Theater @ WLU https://westliberty.edu/theater Department of Music and Theater Wed, 11 Apr 2018 18:42:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Hilltop Player sews up Off-Broadway Contract https://westliberty.edu/theater/2018/01/31/hilltop-player-sews-off-broadway-contract/ Wed, 31 Jan 2018 20:56:15 +0000 https://westliberty.edu/theater/?p=7857 ARTICLE FROM THE WHEELING INTELLIGENCER Wheeling resident Michael Blatzer, a 2016 graduate of West Liberty University, is living his dream in New York City as one of the costumers for the new play, “Party Face,” starring Academy Award-, Golden Globe- and BAFTA Award-winning actress Hayley Mills, of “Pollyanna” and “The Parent Trap” fame. “It’s mind blowing, I just turned 24 and […]

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ARTICLE FROM THE WHEELING INTELLIGENCER

Wheeling resident Michael Blatzer, a 2016 graduate of West Liberty University, is living his dream in New York City as one of the costumers for the new play, “Party Face,” starring Academy Award-, Golden Globe- and BAFTA Award-winning actress Hayley Mills, of “Pollyanna” and “The Parent Trap” fame.

“It’s mind blowing, I just turned 24 and I’m making an off-Broadway debut. It’s a little surreal,” said Blatzer, who is from Martinsburg and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater.

Described as a party that’s full of surprises, the “Party Face” plot centers on careful plans that are upended when a young woman’s mother, Carmel (played by Mills), brings her own food to her daughter’s party and also the “right” person to be her daughter’s new best friend. They put on their “party faces” and hope for the best, but when facades crack, secrets spill. Tears sprinkle and laughter roars as their revelry leads to revelations, according to pubicity information about the play.

“I saw the designer run-through, and it’s hysterical,”Blatzer said. He arrived in New York on Dec. 17 and has been working since then to get the contemporary, two-act play ready for opening night, which is Monday, at City Center Stage 2 in the City Center theater district.

He designed costumes for five cast members and one understudy who is on standby for each of the cast members and therefore needs her own costumes for each character. There are no costume changes because it takes place all within an evening, according to Blatzer.

Since the style of dress is contemporary, Blatzer bought and altered all of the costumes for this play, rather than creating them from scratch. He spent lots of time shopping and sewing.

His opinion of Mills is just what her fans would expect: “I talked with Hayley Mills a couple of times and she’s a sweetheart,” he said.

Blatzer first got into costuming under the instruction of Meta Lasch, longtime West Liberty University theater professor who teaches a variety of courses including costuming, makeup, lighting, drafting and stagecraft.

“I got into costuming as soon as I got to WLU. When I toured as a prospective student I came in as biology and theater double major, but I fell in love with the theater department. Things fell into place, I left biology and went completely into theater. Then West Liberty’s Hilltop Players went to the Kennedy Center Festival, and I took a costume design class there. Meta gave me a few projects and I became more and more convinced that this was my future,” he explained.

Blatzer worked on the Hilltop Players productions for four years while earning his degree.

According to Lasch, he was one of her best-ever students. She describes him as highly motivated and determined.

“I couldn’t be more proud of Michael,” she said. “Michael showed that he had something beyond the talent and passion for his craft when he was a summer intern with the Millbrooke Playhouse after his sophomore year. He was one of several interns hired to be stitchers for the summer slate of shows. Before the summer was halfway over he was selected to design costumes for the final production. That led to being contracted to design two shows the following summer, and thus it began. He was on his way to the career that he so wanted. His diligence and determination made the difference.”

“It says a lot about West Liberty University that I’m out just two years, from a small school in West Virginia, and I’m here. If it wasn’t for the education I received there, I wouldn’t have gotten this chance,” he said.

Blatzer also has worked at the Judson Theatre Company in Pinehurst, N.C., where he plans to return.

Written by the Irish playwright Isobel Mahon, “Party Face” began showing in previews Jan. 11 at City Center Stage 2 (131 West 55th St.) and run through April 8. Tickets are available at www.nycitycenter.org.

Blatzer expects to return to Wheeling Tuesday, following the official opening night. Reports are that the play received a standing ovation on its first preview night.

