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On stage: 2015-2016 K-State theatre and dance season includes classic and original works

Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015 

MANHATTAN — Tragedy, Shakespeare, Dickens, dance and even climate change will highlight the 2015-2016 theatre and dance productions at Kansas State University.

K-State Theatre will kick off its season with Sarah Ruhl's "Eurydice," a fresh look at the classic myth of Orpheus. After dying too young on her wedding day, Eurydice must journey to the underworld, where she reunites with her father and struggles to remember her lost love. Directed by Libby Stratton, instructor of theatre, "Eurydice" will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 15-17 and 22-24, and at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 25, all in the Mark A Chapman Theatre in Nichols Hall.

Based on the book by Charles Dickens, "A Christmas Carol: The Musical" will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 12-14 and at 2:30 p.m. Nov. 15 in McCain Auditorium. This Broadway musical adaptation of the Dickens' classic, directed and choreographed by Jerry Jay Cranford, brings Ebenezer Scrooge and his ghostly encounters to life as he learns to share love with those who mean the most to him. The show features music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Lynn Aherns.

The fall portion of the theatre and dance schedule will wrap up with "Winter Dance 15," a showcase of dance styles, including jazz, tap, modern, ballet and African dance choreographed by the university's dance faculty and performed by K-State students. "Winter Dance 15" will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3-5 and at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 5 in the Chapman Theatre at Nichols Hall.

The first production of the spring semester will be "Forward," a play by Chantal Bilodeau, the K-State theatre program's playwright-in-residence. Set in Norway, "Forward" presents a poetic history of climate change, from the initial passion that drove Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen to the North Pole, to the consequences of over a century of fossil fuel addiction. Directed by Jennifer Vellenga, associate director of the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, "Forward" will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 4-6 and 11-13, and at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 14 in West Stadium's Purple Masque Theatre.

Gian-Carlo Menotti's opera and Cold War-era thriller "The Consul" will be performed at 7:30 p.m. March 3-5 and 2:30 p.m. March 6 in the Chapman Theatre at Nichols Hall. Winner of the 1950 Pulitzer Prize in music and the New York Drama Circles' Circle Award for best musical play, "The Consul" is about a woman in a totalitarian country trying to get her visa so she, her mother and her child may join her dissident husband across the border. The opera will be directed by Reginald Pittman, professor of opera.

Spring arrives at K-State with "Spring Dance 16," which features a variety of dance styles and faculty-choreographed works performed by K-State students. The showcase of dance will be presented at 7:30 p.m. April 1-2 in McCain Auditorium.

Theatre and dance productions for the spring semester will wrap up with Shakespeare's classic romantic comedy "As You Like It." Presented as part of the university's semesterlong series of campus and community events celebrating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, "As You Like It" follows Rosalind as she flees persecution in her uncle's court. Accompanied by her cousin Celia, Rosalind finds safety and, eventually, love in the Forest of Arden. Directed by David MacKay, assistant professor of theatre, "As You Like It" will be performed at 7:30 p.m. April 21-23 and 28-30 and at 2:30 p.m. May 1 in the Chapman Theatre at Nichols Hall.

Season tickets to the K-State theatre and dance productions go on sale Monday, Aug. 24, in the McCain Auditorium box office, which is open weekdays from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., or by phone at 785-532-6428. Single tickets go on sale Sept. 8, also at the McCain box office and by phone. More information is available by calling the box office at 785-532-6428. Walk-up tickets sales begin one hour before each performance at the specific show venue, with all tickets for general admission seating.

Tickets cost $15 for the public; $13 for K-State faculty and staff, the military and seniors; and $10 for students. State and local taxes and fees will apply. A 20 percent discount is available when purchasing tickets to five or more productions.

K-State Theatre also offers a season of performances in the new Purple Masque Theatre in West Stadium. These productions are produced, directed, designed and performed by K-State Theatre students. Tickets for each performance cost $8 for the public; $7 for K-State faculty and staff, the military and seniors; and $5 for students. They can be purchased at the McCain Auditorium box office or one hour before each show at the Purple Masque Theatre.

The following are Purple Masque Theatre productions for the 2015-2016 season:

• "Laundry and Bourbon followed by Lone Star," 7:30 p.m. Oct. 1-3. Director will be Cory Jennett, senior in theatre and secondary education-speech.

• "American Tet," 7:30 p.m. Nov. 5-7. It will be directed by Samantha Hindle, master's student in drama therapy.

• "Dutchman," 7:30 p.m. Feb. 25-27. This K-State Ebony Theatre production will be directed by Danielle Levings, master's student in theatre.

• "The Shape of Things," 7:30 p.m. April 7-9. Director will be Mitch Ward, senior in theatre.

More information on the 2015-2016 K-State theatre and dance productions is available at k-state.edu/theatre/. The theatre and dance programs are offered by the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, which is part of the College of Arts & Sciences.


Jennifer Vellenga



Written by

Beth Bohn

At a glance

Classics by Shakespeare and Dickens, as well as the annual Winter Dance and Spring Dance performances, highlight the 2015-2016 performance season for Kansas State University's theatre and dance programs.