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...

Tony Award Winning Play “Spring Awakening” comes to the Hill!!!

SPRING AWAKENING   By Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik Winner of 8 Tony Awards® Including BEST MUSICAL MAKES ITS NORTHERN PANHANDLE PREMIERE  NOVEMBER 20-21 AND 23-24, 2013 TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW! “An unexpected jolt of sudden genius!” -Clive Barnes, New York Post SPRING AWAKENING, one of Broadway’s most popular new musical and the biggest Tony Award®-winner in years, is coming to this region. SPRING AWAKENING, the 8-time Tony Award® winning Broadway musical, will play the Kelly Theatre November 20-21 and 23-24, 2013 (there is no performance on November 22 due to the Wheeling Christmas Parade) as part of the WLU Hilltop Player’s 2013-2014 season. Tickets are on sale now and may be purchased at the WLU Ticket Office (limited hours) or online at htpawakening.brownpapertickets.com.  Reservations can be made by calling 1-304-336-8277. SPRING AWAKENING swept the 2007 Tony Awards® winning eight out of its eleven nominations, including Best Musical, Best Director (Michael Mayer), Best Book (Steven Sater), Best Choreography (Bill T. Jones), Best Orchestrations (Duncan Sheik), Best Lighting Design (Kevin Adams), Best Featured Actor (John Gallagher Jr.). Based on the infamous 1891 Frank Wedekind play, SPRING AWAKENING features an electrifying score by Duncan Sheik, book and lyrics Steven Sater, direction by Michael Mayer and choreography by the award-winning Bill T. Jones. Set against the backdrop of a repressive and provincial late 19th century Germany, SPRING AWAKENING tells the timeless story of teenage self-discovery and budding sexuality as seen through the eyes of three teenagers. Haunting and provocative, SPRING AWAKENING celebrates an unforgettable journey from youth to adulthood with a power, a poignancy and a passion you will never forget....

John Hennen returns to anchor cast of “Proof.”

John Hennen, adjunct Professor of Theatre returns to our stage to disprove the old adage, “those who can’t, teach.”  John, who was most recently on our stage as Ebenezer Scrooge in Dickens’ A Christmas Carol in 2011, has had a long an celebrated career in theatre.  The Hilltop Player’s are lucky to have him agree to join the small, but talented cast of students to bring David Auburn’s award winning play, Proof, to our audience.  The cast, joining John, includes Maggie P. Dillon as Catherine, Doug Gouldsberry as Hal, and Caitlyn Reasbeck as Claire and is being lead by Maggie Balsley, adjunct Professor of Theatre.   Please do not miss a chance to see John Hennen, one of the treasures of the West Liberty University Theatre program, in this fantastic play.  ...

Dog Sees God Opens on February 21

When CB’s dog dies from rabies, CB begins to question the existence of an afterlife. His best friend is too burnt out to provide any coherent speculation; his sister has gone goth; his ex-girlfriend has recently been institutionalized; and his other friends are too inebriated to give him any sort of solace. But a chance meeting with an artistic kid, the target of this group’s bullying, offers CB a peace of mind and sets in motion a friendship that will push teen angst to the very limits. Drug use, suicide, eating disorders, teen violence, rebellion and sexual identity collide and careen toward an ending that’s both haunting and hopeful. “Good grief! The Peanuts kids have finally come out of their shells.” —Time Out NY. “A welcome antidote to the notion that the Peanuts gang provides merely a slice of American cuteness.” —NY Times. “…easily identifiable with the Peanuts crowd yet with a distinctly ‘Royal’ touch…The way Royal builds on the foundation of Charles Schulz’s iconic comic strip actually results in a parody that’s also a stand-alone play apt to resonate even with anyone belonging to that small population segment unfamiliar with Peanuts.” —CurtainUp. “Inventive and raunchy…hysterically funny.” —NY Post. “Bert V. Royal is the playwright of the Off-Broadway show DOG SEES GOD: CONFESSIONS OF A TEENAGE BLOCKHEAD and is he ready to confess all!” —Broadway.com. “DOG SEES GOD doesn’t feel like the same old high-school-warfare schlock. The characters—teenage and reckless—are both genuinely sympathetic and unquestionably cruel. Growing more hysterical—and more harrowing—as it flows to an inevitable, uncomfortable end, this taut comedy manages to make tired clichés about stoners and popular homecoming airheads funny...

The Trumpet reviews of “The Cripple of Inishmaan”

[article originally in The Trumpet] By Hannah Courtney, Staff Writer The West Liberty University Hilltop Players kicked off their fall season with a sensational, eerie performance of Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible”; an act that was truly a tough one to follow. However, they’ve pulled it off, going out with a clamoring, comical and emotion-inducing bang in their rendition of Martin McDonagh’s “The Cripple of Inishmaan.” The play is set in 1934 and takes place off the Western Coast of Ireland on an island known as Inishmaan. We follow the story of “Cripple” Billy Claven, given a name that speaks for itself as he has a disfigured arm and leg. Billy lives in a community that makes himself, and his condition, the butt of its ongoing joke, thus causing him to feel  like he belongs somewhere else. Billy’s ears perk up at JohnnyPateenMike’s first set of exciting news in twenty years: Auditions are being held for a movie to be filmed on Inishmore, a neighboring island. Viewers watch as Billy pursues acting, love, and understanding of what his parents were like prior to their death as well as searching for the real reason behind their death. If audience members found themselves walking away from the Hilltop Player’s previous performance of “The Crucible”             with a bit of a solemn feeling in their hearts, “The Cripple of Inishmaan” is the comic relief they’ve been yearning for. This play was nothing short of comical genius. The jokes are deprecating, sarcastic, condescending, morbid, perverted, or in short: something like an episode of Family Guy laced with Irish tradition and dialect. And, let’s face it, this is...

WLU Students Excel at Region II KCACTF

[article from The Trumpet online] By Hannah Courtney, Assistant Editor While the majority of West Liberty University’s students were still rubbing the sleep from their eyes, dusting off their backpacks and trying to slap themselves awake, 16 WLU students were competing among various other student actors in the region for a chance at the Irene Ryan Scholarship. According to Kennedy-center.org, the Irene Ryan Foundation is an Encino, Calif. based scholarship opportunity for student performers at each of the regionalKennedy Center American College Theater Festivals (KCACTF). The scholarship descends from the late Irene Ryan, best remembered for her portrayal of gun toting, firecracker Granny Clampett in “The Beverly Hillbillies.” KCACTF is a national theater program that aims to improve the quality of college theater in the United States by running state, regional, and national festivals. “It’s basically like this theater wonderland. There’s workshops to go to, shows to see and great contacts you can make. And you get to make a whole bunch of new friends. It’s just kind of like rejuvenating yourself in theater or learning stuff that you’ve never known about. And it’s not just for actors, but as well as scene designers and a whole bunch of technical theater people,” said Cassie Hackbart, WLU student actor. The competition took place from Jan. 12 until Jan. 16 at Towson University in Maryland. For Hackbart in particular, it was a three-step process. In the preliminary round, she and acting partner Greg Gust performed a scene from Tony Kushner’s “Angels in America.” In the semi-finals, this scene was performed again along with a scene from Martin McDonagh’s “The Cripple of Inishmaan.” Finally,...