WLU Theatre Continues to Shine at Regional Festival

The West Liberty University Theatre program is going to nationals.  This January, our students attended the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (region II) in Cleveland, OH.  The festival includes thousands of theatre students from college/university theatre programs across the region (OH, WV, PA, MD, NJ, NY).  With this many people, West Liberty students used to think they could never compete against the bigger arts programs.  This year proved that they were wrong. In 2010, the West Liberty University program took eight students to Indiana University of Pennsylvania to attend the regional conference of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival for the first time; and they have been attending festival every year since. “The most interesting part for us is how much we have developed over the past few years,” said Michael L. Aulick, Associate Professor of Theatre. “In our first year, we were just happy to be there. Since then, we have worked hard to distinguish the WLU Theatre as one of the better schools in the region.” The WLU Theatre participation in the festival has increased over the years.  Students are now regularly competing in the Irene Ryan acting competition, the Musical Theatre Initiative, the New Playwright’s Project, and this year, the Student-Directing Initiative. Notable success began in 2013 when Cassandra Hackbart was selected as one of the finalist of the Irene Ryan Acting competition (16 actors were selected out of the 230 who participated). Continuing that success, Maggie P. Dillon made it to the final 16 the next two years (2014 and 2015) and really helped solidify West Liberty University’s Theatre program reputation as a top-notch program. “Having...

The Last Days of Judas Iscariot

THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT is a comic, irreverent attempt to make a judgement on the soul of the world’s most renowned sinner.  Judas Iscariot betrayed Christ and Stephen Adly-Guirgis wonders what would his trial in purgatory be like (if told by a comedian).  While it is often snide and funny, it offers deeper moments of heart wrenching questions about Judas, despair, and forgiveness.     Set in a time-bending, darkly comic world between heaven and hell, THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT reexamines the plight and fate of the New Testament’s most infamous and unexplained sinner. DUE TO CONTENT AND LANGUAGE, THIS PRODUCTION IS NOT SUITABLE FOR ALL AUDIENCES   PRODUCTION DATES: November 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22 at 7:30pm November 16 and 23 at 3:00pm To purchase tickets online (at a discount) visit wlujudas.brownpapertickets.com or call 304.336.8277 to make a reservation. “THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT shares many of the traits that have made Mr. Guirgis a playwright to reckon with in recent years; a fierce and questing mind that refuses to settle for glib answers, a gift for identifying with life’s losers and an unforced eloquence that finds the poetry in lowdown street talk…Mr. Guirgis is a zealous and empathic researcher, and he presents dilemmas of ancient Galilee in terms winningly accessible to the twenty-first century…” —NY Times. “Stephen Adly Guirgis has written a real jaw-dropper…expressionistic fantasy…raw language and flamboyantly street-savvy characters…his imagination is dazzling and his command of language downright thrilling.” —Variety. “…one of the most passionate and powerful young playwrights to have come down the theatrical runway…a must for anyone interested in the...

Acting and Life Philosophy with NYC Acting Coach Stanley Harrison

Stanley Harrison has been acting and teaching actors for more than 40 years. A veteran of the New York stage, his work as teacher, mentor and coach has helped many find careers in the theater including work on Broadway. His performance career runs the gamut from New York venues, including The American Globe in such classics as Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing and The Three Sisters, to Regional stages, including The Barter Theatre, The White Barn Theatre and The Ice House Theatre, to name but a few. Stanley’s film and television credits include Riffed for Caravan Films, a stint on The Sopranos and a variety of voice-over work through the years. His teaching roster has included such names as J. C. Sheets who performed as the alternate Jean Valjean in the Broadway production of Les Miserables  and as Jean Valjean for the Australian production, and David Klatt who performed in the Broadway production of La Cage Aux Folles.   Mr. Harrison also built not one, but two theaters in New York City with the mission of producing new works. West Liberty University and the Ohio Valley owe much to this amazing talent. The Kelly Theatre stands as a tribute to his knowledge and diligence as he was instrumental in its design during his tenure as Director at West Liberty State College from 1962-1979.     While in Wheeling, he directed summer musicals at the Amphitheater in Oglebay Park, performed with the Wheeling Symphony under the direction of Robert Kreiss, and introduced Broadway musicals and serious theater to the College. Along with Helen MT Kelly, Stanley developed the WLSC theatre...

