Successful Opening Weekend Creates Interest in Second Week

The Hilltop Players’ production The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 entertained audiences on April 12 and 13 in the Kelly Theatre.  The Theatre program is  looking to have increased numbers for next weekend’s run (April 19-21 at 7:30pm and April 22 at 3:00pm). Several students asked their teacher if they could usher the entire run of the show because they wanted to come back every night.  If you like to laugh, then make sure you make reservations today. For reservations,...

The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 leaves them laughing in the aisles

By John Bishop The creative team responsible for a recent Broadway flop (in which three chorus girls were murdered by the “Stage Door Slasher”) assembles for a backer’s audition at the estate of a wealthy “angel.” The house is replete with sliding panels, secret passageways and a German maid who is apparently four different people (all diabolical). The infamous “Slasher” makes his reappearance and strikes again—and again. The team prepares the audition during a blizzard that cuts off any possible retreat as bodies start to drop, knives spring out of nowhere, masked figures drag their victims behind swiveling bookcases, and accusing fingers point in all directions.  This murder mystery will keep you guessing while you’re laughing. DATES: April 12-13 and 19-21 at 7:30pm April 22 at 3:00pm TICKETS: $10 – General Admission; $5 – Student To make a reservation, call 304.336.8277....

Hilltop Players to perform “The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940”

By John Bishop The creative team responsible for a recent Broadway flop (in which three chorus girls were murdered by the “Stage Door Slasher”) assembles for a backer’s audition at the estate of a wealthy “angel.” The house is replete with sliding panels, secret passageways and a German maid who is apparently four different people (all diabolical). The infamous “Slasher” makes his reappearance and strikes again—and again. The team prepares the audition during a blizzard that cuts off any possible retreat as bodies start to drop, knives spring out of nowhere, masked figures drag their victims behind swiveling bookcases, and accusing fingers point in all directions.  This murder mystery will keep you guessing while you’re laughing. DATES: April 12-13 and 19-21 at 7:30pm April 22 at 3:00pm TICKETS: $10 – General Admission; $5 – Student To make a reservation, call...

Macbeth a Success

The West Liberty University Hilltop Players recently closed a tremendously successful run of Shakespeare’s classic play The Tragedy of Macbeth. This production proved to be more popular than any February show since Michael Aulick has been associated with the Theatre.  The production, directed by John Hennen and anchored by veteran actors Derek Park and Renee Zeliniski, performed six times for the public and twice for local schools bringing more than 700 people onto campus. Congratulations to the cast and crew....

Macbeth to Take the Stage at West Liberty

The West Liberty Hilltop Players will present The Tragedy of Macbeth on February 23-24 and March 1-3 at 7:30 pm and on March 4th at 3:00 pm.  Performing in a Shakespearean production offers unique challenges that Michael Aulick, WLU Director, is proud the program was ready to take on. “Shakespeare characters are difficult.  They are noble and passionate and smart and require a level of performer that many other realistic plays do not.  We saw the WLU Theatre majors continue to achieve performances on a high level and knew this year we would include a Shakespearean production”. Many students fill the cast with Derek Park and Renee Zelinski playing the roles of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, respectively.  Park has enjoyed the challenge and says, “This role is the most challenging role I have ever had to play. The mindset of this character is something that I’ve had to work on almost non-stop. However, I believe that the time and effort I have put into this character will be well worth it.” Zelinski adds, “The most difficult thing about the play was settling into my character. Once I truly understood her, all of Shakespeare’s words made sense.” The production provides the students a chance to work with stage combat.  Shaun Rolly, Pittsburgh based Fight Choreographer, has spent several rehearsals teaching broadsword and basic stage combat.  Park says, “A few weeks ago, I didn’t have any stage combat experience. Now, I have three fights under my belt.” Due to all of the opportunities it offers our students to continue to improve their abilities, The Tragedy of Macbeth will be a triumph for...

West Liberty Student Achieves Recognition at Regional Festival

Cassandra Hackbart, Sophomore Theatre Major, received the “Outstanding Cold Audition Award” at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival’s (KCACTF) regional conference in January besting over 130 students from schools from Ohio to NJ.  Her success was and had an instant impact.  Six WLU students (5 Theatre and 1 Music Major) attended the festival to show their talents and receive feedback on their work.  Cassandra Hackbart and Derek Park attended the festival as Irene Ryan Acting Students to vie for a national scholarship in acting.  Their acting partners, Kassidy Wells and Tiffani Atkins, worked hard to support their acting partners’ efforts in the competition.  Spencer Thomas was invited to display his work as the scenic designer for one of the WLU Theatre performances.  All of these students were able to get a lot of positive feedback abut their work as artists in theatre.  Three of the students: Wells, Hackbart, and Jaccob Trifonoff, auditioned to be cast in the New Playwright Project’s workshop.  Over 130 students auditioned for the plays and all three of the WLU students were cast in the productions. KCACTF started in 1969 by Roger L. Stevens, the Kennedy Center’s founding chairman.  It is a national theater program involving 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide, which has served as a catalyst in improving the quality of college theater in the United States. The KCACTF has grown into a network of more than 600 academic institutions throughout the country, where theater departments and student artists showcase their work and receive outside assessment by KCACTF respondents. The goals of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival are: §  To encourage,...