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Theater preview for spring 2010

The Valdosta State Theatre and Dance area has an extraordinary line- up for the spring semester, including four plays and two fundraisers for surrounding schools. This year the theatre department has already had hits with the plays Almost, Maine, by John Cariani, All My Sons, by Arthur Miller, and Damn Yankees, based on the novel The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant, by Douglas Wallop.
Every season, VSU Theatre features one musical, three contemporary or classic plays, one children’s show, a dance show, and one period piece or Shakespeare play. As Almost, Maine, All My Sons, and Damn Yankees fulfilled the first three requirements, in spring semester we have a children’s play, a classic play, a period piece, and a dance show to look forward to. With the exception of the children’s show, all productions will be auditioned and cast in the first week of spring semester. Auditions are open to all.
The first play that will be produced during spring semester will be Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. The musical is based on a book written by Judith Viorst, who adapted her book and wrote the music and lyrics, and features a score by Shelly Markham. The play is part of VSU Theatre’s children’s theatre program, which every spring tours to various schools to entertain and educate young audiences. The play, directed by Musical Theatre vocal professor Michael Elliot, has already been cast because of its early production date. Because it is a tour production, there will be only two performances on campus, on February 5 at 7:30 p.m. and February 6 at 10:30 a.m. in the Lab Theatre.
The next production will be of The Piano Lesson by August Wilson. The play won the author his second Pulitzer Prize. The drama will be directed by Dr. Jimmy Bickerstaff, VSU Theatre professor, and Dr. John Gaston, Dean of the College of Arts. It will be performed in Sawyer Theatre on February 19-21, 22-25 at 7:30 p.m. and on Feb. 21 at 3:00 p.m.
The Piano Lesson will be followed by Anton Chekhov’s play Three Sisters, translated by Paul Schmidt. Fans of period plays and costumes should look forward to a gorgeous production. It will be shown in the Lab Theatre on April 1-3, 5-7 at 7:30 p.m., and April 4 at 3:00 p.m.
The last production for spring semester will be the Annual Dance Concert, featuring VSU’s Repertory Dancers as well as theatre majors and choreography from VSU Dance professors and students. The theme this year is “The Spirit of Dance in America,” and various genres of American dance will be featured. The performance will be in Sawyer Theatre on April 22-24 at 7:30 p.m., and on April 2 at 3:00 p.m.
In addition to the plays and dance concert, there will be two fundraising events. The first, held January 23 and 24 in the Valdosta High School Performing Arts Center, will be Sleeping Beauty the Ballet, featuring both theatre majors and dancers from VSU Dance. This represents a departure from the traditional production of Cinderella the Ballet.
The Annual Cabaret Fundraiser will be held February 14, 2010 in the new VSU Student Union Ballroom. The Cabaret is a musical revue featuring VSU Musical Theatre majors who perform selected songs from musical theatre. The theme this year is “From Page to Stage.” Proceeds from ticket sales go towards scholarships for VSU Theatre students.

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