Thursday, August 30, 2018

HUGE 2018-19 MSU Theatre season is beginning soon

Where do we even begin? The 2018-19 MSU Theatre & Dance season is pretty epic this year.
We had to go all out for the university's sesquicentennial, after all. And when we say "all out," we mean:

-A $500,000 renovation of our beloved Ted Paul Theatre

-A MUSICAL to open Studio Season about two weeks after school starts (like, how, though?)

-THREE OTHER MUSICALS during our Mainstage season, which puts quite a bang in your buck for season tickets.

We've got elves, the North Pole, Agatha Christie (well, not in the flesh, of course), Disney, Shakespeare. There's a million reasons you should come celebrate with us this season.

Here's a closer look at what we've got coming up, and remember: Season tickets are $100 and on sale through Oct. 7! You get THREE MUSICALS for that price! Also, we are putting in brand new seats in the Ted Paul Theatre (roomier, cushier ones), and to help fundraise, you can purchase a seat that will be personalized with a placard with your name or the name of someone of your choosing for $1,000. If you'd like to know more, visit MSUTheatre.com and click on the Ted Paul Renovation Project link.

Without further ado, here is our season ...



The Music Man
Book, music and lyrics by Meredith Willson
Sept. 27-29 & Oct. 4-7, 2018
Ted Paul Theatre
Made possible by Consolidated Communications and South Central Community Based Initiative
The Music Man follows fast-talking traveling salesman, Harold Hill, as he cons the people of River City, Iowa, into buying instruments and uniforms for a boys' band that he vows to organize – this,
despite the fact that he doesn't know a trombone from a treble clef. His plans to skip town with the cash are foiled when he falls for Marian, the librarian, who transforms him into a respectable citizen by curtain's fall..
Tickets: $22 regular, $19 discounted (over 65, under 16 and groups of 15 or more) and $15 for current Minnesota State Mankato students.

The Mousetrap
By Agatha Christie
Oct. 11-14 & 17-21, 2018
Andreas Theatre
A group of strangers is stranded in a boarding house during a snow storm, one of whom is a murderer. The suspects include the newly married couple who run the house, and the suspicions in their minds nearly wreck their perfect marriage. Others are a spinster with a curious background, an architect who seems better equipped to be a chef, a retired Army major, a strange little man who claims his car has overturned in a drift, and a jurist who makes life miserable for everyone.
Tickets: $16 regular; $14 for seniors ages 65 and older, children under 16 and groups of 15 or more; and $11 for Minnesota State Mankato students.

The Happy Elf
Music and lyrics by Harry Connick, Jr.;
Book by Lauren Gunderson and Andrew Fishman
Nov. 1-3 & 8-11, 2018
Ted Paul Theatre
Made possible by Mayo Clinic Health System
The Happy Elf follows Eubie, the happiest elf at the North Pole. More than anything else, Eubie longs to be a part of Santa's sleigh team. Instead, he's stuck checking the naughty-or-nice lists. Then, one Christmas Eve, he sees something strange: in the whole town of Bluesville, not a single person has been nice. With a pinch of elfish magic and a magical whoosh, Eubie's off to Bluesville. But can he turn a whole town of naughty children nice in just one day?
Tickets: $22 regular, $19 discounted (over 65, under 16 and groups of 15 or more) and $15 for current Minnesota State Mankato students.

Peter and the Starcatcher
Book by Rick Elice; and music by Wayne Barker
Jan. 31-Feb. 3 & Feb. 6-10, 2019
Andreas Theatre
A young orphan and his mates are shipped off from Victorian England to a distant island ruled by the evil King Zarboff. They know nothing of the mysterious trunk in the captain’s cabin, which contains a precious, otherworldly cargo. At sea, the boys are discovered by a precocious young girl named Molly, a Starcatcher-in-training who realizes that the trunk’s precious cargo is starstuff, a celestial substance so powerful that it must never fall into the wrong hands.
Tickets: $16 regular; $14 for seniors ages 65 and older, children under 16 and groups of 15 or more; and $11 for Minnesota State Mankato students.