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The Best Christmas Pageant Ever on the Hilltop!!! https://westliberty.edu/theater/2017/11/28/best-christmas-pageant-ever-hilltop/ Tue, 28 Nov 2017 15:47:24 +0000 https://westliberty.edu/theater/?p=7847 “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” a delightful family story about the true meaning of Christmas, will close the fall season for the West Liberty University Hilltop Players. The show runs at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 30, Dec. 1, 7, 8, and 9 and at 3:00 p.m. on Dec. 10. The show, directed by Michael Aulick, […]

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“The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” a delightful family story about the true meaning of Christmas, will close the fall season for the West Liberty University Hilltop Players. The show runs at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 30, Dec. 1, 7, 8, and 9 and at 3:00 p.m. on Dec. 10.

The show, directed by Michael Aulick, is an adaptation of the popular short story written by Barbara Robinson, originally published in McCall’s Magazine.

The play is about the Herdman children, who were absolutely the worst kids in the history of the world. They lied and stole and smoked cigars (even the girls) and talked rough and hit little kids and talked back to their teachers. So, it surprised just about everybody when they decided to take part in the town’s Christmas pageant.

The Herdman kids had never heard of the Christmas story, but the way they interpreted it, you’d think the story of Jesus came right out of the FBI’s files. They thought the Wise Men were spies. It was an unforgettable Christmas pageant, an American classic.

This show has been cast twice, affording more actors a chance to perform. The first cast, called the Christmas cast, features Ingrid Young as Grace Bradley, Hayden Heiserman as Bob Bradley, Sarah Lemley as Beth Bradley and Alex Fabrizio as Charlie Bradley. The Herdman children are played by Anthony Hood, Mary Horzempa, Zach Zilokowski, Jayden Clutter, Sara Impellicceiri, and Ruari Stoll. The second cast, called the Pageant Cast features Alexandra Burdick as Grace Bradley, Alex Gordon as Bob Bradley, Eliza Aulick as Beth Bradley and Aiden Mills as Charlie Bradley. The Herdman children are played by BenJammin Moore, Callie Carroll, Daniel White, Allie Bryant, Autumn Carver, and Shia Conway.

 

The cast is rounded out by many other talented actors: Gory Dami, Baylei Mills, Amanda Tamplen, Amber Parsons, Maggie Storms, Josie Jarrett, Jessica Schultz, Colleen Hoselton, Lexy Glover, Audrey Orecchio, Carly Balog, Lliam Gerney, Chad Clutter, Andrew Mehler, Zach Larance, Brian Gonzalez, Jackson Clutter, Tristan Gonzalez, Taylor Miller, Lydia Mehl,

Raelin Stoll, Abbigail Bryant, Jacob Walker, Jennifer Kinder, Olivia Montgomery, and Maria Tracey.

 

Tickets are $10 if purchased online before the show at wlupageant.brownpapertickets.com.   If purchased at the door, General Admission tickets are $12.50 for adults and $10 for Seniors/Faculty/Children. WLU Students (with current ID) are $5. Group discounts are available for parties of ten or more. For reservations call 304-366-8277

The production takes place in the Kelley Theatre in the Hall of Fine Arts on the campus of West Liberty University.

 

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Hilltop Players Announce Biggest Season Ever!!! https://westliberty.edu/theater/2017/10/25/hilltop-players-announce-biggest-season-ever/ Wed, 25 Oct 2017 17:48:26 +0000 https://westliberty.edu/theater/?p=7794 West Liberty, WV. – The West Liberty University Hilltop Players announce it’s 2017-2018 season, one they expect to be the biggest and most memorable to date. In addition to an aggressive four-production season, two special events are part of this year’s events. AS IT IS IN HEAVEN by Arlene Hutton The first show of the fall […]

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West Liberty, WV. – The West Liberty University Hilltop Players announce it’s 2017-2018 season, one they expect to be the biggest and most memorable to date. In addition to an aggressive four-production season, two special events are part of this year’s events.

