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Appalachian’s Department of Theatre and Dance presents 2011-12 season

BOONE — Appalachian State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance presents its 2011-12 season.  Productions will take place in state-of-the-art Valborg Theatre or intimate I.G. Greer Studio Theatre, unless otherwise noted. All performances begin at 7:30 p.m. with the exception of matinees which start at 2 p.m. Tickets begin at $6 for students.

“First Year Showcase” will run Sept. 29-Oct. 1 in the I.G. Greer Studio Theatre.  The show highlights theatre and dance pieces by first-year students in the department. Associate professor of theatre Joel Williams and department chair of dance Marianne Adams will direct this showcase.

“Mother Hicks” will run Oct. 5-8 with a matinee showing on Oct. 9 in Valborg Theatre.  This family-friendly production is a tale of three outcasts during the Great Depression: an orphan girl, a deaf boy and an alleged witch named Mother Hicks. The play, which includes sign language, was written by Susan Zeder, three-time winner of the Distinguished Play Award by the American Alliance of Theatre and Education.  It is directed by professor Teresa Lee.

“North Carolina Dance Festival” will run Oct. 27-29 in Valborg Theatre. Comprised of eight different touring companies, the festival travels to only five communities throughout the state performing alongside local host community artists.  This year’s event is directed by associate dance professor Susan Lutz.

“How I Learned to Drive” will run Nov. 3-5 and 10-12, with matinee showings Nov. 6 and 13.  This 1998 Pulitzer Prize winner in Drama by Paula Vogel unfolds the story of a young girl’s strained relationship with her alcoholic uncle through her adolescence into her teenage years and the rest of her life.  Using the metaphor of driving to tackle the intense issues of pedophilia, incest and misogyny, this controversial play is an eye-opening, memorable experience. “How I Learned to Drive” is directed by adjunct instructor Anna Ward.

The “Fall Appalachian Dance Ensemble” will run Nov. 16-19 in Valborg Theatre.  This event showcases seven student works in the modern tradition with a touch of jazz. The ensemble is directed by assistant dance professor Laurie Atkins who also contributes original choreography.

“New Play Festival” will run Dec. 1-3 in I.G. Greer Studio Theatre.  The event is produced by Playcrafters, Appalachian’s student theatre club, and showcases works written, directed and performed by students.

“Momentum Showcase” will run Jan. 27-28 in Varsity Gym Room 208.  Momentum, Appalachian’s student dance club, produces, choreographs and performs contemporary dance pieces in this showcase.  This show typically sells out early.

“The Illusion” will run Feb. 29 and March 1-3 in Valborg Theatre with a matinee showing on March 4.  Written by Tony Kushner and directed by associate professor Derek Gagnier, “The Illusion” is a spellbinding tale of a man who seeks out a sorcerer to learn the whereabouts of his long-estranged son.

The “Spring Appalachian Dance Ensemble” will run March 28-31 in Valborg Theater.  The show is a delightful and challenging combination of faculty and student works.  It is directed by assistant professor of dance Laurie Atkins and dance lecturer Regina James.

“BEANS TALK: A Cow, Some Beans, and a Boy Named Jack” will run April 13-14 in I.G. Greer Studio theatre with a matinee showing April 15. The show is presented by the Appalachian Young People’s Theatre (AYPT), a group of Appalachian students who create props, sets and costumes specifically for the play they will perform. “BEANS TALK” was written by Appalachian’s playwright in residence Derek Davidson and is directed by professor Teresa Lee.

“Big Love” closes the season and runs April 25-28 in Valborg Theatre with a matinee showing April 29.  Written by Charles L. Mee, this comedy about love and marriage follows the story of 50 brides escaping marriage to their cousins and is directed by faculty member Derek Davidson.

How to get there:

Valborg Theatre is located on the backside of Chapell Wilson Hall, facing the back of the Turchin Center for Visual Arts on King Street.  I.G. Greer Studio Theatre is located in the lower level of I.G. Greer Hall, facing the B.B. Dougherty Administration Building.  Parking is available after 5 p.m. in campus lots and the College Street parking deck near Belk Library and Information Commons.

For more information, visit www.theatre.appstate.edu or call 828-262-3063.

The Department of Theatre and Dance is housed within the College of Fine and Applied Arts. Its mission is to provide liberal arts educations for the BS degree in teaching theatre arts and the BA degrees in dance studies or theatre arts. The department also values the opportunity to offer coursework for integrated learning through the arts to the general university student population. Vital to the support of this mission is a dynamic co-curricular production program that provides exemplary theatre and dance experiences to departmental students, the university community and the region. The departmental philosophy is to support the university’s liberal arts environment through a balanced and integrated emphasis on teaching, creative activity, scholarship, and service.

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Media Contact:
Dawn Shepler-Hamilton
828-262-8342
sheplerhamiltonde@appstate.edu