Macbeth
By William Shakespeare
Feb. 14-16 & 21-24, 2019
Ted Paul Theatre
Made possible by Mayo Clinic Health System
A brave Scottish general named Macbeth receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders King Duncan and takes the Scottish throne for himself. He is then wracked with guilt and paranoia.
Tickets: $16 regular; $14 for seniors ages 65 and older, children under 16 and groups of 15 or more; and $11 for Minnesota State Mankato students.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Music by Alan Menken; lyrics by Stephen Schwartz;
and book by Peter Parnell
April 11-13 & 18-20, 2019
Ted Paul Theatre
Co-sponsored by Community Bank Mankato, Jones Law and Tailwind Group
The musical begins as the bells of Notre Dame sound through the famed cathedral in 15th-century Paris. Quasimodo, the deformed bell-ringer, observes all of Paris reveling in the Feast of Fools. Held captive by his devious caretaker, Dom Claude Frollo, he escapes for the day and joins the boisterous crowd, only to be treated cruelly by all but the beautiful gypsy, Esmeralda.
Tickets: $22 regular, $19 discounted (over 65, under 16 and groups of 15 or more) and $15 for current Minnesota State Mankato students.



2018-19 Studio Season

 

Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Book by John Cameron Mitchell;
music & lyrics by Stephen Trask
Sept. 12-15, 2018
Andreas Theatre
The musical tells the story of “internationally ignored song stylist” Hedwig Schmidt, a fourth-wall smashing East German rock ‘n’ roll goddess who also happens to be the victim of a botched sex-change operation, which has left her with just “an angry inch.”
Tickets: $13 regular; $12 for seniors ages 65 and older, children under 16 and groups of 15 or more; and $11 for Minnesota State Mankato students.

Stupid F*cking Bird
By Aaron Posner
Nov. 14-17, 2018
Andreas Theatre
An aspiring young director rampages against the art created by his mother’s generation. A nubile young actress wrestles with an aging Hollywood star for the affections of a renowned novelist. And everyone discovers just how disappointing love, art, and growing up can be.
Tickets: $10 regular; $9 for seniors ages 65 and older, children under 16 and groups of 15 or more; and $8 for Minnesota State Mankato students.

Mothers and Sons
By Terrence McNally
March 27-30, 2019
Andreas Theatre
Mother and Sons portrays a woman who pays an unexpected visit to the New York apartment of her late son’s partner, who is now married to another man and has a young son. Challenged to face how society has changed around her, generations collide as she revisits the past and begins to see the life her son might have led.
Tickets: $10 regular; $9 for seniors ages 65 and older, children under 16 and groups of 15 or more; and $8 for Minnesota State Mankato students.

Brainpeople
By José Rivera
April 24-27, 2019
Andreas Theatre
A wealthy woman invites two strangers to join her in a strange feast commemorating the death of her parents. Mayannah has done this every year but her dark purpose remains unclear. All that will change tonight when two damaged souls find their way to her table. Taking place in a not-so-distant future, the sounds of a war-torn Los Angeles fill the air.
Tickets: $10 regular; $9 for seniors ages 65 and older, children under 16 and groups of 15 or more; and $8 for Minnesota State Mankato students.

2018-19 Dance Concerts

 

Fall Dance Concert
7:30 p.m. Dec. 7 and 2 p.m. Dec. 8, 2018, in the Ted Paul Theatre
Tickets: $10 regular; $9 for seniors ages 65 and older, children under 16 and groups of 15 or more; and $8 for Minnesota State Mankato students.
Spring Dance Concert
7:30 p.m. May 3 and 2 p.m. May 4, 2019, in the Ted Paul Theatre
Tickets: $10 regular; $9 for seniors ages 65 and older, children under 16 and groups of 15 or more; and $8 for Minnesota State Mankato students.


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Truvy's Beauty Salon has moved into the Andreas


Ask any gal what her favorite 1980s movies are and “Steel Magnolias” is likely to be on her list.

M'Lynn (left) talks to Shelby (right) and Truvy (center).
And who could blame her! The friendships, the love, the loss, the drama – it’s all right there in Chinquapin Parish, Louisiana. The play version of the hit movie is up next in our Highland Summer Theatre season.

Sponsored by Mayo Clinic Health System, “Steel Magnolias” runs 7:30 p.m. June 13-16 in the Andreas Theatre, Earley Center for Performing Arts, Minnesota State Mankato.