AS IT IS IN HEAVEN by Arlene Hutton

The first show of the fall semester is Arleen Hutton’s AS IT IS IN HEAVEN, directed by WLU’S Associate Professor and Theatre Director, Michael L. Aulick. The play centers around a religious community that is changed when a non-believer has an ecstatic experience. The 1830’s Shaker society of Pleasant Hill, Kentucky, is set in ordered ways. Their once dramatic form of worship has by now developed into routine. The arrival of Fanny upsets the harmony; the Sisters suspect her to be a “winter Shaker,” one who suddenly converts when life gets too hard on the farm. Fanny sees angels in the meadow, and soon all the young women are receiving spiritual “gifts” of songs, drawings, ideas and giggles, completely upsetting the community. The leaders question Fanny’s intentions and honesty: Is this a resurgence of the original Shaker celebration or something manufactured by Fanny so that she can remain with the Shakers? Eldress Hannah is jealous that she, the most devout of Shakers, has not been privileged to see the visions. But only the ones who question need visual proof. Whether they were heavenly or earthly, the angels were there. “Hands to Work, Hearts to God” is their motto, and in each scene the Sisters are always at tasks. The set is as simple as the Shakers: benches, baskets and laundry. Hymns sung a cappella punctuate the scenes of the play, which ends with a joyful explosion of Shaker singing and ecstatic dance.

October 5-6 | 7:30 PM
October 12-14 | 7:30 PM
October 15 | 3:00 PM

WALL OF FAME CEREMONY

A special addition to the season is the First Annual Hilltop Players’ Wall of Fame Ceremony. The Hilltop Players have a long and storied history that they are going to begin to celebrate through a selection process for a Wall of Fame.

The inaugural members of the Hilltop Players’ Wall of Honor will be:

Dr. Helen M.T. Kelly
Mr. Stanley Harrison
Mr. John E. Reilly

These three individuals represent approximately sixty years of teaching at West Liberty, impacting the lives of thousands of students. Their hard work and dedication to establishing, building, and maintaining the standard of education and production excellence that the Hilltop Players are known for make them perfect choices to be the first class of Hilltop Players’ Wall of Fame Honorees.

The ceremony will be on October 14th (Homecoming Weekend) and will start at 5:00pm in the Kelly Theatre. The ceremony will be followed by the unveiling of the new Hilltop Players’ Wall of Fame and a reception with the honored guests. Everyone is encouraged to stay for the Wall of Fame performance of AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.

There is a ticket price for the ceremony ($25) that includes the ceremony, the reception, and the show.

STUDIO-LAB “COLLECTION OF SCENES”

The second special event is a new incarnation in the WLU Theatre season. Due to an increasing enrollment in the student-majors, the program added a production to its season. This production is a STUDIO-LAB show that will allow more of the students to work on the craft of acting. Projects will focus on the acting technique, not the finishing elements of costumes, lights, and set. This minimalistic production will allow the theatre major to select a role(s) that will challenge them to become better artists. Students who are not cast in the first production, have an opportunity to work on their craft as part of the STUDIO-LAB performance. The student will be directed by John Hennen, Professor of Acting at WLU, and will focus on building a character using the Michael Chekhov-approach.

OCTOBER 26-28 | 7:30 PM

OCTOBER 29 | 3:00 PM

THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER by Barbara Robinson

The second production, requiring a massive cast and crew, is THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER, by Barbara Robinson. The amazingly popular children’s book, turned into a stage play, has become a hilarious Christmas classic. A couple struggling to put on a church Christmas pageant is faced with casting the Herdman children–probably the most inventively awful kids in history. You won’t believe the mayhem – and the fun – when the Herdmans collide with the Christmas story head on! While the laughs abound, the power of the play is in its ability to transform the audience, through the transformation of the Herdman family. Children who begin the play with no knowledge of ‘the Christmas story’ end up understanding better than most of us ever will.

November 30-December 1 | 7:30 PM
December 7-9 | 7:30 PM
December 10 | 3:00 PM

18 VICTORIA by Cody Vaigle

Show three is WLU’s winter show, typically the slot where they introduce the region to new plays/playwrights. This year they would love you to come and see a new work by Cody Daigle called 18 VICTORIA, written in 2013. Maggie Balsley, Professor of Voice, will work with the small cast (3 performers) to tell the story of siblings who are trying to deal with the dark happenings in the past that fractured the family. The need to come to grips is intensified due to the news that a huge asteroid is projected to collide with the earth in less than three weeks, setting off devastating consequences for life on earth. The three siblings scramble to mend their family ties and make sense of the devastating secret that originally tore them apart.

