The entire population of Utah Valley knows that UVU is becoming bigger and better. Every program is trying to grow to fit its new university shoes. The theater department in particular has been working to provide a better education and more experience for its students.
This summer, our theater department partnered with Sundance to produce an outdoor show at Sundance’s Eccles stage. Actors and crew from UVU, BYU and the community put on William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night Dream, this August.
In a press release for the show, Theatrical Arts Department Chair Terry Petrie said, “We feel this charming Shakespearean comedy is the perfect play for Utah Valley State College to do at such a majestic and deeply-rooted place as Sundance Resort.”
It’s too late for students to catch this show, which was the department’s most recent step upward. But the upcoming fall season promises to be innovative and entertaining.
The first show on the docket will be Anton Chekov’s Flies in the Snuffbox. The production is technically a series of playlets, or skits, from Chekov’s earlier period of work — written before his classic dramas like THE Cherry Orchard and The Seagull. On the theater department’s Web site, Petrie is listed as the director.
A more dramatic production will be Nosferatu, to be directed by Christopher Clark. The most popular production of this classic story is the silent movie, and there have been several theatrical adaptations.
For Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, UVU will welcome a guest director, David Morgan. UVU stands out from other local universities in that when producing a classic play like Twelfth Night, they add unique, modern elements through design or presentation. This was evident in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and we can expect to see something new and exciting out of the production this semester.
A more contemporary play will be next; The Burial at Thebes will open this winter. The play is an adaptation of Sophocles’ Antigone, written by Seamus Heaney. Assistant Professor John Graham will direct.
The department will produce the contemporary, mainstream production Chess, directed by the department’s artist in residence Dave Tinney. This nineties super-musical is something to look forward to, finally utilizing the singing talent among our theater department.
Tea With Mint or Lemon? will also show this year. The play is a modern farce by Danielle and Patrick Haudecoeur, originally written in French. Plays about theater can sometimes be difficult for an audience to digest, but are sure to be fun for the actors.
The finale of the season will be the Platform Series, which showcases all that the students have learned through performance and backstage work during the semester. The plays showing will be The Eagle vs. the Seagull, written by Assistant Professor James Arrington about Utah’s Holy War, the popular annual show Holiday Night Live, and, once again, Short Attention Span Theater.
Like many other programs at UVU, the theater department is making a name for itself in the community, even off campus. Audience members have plenty to look forward to this semester in our local theaters.