More about the play: Set in Truvy’s beauty salon in Louisiana, the wise-cracking Truvy dispenses shampoo and free advice to the town’s rich curmudgeon, Ouiser; an eccentric millionaire, Miss Clairee; and the local social leader, M’Lynn, whose daughter, Shelby (the prettiest girl in town), is about to marry a “good ole boy.”

Tickets are $16 regular; $14 for seniors ages 65 and older, children under 16 and groups of 15 or more; and $11 for Minnesota State Mankato students. Call the Box Office at 507-389-6661, or visit MSUTheatre.com for more information about tickets. 


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Highland 52 will be a ‘Shrek’ of a season!


Mystery, murder, mayhem, magnolias (of the steel variety) – Highland Summer Theatre’s 52nd season will definitely not disappoint!

Kicking off with “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” the musical on Wednesday, May 30, Highland’s slate of shows is a bit backwards this year. Typically, a play opens the season in the Andreas Theatre, followed by a musical in the Ted Paul, another play in the Andreas, and a closing musical in the Ted Paul again.

This year’s schedule, however, has to accommodate a large renovation project in the Ted Paul Theatre that will include new larger seats, additional wheelchair accommodations, a safety wall along the orchestra pit, new carpeting and a new grand drape, among other improvements. 

To provide additional time in the schedule between the Highland season and the opening musical of the 2018-19 season, the musicals will take place earlier this summer (i.e. musical, play, musical and play).

“Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” will be first in the Ted Paul (May 30-June 2); then “Steel Magnolias” will be in the Andreas Theatre (June 13-16); then “Shrek” the musical will be held in the Ted Paul (June 26-July 1); and lastly “The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940” will be held in the Andreas. All performances are at 7:30 p.m.

Season tickets are on sale for $66 for all four shows of Highland until June 2. Individual tickets for musicals are $22 regular, $19 discounted (over 65, under 16 and groups of 15 or more) and $15 for current Minnesota State Mankato students. Individual tickets for plays are $16 regular; and $14 for seniors ages 65 and older, children under 16 and groups of 15 or more.

About “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”: Based on the popular 1988 MGM film, “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” takes us to the French Riviera for high jinks and hilarity. Sophisticated, suave and with a good dash of mischief, this hysterical musical comedy features a delightfully jazzy score by David Yazbek (“The Full Monty”) and was nominated for 11 Tony Awards.

For more information on Highland’s other upcoming shows, visit mnsu.edu/theatre/season.

For information on donating to the $500,000 Ted Paul Theatre renovation, visit MSUTheatre.com and click on the renovation project link.

For tickets, visit MSUTheatre.com, or call the Box Office 4-6 p.m. weekdays at 507-389-6661.
Contact Public Relations Director Amanda Dyslin at 507-389-6663, or amanda.dyslin@mnsu.edu for more information. 

Freddy (Gabriel Sell) plays the sympathy card with Christine (Delanie Wiedrich), with the awkwardly titled song, “Love is My Legs.”  

Thursday, April 19, 2018

What in the world is up with the almond?



The last Studio Show of the 2017-18 season, "Melancholy Play," opened Wednesday, and what can we say ... it's a little bit nutty. An almond happens to play a key role in the show, but we're not disclosing exactly why that is. (We don't want to give it away before you come to the show!)

But here's some context for those who can't stop thinking, "WHAT'S WITH THE ALMOND?!" Well, interestingly enough, "Melancholy Play," written by Sarah Ruhl, is a contemporary farce that explores the world of human emotions. Sarah explained that this play was inspired by the word "Amygdala," which is Greek for the word "Almond." The word means the most important emotional organ in the brain. 

So, how does that connect to "Melancholy Play" exactly? How exactly does a physical almond come into play? Come see the show and find out! 

"Melancholy Play" runs 7:30 p.m. nightly through Saturday, April 21. Tickets at MSUTheatre.com or by calling the Box Office at 507-389-6661. Don't miss it!



Thursday, April 12, 2018

Kim Macafee got pinned by who?! Find out at "Bye Bye Birdie" this weekend!


Student Spotlight on Megan Fischer, who plays Kim Macafee in our production of "Bye Bye Birdie," running through Sunday in the Ted Paul Theatre!



"Bye Bye Birdie" has reopened for the second weekend, so we asked sophomore BFA Megan Fischer, who plays the role of Kim Macafee, about her leading role.


Q: What is one thing you HAVE to do to prepare for this show?