February 22-23 | 7:30 PM
March 1-3 | 7:30 PM
March 4 | 3:00 PM

ROMEO AND JULIET by William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare’s ROMEO AND JULIET will be the final theatre production of the season. The most famous love story in the world and one of Shakespeare’s early poetic masterworks, Romeo & Juliet follows two star-crossed lovers from love at first sight to eternal life hereafter. Caught tragically between two feuding families, alike in dignity and in enmity, Shakespeare’s immortal young lovers try to fashion a new world amid the violence of the old, but cataclysmic choices and tragic twists propel them toward a final confrontation with fate.

“These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder…”

act 2, scene 6

April 19-21 | 7:30 PM
April 22 | 3:00 PM

Tickets will be available through BrownPaperTickets and on sale 30 days prior to the opening of each production. For more information, please call Michael L. Aulick at 304.336.8103 or email maulick@westliberty.edu.

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Theatre Program Earns National Recognitions https://westliberty.edu/theater/2017/07/11/theatre-program-earns-national-recognitions/ Tue, 11 Jul 2017 20:29:54 +0000 https://westliberty.edu/theater/?p=7780 Major achievement for cast and crew of “Poe: Master of the Macabre.” MAY 16, 2017 BY MAUREEN ZAMBITO WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., May 16, 2017 — West Liberty University’s theatre program received top honors recently when it was nationally recognized by the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF), in Washington, D.C. The WLU team picked up a total of […]

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Major achievement for cast and crew of “Poe: Master of the Macabre.”

WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., May 16, 2017 — West Liberty University’s theatre program received top honors recently when it was nationally recognized by the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF), in Washington, D.C. The WLU team picked up a total of five awards including:

  • Distinguished Production of a Play
  • Distinguished Ensemble of a Play/Musical
  • Distinguished Award in Lighting Design, Alex Franke, Wheeling, fifth year senior
  • Distinguished Actor, Jedidiah Shook, Wheeling, graduating senior
  • Distinguished Directing Award, Michael Aulick, WLU associate professor of theatre

From left, (seated) Grant VanCamp, Alex Franke, Christoper Rees, Michael L. Aulick, Brady Dunn, Jedediah Shook and Kobe Wade, (standing) Alexanrda Burdick, Jessica Roth, Richard Deenis, Meta Lasch, Callie Carroll, Alexander Gordon, Sarah Lemley, Amanda Tamplen, Carly Balog, Daniel White, Zac Morris, Ingrid Young and Maggie Storms.

“These awards are a great representation of the work we do at West Liberty. All aspects of the program were recognized for excellence,” said Aulick, who also is director of theatre at WLU.

“It takes an entire program to produce a show that receives the Distinguished Production Award and the Distinguished Director Award (a director helps shape the work of the designers and actors). The Distinguished Ensemble speaks highly of our focus on having a collaborative program, and the skill of our students. Distinguished Lighting Designer demonstrates the great teaching that our technical/design students are getting from Meta Lash and Richard Deenis. The Distinguished Actor award shows how strong the performance training our students get from our great performance faculty, including Maggie Balsley and John Hennen.”

“With all of these successes, I am also encouraged by the fact that out of the 14 performers who worked on the show, only three are graduating, and 10 are underclassmen. The future looks very bright,” he added.

The theatre department’s submission that earned the accolades was its production of “Poe: Master of the Macabre,” staged this past October at Kelly Theatre. WLU’s work was selected as distinguished out of over 400 national theatrical productions.

The Poe production, which is a new adaptation by playwright John Hardy, featured two casts – the Edgar cast and the Allan cast which gives more students an opportunity to perform, according to Aulick.

The Edgar Cast included Jedediah Shook, Callie Carroll, Brady Dunn, Carly Balog, Daniel White and Kobe Wade. The Allan Cast included Zac Morris, Alex Burdick, Alex Franke, Amanda Tamplen, Alex Gordon, Sarah Lemley and Grant VanCamp.

“Last year more than 1,300 productions were entered in the KCACTF involving more than 200,000 students nationwide. By entering this production, our theatre department shares in the KCACTF goals to recognize, reward, and celebrate the exemplary work produced in college and university theaters across the nation. Being recognized by the Kennedy Center was especially satisfying due to the choice we made to have two casts perform. We want our students to have opportunities to learn and train, and we made the decision to include 14 actors, when the script only needed seven. Even with this extra work, both casts did an excellent job,” he said.

