August 25-27 at 7:30pm
August 28 at 3:00pm
West Liberty University student John Sherwood has spent decades working on a musical version of the Hindu epic poem, The Ramayana. After several staged readings, WLU has decided to stage the show, as part of the development of the show. Under the direction of Melinda Kreisberg, a talented cast of students, faculty/staff, and community members are bringing this mystical tale to life in the Kelly Theatre.
The Ramayana is an epic tale that spans centuries, in this adaptation, Sherwood focuses on the earthly sojourn of Lord Narayan in the form of Prince Ram.
When the play begins, the evil demon, Ravana, has been able to conquer the entire universe, the people, the planets, and even the gods. The only thing that he cannot conquer is one kingdom known as Ayodhya. Ayodhya’s strength in the love and nobility of the ruling family, including the power of Prince Ram’s love for his father and his wife. Ravana cannot have total control unless he can find a way to defeat Ram, and Ravana wil lstop at nothing to regain control of the universe.
This modern adaptation of the great Hindu epic poem, the Ramayana introduces musical elements (song and dance) and should delight all audiences.
Can the love of a single human stop the most powerful being in the universe?
SPECIAL EVENT – ONE NIGHT ONLY
A Full-length play written and performed by John Hardy
September 8th at 7:30pm
A single actor plays sixteen roles. The set is simple: two chairs; a table; two benches (supplied by the production). Lighting and sound are equally simple. The play can be performed in two acts, approximately forty-five minutes each, with one fifteen minute intermission.
A man of West Texas longs for fatherhood, his only ambition. His attempts to realize this ambition are stifled in his romantic life, and rejected by the local adoption agency. He retreats to a small patch of prairie left to him by his long gone mother and father. Here, he meets the rattlesnake, and immerses himself in its world finding a comfort and belonging that eludes him in the outside world. He worships the rattlesnakes and uses their skins for crafting hatbands, belt buckles and other items for sale.
Recalling the lessons of a boyhood acquaintance, an old black woman, he learns to cook the meat of the rattlesnake and becomes a noted chef. His newfound celebrity takes him as far as Paris where he meets a Parisian woman who opens her heart to him. He gives over to her but cannot release himself from his bond with the rattlesnake.
He abruptly returns to Texas and enters a densely populated den of rattlesnakes where he sleeps knowing that the den will become his tomb. As the day wakes he is alive and alone. He emerges from the den and returns to his living quarters to find that the Parisian woman has followed him. She tells him of the child he has fathered that lives inside of her.
The play encompasses thirty years in flashback and takes place in various locations in West Texas and later, Paris.
Poe: Master of the Macabre
By John Hardy
October 20-21 and 27-29 at 7:30pm
October 30 at 3:00pm
THE PLAY consists of three adaptations of Poe’s work with a prologue, epilogue and transition, which integrate the life of Poe with the work of Poe. The three adaptations are:
WILLIAM WILSON The life of an evil young man who rules those around him with an iron fist. He is foiled by the appearance of another, who shares his name and countenance. He is hounded by this alter ego until he is driven to murder. When he kills his look-alike he finds that he has killed himself.
THE TELLTALE HEART A servant believes he is stalked by the pale, blue eye of his master. Driven to near insanity, he attempts to relieve his torment by taking the life of his innocent master. After the deed is done, the man finds that the master’s heart continues to beat beneath the floorboards where the body has been entombed. The police investigate and the increasing volume of the dead man’s heart drives the servant to confession.
THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM An imprisoned man awakens to find himself in a totally dark jail cell. While exploring the cell, he trips and falls and finds a deep pit in the center. He realizes that had he not tripped, he would have fallen to his death. The next day, the narrator discovers that the prison is slightly more illuminated and that he is strapped to a wooden frame on his back, facing the ceiling. Above him is a razor-sharp pendulum measuring “one foot from horn to horn” suspended from the ceiling and it is swinging back and forth – and slowly descending. He narrowly escapes and the pendulum is withdrawn into the ceiling. However, then the walls become start to move inwards, forcing him slowly toward the center of the room and the pit.
A Christmas Carol: Scrooge and Marley
By Israel Horowitz, Adapted from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol
December 1-2 and 8-10 at 7:30pm
December 11 at 3:00pm
THE STORY: Famous the world over, the often bizarre and ultimately heart-warming story of Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim and the others needs no detailing here. Mr. Horovitz’s adaptation follows the Dickens original scrupulously but, in bringing it to life on the stage, adds elements of inventiveness and brilliant theatricality that enhance and strengthen its timeless virtues. The end result is a theatre piece of unique eloquence, which will delight audiences of all ages, and draw forth the best efforts of all engaged in its presentation.
This adaptation was commissioned by Center Stage, in Baltimore, Maryland, and produced there with great critical and popular success. An ingenious and theatrically dazzling new adaptation of this great classic by one of our theatre’s most inventive and respected playwrights. “…Horovitz’s particular talent seems to lie in maintaining remarkable fidelity to the artist whose work he adapts, losing none of the original flavor which marked their greatness. At the same time, he enlivens the work, enhancing its presentation to a modern American theatre audience in a most sublime manner.” —Catholic Review. “Children will find it engrossing, but their parents will love it.” —Baltimore Sun. “…a glorious success.” —Baltimore News American.
February 16-17 and 23-25 at 7:30pm
February 26 at 3:00pm
When an elevator crashes in a major city, nine lives intersect in surprising ways — through love and sex, poetry and dentistry, in offices, homes, and hotel rooms. By turns comic and profound, the play traces the barely perceivable threads that connect us all.
April 27-29 at 7:30pm
April 30 at 3:00pm
Now one of the most performed shows in America, Seussical is a fantastical, magical, musical extravaganza! Tony winners, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty have lovingly brought to life all of our favorite Dr. Seuss characters, including Horton the Elephant, The Cat in the Hat, Gertrude McFuzz, lazy Mayzie and a little boy with a big imagination – Jojo. The colorful characters transport us from the Jungle of Nool to the Circus McGurkus to the invisible world of the Whos.
The Cat in the Hat tells the story of Horton, an elephant who discovers a speck of dust that contains the Whos, including Jojo, a Who child sent off to military school for thinking too many “thinks.” Horton faces a double challenge: not only must he protect the Whos from a world of naysayers and dangers, but he must guard an abandoned egg, left in his care by the irresponsible Mayzie La Bird. Although Horton faces ridicule, danger, kidnapping and a trial, the intrepid Gertrude McFuzz never loses faith in him. Ultimately, the powers of friendship, loyalty, family and community are challenged and emerge triumphant.
Seussical is fun for the whole family!