A: I try to drink 5 glasses of water an hour before the show and listen to '60s music to get me pumped!

Q: What is your favorite song you sing in the show and why? 

A: "How Lovely to Be a Woman" because it's fun and it's your first introduction to my character. And the song reminds me of all of the goofy, stupid stuff I used to do as a 15-year-old.

Q: What is one thing you're excited for people to see from this show and why?

A: I'm excited for people to laugh along with us, and also to really embrace this fun '60s time period for a few hours!

Best of luck to Megan and the rest of the cast of "Bye Bye Birdie" as they go into their final shows! There's still 4 more chances to see the show! Get your tickets at MSUTheatre.com!




Monday, March 26, 2018

Lead actress talks "Talley"





The heartwarming production "Talley's Folly" opens this Wednesday, and we caught up with sophomore Musical Theatre BFA Megan Kueter who plays the character of Sally Talley to talk about her role. Together with junior BFA John Nicol who plays Matt Friedman, the two create a beautiful dynamic on stage.

Q: What is so unique about this show?

A: "Talley's Folly" is seemingly very simple. It's just two characters talking for an hour and a half, but it's incredibly rich and complex at its core. 

Q: How do you prepare for a role like this?

A: To understand why Sally reacts to this situation the way she does you have to understand where she comes from. Her home life, past relationships, and the time period of the show all play a part in creating this incredibly smart, yet very stubborn individual.

Q: What are YOU most excited for the audience to see from this show?

A: Director Trevor Belt, John and I have worked so hard on making this story a waltz, as the character Matt says in his opening monologue. I hope the audience is able to see just how perfect these two people are for each other, if only they would listen to what the other is saying. The story is beautiful, and I hope it resonates with the audience just as much as it has with everyone who has worked on it.

Best of luck to these two actors during the run of this beautiful show March 28-31. Tickets at MSUTheatre.com. Don't miss it!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Student Spotlight on Abby Okoneski and Regan O'Connor!


                                                  


The MSU Spring Dance Concert is approaching fast and furious, but we had just enough time to stop and ask two veterans of the Dance department to talk about their excitement and process for the upcoming concert!


Abby Okoneski Junior Dance BFA
Q: Out of all of the dance pieces you are in, which one are YOU most excited to perform?

A: I am really looking forward to Reuben del Valle's hip hop piece because it is something that no one has seen our department do before, which I think is really exciting.

Q: What has been the most rewarding part about bringing these dance pieces to life?

A: The most rewarding part has been the time we have put into it. Every dancer and choreographer has been working extremely hard since the beginning of the semester, and it's always rewarding to see where we start and where we finish each semester. For me, personally, the overall "big picture" is the most rewarding. 

Q: What is something you hope the audience can take away from this particular concert?

A: I hope the audience gets a glimpse of all the different styles we can do. Our concerts tend to be more modern heavy, but I think this concert is all over the board with styles. I hope the audience can appreciate all the different styles we put on stage.



Regan O'Connor, Senior Dance BFA
Q: Out of all of the dance pieces you are in, which one are YOU most excited to perform? 

A: Honestly, I'm excited about all of them. Each of them is challenging in their own way. Julie Kerr-Berry's has lots of dynamic shifts and emotions. Ruben's has a completely different style that I'm not used to, and it's theatrical, which is really fun to explore. Melissa Rosenberger's requires a different energy. We've already done it, so it is up to us as dancers to find something new within it. 

Q: What has been the most rewarding part about bringing these dance pieces to life?

A: The most rewarding part for me personally is the fact that it's my last one. I feel like this is the concert where I can show how much I've grown as an artist with the people who have become my family (cheesy, I know, but true!). As a whole, our department has worked so hard, and this concert really showcases everyone in a positive light, and that's really cool to be apart of. 

Q: What is something you hope the audience can take away from this particular concert?

A: To be honest, I don't know what I want the audience to feel. I just want them to sit, relax, enjoy and break away from the outside world. Dance is a way to escape, and each piece requires us to go to a different time, space and style. And hopefully the audience will escape with us.

Come see these fabulous dancers along with many more beside them for the Spring Dance Concert! 
Performances are on Friday, April 27, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, April 28, at 7:30 p.m., along with a student dance showcase on Sunday, April 29, at 2 p.m.