Started in 1969 by Roger L. Stevens, the Kennedy Center’s founding chairman, the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) has grown into a network of more than 700 academic institutions throughout the country.

It includes eight geographic regions in the United States. Regional activities are coordinated with funding and administrative support from the Kennedy Center. The regional administrations coordinate all aspects of the production response process on the local and regional level and supervise regional-level KCACTF award, scholarship and residency programming.

In January and February of each year, regional festivals showcase the finest productions, which then advance to this national competition held in April.

The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival™ 49, part of the Rubenstein Arts Access Program, was funded by David and Alice Rubenstein. Additional support is provided by the U.S. Department of Education, the Dr. Gerald and Paula McNichols Foundation, The Honorable Stuart Bernstein and Wilma E. Bernstein, and the National Committee for the Performing Arts.

For more information on the Theatre Department, please visit the College of Arts and Communication website or call 304-336-8006. For more information on WLU, please call 1.866.WESTLIB or visit westliberty.edu.

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Hope and Gravity comes to the Hilltop https://westliberty.edu/theater/2017/02/06/hope-gravity-comes-hilltop/ Mon, 06 Feb 2017 16:21:32 +0000 https://westliberty.edu/theater/?p=7770 Gravity, as expressed by one of the characters in Hope and Gravity, a new play by Michael Hollinger, is the “tendency for even the lightest things — hope, joy, love — to come crashing back to earth.” Lives overlap as nine characters are compellingly revealed in this nonlinear comedy about fate. From an impromptu house call to an unlikely […]

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Gravity, as expressed by one of the characters in Hope and Gravity, a new play by Michael Hollinger, is the “tendency for even the lightest things — hope, joy, love — to come crashing back to earth.”

Lives overlap as nine characters are compellingly revealed in this nonlinear comedy about fate. From an impromptu house call to an unlikely hotel hookup, chance encounters and rocky relationships unfold through nine stories and one momentous leap of faith.

An elevator crashes in a major city, causing the nine lives to intersect in dramatic ways — through love and sex, poetry and dentistry, in offices, homes, and hotel rooms.  By turns comic and profound, HOPE AND GRAVITY traces the barely perceivable threads that connect us all.

Hope and Gravity is being produced by the Hilltop Players under the direction of Maggie Balsley, adjunct professor of theatre and will perform on February 16-17 and 23-25 at 7:30pm and February 26 at 3:00pm – all performances at the WLU Kelly Theatre. Tickets can be purchased ahead of time at wluhope.brownpapertickets.com or reservations can be made by calling 304.336.8277.

Come out and see this new puzzle of a comedy.

 

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Godspell does more than entertain!! https://westliberty.edu/theater/2016/04/07/theatre-does-more-than-entertain-godspell-service-campaigns/ Thu, 07 Apr 2016 15:26:20 +0000 https://westliberty.edu/theater/?p=7643 The West Liberty University’s Hilltop Players conclude their season with the iconic and inspiring musical, Godspell (2013 version), opening Thursday, April 14 in the Kelly Theatre located in the Hall of Fine Arts on the campus of West Liberty University. The musical Godspell was first produced in 1971 and therefore has entertained audiences for more than 45 years. […]

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The West Liberty University’s Hilltop Players conclude their season with the iconic and inspiring musical, Godspell (2013 version), opening Thursday, April 14 in the Kelly Theatre located in the Hall of Fine Arts on the campus of West Liberty University.

The musical Godspell was first produced in 1971 and therefore has entertained audiences for more than 45 years.  However, the Hilltop Players wanted to do more than just entertain.  “I believe that theatre has the ability to help change the world.  This show, especially this show, wants to be more impactful.  The show is about the building of a community and instructing that community to help the needy,” said Michael Aulick, Associate Professor of Theatre.  “Jesus actual says, in the show, “Whatever you did for the least of these my brother, you did for me” and “You saw me hungry and gave me something to eat.” The theatre program tried to develop a way that the production could have a greater impact than just another version of Godspell.

Aulick reached out to community leaders and asked for advice.  He wanted to know which service groups in the region are in need right now.  “I thought it was important to know what the real needs were in this region.  I didn’t want to guess and be wrong.”  After some debate, two were selected; Wheeling’s YSS Winter Freeze Shelter and the region’s Food Banks.