Biz for the Biz Master Class with Brian Myers Cooper

Biz of the Biz  (2.5-3 hrs.) Monday April 21 at 7:00 p.m. Leaving academic life for the harsh realities and infinite options of a career in theatre can be overwhelming.  This session will give students an overview of how to treat your acting career as the small business it is. Topics covered may include: A mock audition: –  Managing expectations – From “what do they want from me?” to dealing with the messy aftermath of Actor Mind Taffy –  Advice on material, presentation and wardrobe –  Finding the auditions – Backstage, AEA.org, Actors Access Headshots 101 – What is a headshot’s one and only job? – Pop or Flop? What gets their attention? – Type, Type, Type! Cast yourself first. – Compare and Contrast: the Good, the Bad and the Great! Resumes – Standard formatting for different genres – How to make white space look good without LYING! Which market is right for you? – NYC – America’s theatre hub – Other major markets: Chicago and LA – The regional market boom! Arts careers across the country Marketing Tools – Social Media – Facebook and Twitter traps! – Email Etiquette – Snail Mail – Yes, that’s still a thing. – It’s a whole new Domain – why you need a web site NOW Online Casting Communities – Actors Access & Breakdown Services – Casting Networks, Casting Frontiers Pick yourself FIRST – creating your own work – Invaluable experience – Calling card of an true artist – DOUBLE the resume power!! Look for the Union label! – What a performers’ union does (and DOESN’T) do for you – AEA, SAG-AFTRA, AGMA, AGVA...

Master Class with Brian Meyers Cooper

Master Class  (2.5 hrs.)  Tuesday April 22 at 7:00 p.m. “My goal when working with actors is always the same: to meet them where they currently are in their journey and guide them to reveal themselves through the material (and vice-versa!) The techniques I use are customized for each actor and are an amalgamation of more than two decades of study and experience in the professional theatre.” – B.M. Cooper   In 2.5 hours, he will lead the class through a brief actor warm-up based in Alexander and Linklater work, including: Body Awareness, Breath, and Voice. He will then work with pre-selected actors on material of their choosing (material must be memorized.) The work may include text analysis, physical awareness, breath and voice work, character and relationship development, all in service of freeing the actor to bring as much of their own authenticity and truth to their performance. In this time frame, he can work with up to four actors on monologues or songs, perhaps in the following mix of material:      Two Actors with Monologues (ideally at least one would be Shakespeare)      Two Singing Actors working on selections from the past 50 years, ideally a mix of eras and styles After each individual actor’s work, he will answer any questions the group has about that actor’s work. Time permitting; he will end the session with a brief general Q&A.   Brian Myers Cooper is a professional New York actor of 20+ years, as well as a writer, director, acting teacher and career coach. His performing career has ranged from the lowest to the pinnacle of Equity contracts, with performances in all...

A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

West Liberty University Hilltop Players present A Midsummer Night’s Dream By William Shakespeare A Midsummer Night’s Dream plays with the universal theme of love, and it’s complications, disappointments, and confusions. Hermia is in love with Lysander, but her father insists she marry Demetrius. To escape the arranged marriage, she and Lysander elope into the woods followed by Demetrius. However, he is pursued by the love struck Helena.                         “The course of true love never did run smooth.” This love quadrangle is complicated further when they happen on a band of mischievous fairies and one, Robin Goodfellow (AKA Puck), attempts to play Cupid. The love connections are all confused by a magic flower and eventually the two noble men are fighting over the love of Helena.                          “Oh, what fools these mortals be.” Meanwhile, a group of amateur actors, rehearsing a badly written play in the woods, happen upon the lair of the fairies, where Oberon and Titania, the warring king and queen of the fairies are at odds.  A Midsummer Night’s Dream is widely performed around the world, and no wonder – it’s about the world’s most popular pastime, falling in love.  But as Puck knows, falling in love can make fools of us all.  Love is crazy, love is mad.  Will love win out in the end?    Performances: April 10-12 at 7:30 pm April 13 at 3:00pm Tickets: (tickets sold online at discounted rate at wlumidsummer.brownpapertickets.com)  $5 for WLU students $10 for Seniors, Students of other schools, and WLU Employee $10 for Groups (8 or more) $12.50 for General...