca Gilman. The play is about a woman who is victimized by a stalker after a casual relationship turns into a nightmare. Berkowitz said that the theatre wanted to do the play because of the sometimes dangerous lives contemporary people live.
For example, people meet through dating services online, Facebook and MySpace; those situations can have devastating results.
Prior to the debut of the show, University Theatre has set up events on campus which will provide info about safety and protecting one’s identity. There will be a showing of Alicia Silverstone’s “The Crush,” followed by a panel discussion. The Theatre is participating in the Safe Love Week through the Women’s Center, Feb. 11-16 throughout campus.
The Theatre has created a panel discussion on stalking on campus on Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. entitled The Valentine’s Day Symposium followed by the production at 8 p.m. The play is directed by Harvey Rovine and begins its two-week run on Feb. 15.
The final play of the semester is a farce-within-a-farce entitled “Noises Off.” “Noises Off” is a British play using full dialect. The play is about a third-rate acting troupe touring and performing a farce while they themselves are a farce. Kelly says there are problems with relationships, backstopping to forgetting lines, dropping trousers, and losing countless plates of sardines–all which helps the play-within-a-play fall apart. Michael Frayn, a man known for more serious plays, wrote “Noises Off.” Kelly is directing the play. Auditions are this week in the Bull Center and the play begins its run on March 28.
The final event for the department of Theatre and Dance is the annual Spring Dance Concert in Asplundh Hall. The show allows student choreographers to experiment and mix with different styles such as jazz, lyrical, modern, ballet, tap, and hip hop. The website for University Theatre states, “You will be amazed at the talent in choreography, dancing and full theatre production presented by WCU students.”
The concert begins its run on Thursday April 17 and runs until April 19.
University Theatre will also continue its work with high schools. The Theatre has a high school Theatre Festival in which they invite schools to the campus and the students take part in various workshops (acting, makeup, technical theatre, and costume).
The University Theatre is excited for the spring of 2008 so do not hesitate to come out for an entertaining time.
Chris Monigle is a third-year student majoring in literature. He can be reached at CM660983@wcupa.edu.