At that point, Aulick began to create two service campaigns – one to support the Winter Freeze Shelter and one to help restock the region’s Food Banks.  After soliciting the help of the WLU Student Activities Office, a list of needed items was made, and each item was given a point value.  The intention was to get student groups to be part of the campaigns, they even added the incentive of free tickets to see Godspell and recognition on opening night.  Items included things that the organizations mentioned needing and were given a point value based on how important they were and how hard they were to find.  For instance, a 2-person tent is worth 50pts. while a canned food item is worth 1pt.

The Hilltop Players are taking it one step further, really putting their money where their mouth is.  The Box Office is offering a reduced ticket price for anyone who brings in a non-perishable food item as a donation.  The donation drops the person’s cost to the next lowest ticket price, so a $12.50 General Admission ticket will only be $10.  “We are willing to take less money in at the box office.  We don’t want to ask people to make a sacrifice without doing it ourselves as well,” said Aulick.

Godspell was the first major musical from a young Stephen Schwartz, who went on to write such mega hits as Wicked, Pippin. and Children of Eden. It features an eclectic blend of songs ranging from pop to vaudeville, including the iconic “Day By Day”, “Prepare Ye The Way Of The Lord”, and “By My Side”.  The WLU program is producing the Godspell (2012 version) that has updated references and more intricate music.  “The original production was fun, but the music was pretty simple.  This is much more challenging, which is what we wanted for our kids, and they are knocking it out of the park,” said Aulick. “The audience will hear the same songs (with two new ones: “Tower of Babble and “Beautiful City”) they are just even better.

The show has been co-directed by Michael L. Aulick, Associate Professor of Theatre and Dr. Melinda Kreisberg, Associate Professor of Biology and Director of Accreditation and Academic Planning. The two have teamed up with a talented cast that includes: Elijah Boyles as Jesus, Nathan James as John the Baptist/Judas and an ensemble company with Gabrielle Bennett, Elizabeth Conley, Geena Diomedi, Brady Dunn, Alex Franke, Chad Grubb, Brent Kimball, Sarah Lemley, Meaghan Macey, and Amanda Tamplen.

Godspell 2012 runs April 14-16 at 7:30pm and April 17 at 3:00pm. For tickets and information call the box office at (304) 336-8277 or buy tickets online here.

Anyone who wants to make donations to the show should contact Michael Aulick at maulick@westliberty.edu.

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College of Art and Communication Team up for final show of the Season – Godspell https://westliberty.edu/theater/2016/04/04/godspell-2012/ Mon, 04 Apr 2016 15:46:54 +0000 https://westliberty.edu/theater/?p=7567 The West Liberty University’s Hilltop Players conclude their season with the iconic and inspiring musical, Godspell, opening Thursday, April 14 in the Kelly Theatre located in the Hall of Fine Arts on the campus of West Liberty University. Using a variety of games and storytelling techniques Jesus’s life, and his eventual persecution is told through parables […]

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The West Liberty University’s Hilltop Players conclude their season with the iconic and inspiring musical, Godspell, opening Thursday, April 14 in the Kelly Theatre located in the Hall of Fine Arts on the campus of West Liberty University.

Using a variety of games and storytelling techniques Jesus’s life, and his eventual persecution is told through parables from the Gospel of Matthew. Dissolving hauntingly into the Last Supper and the Crucifixion, Jesus’s message of kindness, tolerance and love come vibrantly to life.

Godspell was the first major musical from a young Stephen Schwartz, who went on to write such mega hits as Wicked, Pippin. and Children of Eden. It features an eclectic blend of songs ranging from pop to vaudeville, including the iconic “Day By Day”, “Prepare Ye The Way Of The Lord”, and “By My Side”.

The show has been co-directed by Michael L. Aulick, Associate Professor of Theatre and Dr. Melinda Kreisberg, Associate Professor of Biology and Director of Accreditation and Academic Planning. The two have teamed up with a talented cast that includes: Elijah Boyles as Jesus, Nathan James as John the Baptist/Judas and an ensemble company with Gabrielle Bennett, Elizabeth Conley, Geena Diomedi, Brady Dunn, Alex Franke, Chad Grubb, Brent Kimball, Sarah Lemley, Meaghan Macey, and Amanda Tamplen.

