2010-2011 Season "Lost and Found: Theatre and the Search for Identity"
The 47th season of Festival Playhouse of Kalamazoo College brings entertaining, dramatic, and humorous stories that highlight searching for identity in today’s complex fast-world, and most of the plays have never before been produced in Kalamazoo. In Alison Shields, a high school girl is caught between past and present. In Tongue of a Bird, a rescue pilot searches for both a lost little girl and the spirit of her own mother. And “that deaf, dumb, and blind kid” finds his one true calling in The Who’s Tommy. The Dungeon Theatre will house our Senior Performance Series, student directed one-acts.
Alison Shields by Joe Tracz
November 4-7, 2010
Thursday @ 7:30pm, Friday-Saturday @ 8:00pm, and Sunday @ 2:00pm
Thursday: "pay what you want" (no reservations accepted)
Adults/$15.00, Seniors/$10.00, Students/$5.00
Who is this puzzling figure called Alison Shields? Inspired by strange-but-true events, Alison Shields is a mystery, a memory play, a high school romance, and a coming-of-age story about a young woman unable, or unwilling to grow up.
Playwright Joe Tracz (’04) has his BA in English from Kalamazoo College and an MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. His ACTF award-winning play Phenomenon of Decline was produced at K in 2006, and has since been seen in Chicago, California, and at Connecticut’s Long Wharf Theatre. This past year, his play Song for a Future Generation had its world premiere in Chicago and its New York premiere with The Management. TV credits include a teleplay for the upcoming FX boxing drama Lights Out and an independent sitcom pilot, Fang! Joe is currently developing his play Boy Wonders with director Jason Moore (Avenue Q) at NY’s Roundabout Theatre, and his play Death Comes for a Wedding will be published in this year’s “Best American Short Plays”. Joe is a former Playwrights Realm writing fellow and a member of the writer’s group at Ars Nova, where his short play Mario & Sonic At the Olympic Winter Games will be staged in January.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ALISON SHIELDS click on the "ALISON SHIELDS" link above.
Tongue of a Bird by Ellen McLaughlin
Feb. 17-20, 2011
Can mothers and daughters ever really know each other? Rescue pilot Maxine is hired by Dessa, a working class single mother to find a missing little girl, Charlotte, last seen in the Adirondacks. As Maxine searches, she begins to communicate with Evie, cool and wry spirit of her own mother, when Maxine herself was a “lost little girl.” With haunting echoes of Amelia Earhardt, and the lyric imagery of birds resounding throughout, Tongue of a Bird is a poetic, funny, and ultimately moving play. Playwright Ellen McLaughlin is best known as an actress for playing the Angel in the original production of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America. The play originally was produced at The Public Theatre in New York.
For more information on TONGUE OF A BIRD click on the link above on the left.
The Who’s Tommy by Pete Townsend and Des McAnuff.
KALAMAZOO CITY PREMIERE.
May 19-22, 2011
The first ever rock opera, nominated for 11 Tony Awards and winner of six (including Best Musical,) this smash Broadway musical tells the simple fable of Tommy, who has been traumatized after his father’s murder, but finds his true self as an adolescent when it’s discovered he “sure plays a mean pinball.”
Technical Director, Jon Reeves will return to directing at Festival Playhouse after his successful debut in RETURN TO THE FOBIDDEN PLANET in the spring of 2009. “With a cast of 31 the energy in the theatre is unbelievable,” said Reeves. “No matter what kind of day you've had walking, into the theatre and hearing the music and seeing all these people dancing just brings you right up.”
In addition to the direction of Reeves, Rachel Miller of Wellspring/Cori Terri and Dancers is choreographing the fast-paced musical. Reeves has the assistance of a student assistant director in senior Becky Dennis and student vocal director sophomore Rudi Goddard. “Even though I've never been a vocal director before, the cast and I are learning how to work together as we go along. I am lucky to have an excellent accompanist (Matt Shabala) who helps me out, especially when teaching the big chorus numbers, of which there are many in this show,” said Goddard
According to Costumer Elaine Kauffman, costuming for TOMMY has been a real challenge; mainly due to the sheer size of the cast and the fact that most cast members play multiple roles and that the play covers a twenty-year time span as well. Her biggest challenge “is finding appropriate military uniforms that can serve as British, German and Allied military of WWII, and of course, those are costumes that have only brief moments on stage,” said Kauffman.
The set designed by Jon Reeves is meant to look like the bank side of London meets rock and roll. With a giant smashed mirrored ball and so many different entrances, “I want it to feel like a nonstop roller coaster ride,” said Reeves. Even from the moment the playgoer walks into the lobby they will be made to feel part of the production, as the lobby too will have free-play pinball machines donated by the Klassic Arcade in Gobles.
All performances are in the Nelda K. Balch Playhouse on the Kalamazoo College campus, May 19-22. Thursday’s performance begins at 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday’s performances begin at 8pm, with a 2pm matinee on Sunday. Thursday night is “pay what you want.” Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, adults are $15.00, seniors are $10.00, and students (with ID) are $5.00. The box office will open one hour prior to each performance to purchase tickets and it will be festival seating (first come). For more information visit www.kzoo.edu/theatre or call (269) 337-7333.