Set in a rundown alley of a depressed neighborhood, Godspell is the celebration of the power of love to create a community that can transform the world. The idea of transformation has influenced the entire design team, led by Meta Lasch (Costume and Set Designer).

Godspell is very much a collective effort by the College of Arts and Communication. The Music Program’s Dr. Scott Glysson, Director of Choral Activities/Assistant Professor of Music, is serving as Musical Director and will conduct/lead the band that is playing for the show – a band that is almost entirely made up of music students. Bob Villamagna, Assistant Professor of Art and the WV Artist of the Year, has added his expertise by having some of his students paint the graffiti on the set. Dr. Matthew Harder, interim Dean of the College of Art and Communication and head of the Music technology program is overseeing one of his students who will run the soundboard and handle all microphones. Even the Broadcast/Journalism program has a role, helping run a camera and monitors so the conductor can cue singers when necessary (the band is behind the actors).

While the musical Godspell was first produced in 1971, the WLU Hilltop Players’ production is the revival from 2012. This version features two new songs (“Tower of Babble” and “Beautiful City”) and updates some of the old music, giving it a little more modern kick.

Godspell 2012 runs April 14-16 at 7:30pm and April 17 at 3:00pm. For tickets and information call the box office at (304) 336-8277 or buy tickets online here.

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Students Level up for SHE KILLS MONSTERS https://westliberty.edu/theater/2016/01/27/hilltop-player-students-take-on-she-kills-monsters-in-february/ Wed, 27 Jan 2016 13:51:43 +0000 https://westliberty.edu/theater/?p=7524 February 11-12 and 18-20 at 7:30pm February 21 at 3:00pm The West Liberty University Theatre Program kicks off this semester with Qui Nguyen’s new smash hit (winner of the AATE Distinguished Play Award) SHE KILLS MONSTERS.  The production runs February 11-12 and 18-20 at 7:30pm and February 21 at 3:00pm and tickets can be purchased in advance […]

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February 11-12 and 18-20 at 7:30pm
February 21 at 3:00pm

The West Liberty University Theatre Program kicks off this semester with Qui Nguyen’s new smash hit (winner of the AATE Distinguished Play Award) SHE KILLS MONSTERS.  The production runs February 11-12 and 18-20 at 7:30pm and February 21 at 3:00pm and tickets can be purchased in advance online here.

SHE KILLS MONSTERS tells the story of Agnes Evans (Alexandra Glotfelty) as she leaves her childhood home in Ohio following the death of her teenage sister, Tilly (Destiny Walsh). When Agnes finds Tilly’s Dungeons & Dragons notebook, however, she stumbles into a journey of discovery and action-packed adventure in the imaginary world that was Tilly’s refuge. In this imaginary world, Agnes will encounter homicidal fairies, nasty ogres, and other various beings.

For the uninitiated, Dungeons & Dragons is a role-playing game in which a Dungeon Master leads players through mythical quests. Players assume characters – sometimes endowing them with skills and powers they already have, and sometimes with abilities they wish they had. As the Dungeon Master rolls an eight-sided die, players are taken on a virtual journey in which powers are bestowed or relinquished, battles are fought, won and lost, and players find the ways and means to achieve their quest. The parallels between Tilly’s fantasy game and the realities of her short life are made clear as the play moves forward.

SHE KILLS MONSTERS requires performers to be able to switch between their original character and the one they are in the fantasy world of Dungeons and Dragons. So each actor is required to develop two distinctly different characters, one based in reality and one based in fantasy. While the acting challenges alone would be sufficient justification for the season, the biggest impact may be the opportunities for the student-designers/production team. SHE KILLS MONSTERS has a student director (Meaghan Macey), a student scene designer (Rebecca McDowell), a student costume designer (Michael Blatzer), a student sound designer (Brady Dunn), a student choreographer (Geena Diomedi), and a student fight choreographer (Mattheus Nail).

Cast includes West Liberty students, Mattheus Nail, Aleandra Glotfelty, Destiny Walsh, Zac Morris, Ingrid Young, Alex Burdick, Jed Shook, Nick Morris, Chris Rees, Amanda Mandirola, Michelle Russell, Sarah Lemley, Maria Schmidt, Desirrae Wells, and Morgan Goddard.

Please note: the show features coarse language and adult situations, and is not recommended for young children. But for adults, and especially for fans of Dungeons & Dragons and role-playing games, SHE KILLS MONSTERS is imaginative, entertaining and thoughtful ode to family and friendship.

 

SHE KILLS MONSTERS was the winner of the 2013 AATE Distinguished Play Award

 

REVIEWS

“Packed with action, wit, and a sizable nerd-quotient, the production is a delight from start to finish” – Theatremania. 
“Deceptively breezy and rather ingenious. The whole enterprise is kind of dopey and kind of invigorating and kind of remarkable. It will slash and shapeshift its way into your heart.” – The New York Times.

 

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2015 Hilltop Player Season begins with “Picasso at the Lapin Agile” https://westliberty.edu/theater/2015/08/23/2015-hilltop-player-season-begins-with-picasso-at-the-lapin-agile/ Sun, 23 Aug 2015 18:07:35 +0000 https://westliberty.edu/theater/?p=7461 The Hilltop Players thought there was no better way to kick off their season of comedies than with one written by a comedic god.  PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE was written by the Steve Martin and has all of the silliness one might expect from a guy who began his career with a fake arrow […]

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Picasso at Lapin AgileThe Hilltop Players thought there was no better way to kick off their season of comedies than with one written by a comedic god.  PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE was written by the Steve Martin and has all of the silliness one might expect from a guy who began his career with a fake arrow through his head saying “EXCUSE ME!!”

This production runs October 22-23 and 29-31 at 7:30pm and November 1 at 3:00pm at the Kelly Theatre.

GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!

 

Winner! 1996 Outer Critics Circle Award, Best Off Broadway Play

 

This long running Off-Broadway absurdist comedy places Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso in a Parisian cafe in 1904, just before the renowned scientist transformed physics with his theory of relativity and the celebrated painter set the art world afire with cubism. In his first comedy for the stage, the popular actor and screenwriter plays fast and loose with fact, fame and fortune as these two geniuses muse on the century’s achievements and prospects as well as other fanciful topics with infectious dizziness. Bystanders, including Picasso’ agent, the bartender and his mistress, Picasso’s date, an elderly philosopher, Charles Dabernow Schmendimen and an idiot inventor introduce additional flourishes of humor. The final surprise patron to join the merriment at the Lapin Agile is a charismatic dark haired singer time warped in from a later era.

 

“It’s important to remember that the playwright of Picasso at the Lapin Agile is Steve Martin, stand-up comic, actor, writer, banjo player and something of a genius in his own right. So when big questions are being addressed, you can be sure that a layer of silliness is always in place (and, subversively, a layer of seriousness beneath that).” – The New York Times

“Highly credible and… very funny. The subject matter is daring… You get giggles in plenty [and] moments of enlightenment… The introduction of the final, exquisitely selected visitor from the future is a master stroke.” – New York Post

 

“Consistently entertaining.” – New York Daily News

 

“Very engaging… Martin sends ideas onstage in baggy pants, with a cigar… mix[ing] the sublime with the ridiculous [so] that they can’t be easily disentangled… Very good fun.” – The New York Times

 

“A major treat.” – Newsday

“Steve Martin’s enlightening play is equally smart and silly…” – Hartford Courant

 

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Inaugural Dance Concert Success https://westliberty.edu/theater/2015/05/04/inaugural-dance-concert-success/ Mon, 04 May 2015 15:24:37 +0000 https://westliberty.edu/theater/?p=7445 2015 Dance Concert held on Sunday, May 3rd was an overwhelming success.  The concert was a late addition in the 2014-2015 Theatre season and the program scrambled around to find a way to produce an exhibition of the student work over the past year of classes.  Dances were prepared primarily through classwork, but several pieces […]

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2015 Dance Concert held on Sunday, May 3rd was an overwhelming success.  The concert was a late addition in the 2014-2015 Theatre season and the program scrambled around to find a way to produce an exhibition of the student work over the past year of classes.  Dances were prepared primarily through classwork, but several pieces needed altered to fit the format of a dance concert, and one was inserted by a student group (WLU Student Dance Ensemble).

WLU Theatre hopes to continue to develop the opportunities in dance for the campus and the region through events like the 2015 Dance Concert.  Any interested in more information about the Dance Minor, can contact maulick@westliberty.edu.10985390_10153214020860552_856968767817043561_n

Members of the first ever WLU Dance Concert.

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