Excerpt from the Broadway World
After more than a year of outdoor, online and drive-in events, Wright State's acclaimed Department of Theatre, Dance and Motion Pictures is back with a full season of in-person productions that will have audiences celebrating the power of classic and contemporary drama, musical theatre, dance and film. In what will be among our most varied and exciting seasons ever, we're proud to present plays, dance and musical theatre that excites, challenges, celebrates and restores.
The company begins its Festival Playhouse season with one of the best and most successful comedies of the last 50 years, Ken Ludwig's Lend Me A Tenor. Filled with slamming doors, mistaken identities, high-stakes hijinks, and a touch of Opera, this uproarious farce will have you in stitches. Step into a beautiful Art Deco world to meet a cast of looney characters that feel as though they stepped out of 1930s Hollywood.
Next, get out your boogie shoes and dance in the aisles to Mamma Mia!, the global pop smash musical hit featuring the music of ABBA. We had to close this production just days before opening night due to the pandemic and have literally been waiting a year and a half to bring this worldwide dance phenomenon to our stage!
In February, the contemporary Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Sweat by Lynn Nottage takes us into the lives of middle-American industrial workers facing the end of their livelihoods as their factory jobs disappear and their families and friendships struggle to survive. As if lifted from our own local headlines, SWEAT is a poignant and bracing portrait of America in crisis. This special production will be directed by Wright State alumni, Shaun Patrick Tubbs. Called a "brutal, brilliant sucker punch of a Pulitzer Prize-winning play", this gritty drama contains profanity, and realistic depictions of violence.
In Spring, we'll offer the groovy Dance Musical hit, Sweet Charity, telling the story of Charity Hope Valentine, an eternal optimist in a hard-luck world. Filled with exuberant dance, joyous song and a nod to the swingin' 60s, this production gives you a special "behind the scenes" look at how a major musical would have felt in rehearsal. As the NY Times says, "hard-core addicts of old-time Broadway might be tempted to parade in the aisles. It ignites, as if by spontaneous combustion, into a rollicking show."
Our intimate Herbst Theatre season offers two very different productions. In the Fall, we present the Obie Award-winning play, Circle Mirror Transformation. A group of adult amateurs have enrolled in a Vermont community center's drama workshop and gradually learn more than just acting. Through a series of touching and often comic acting exercises, they reveal their deeper selves to each other. "Humor and poignancy are coaxed forth, love swells and recedes, and guarded people step into the light, all of which is orchestrated with a subtlety and unfailing naturalness that make the play's small revelations disarming and unexpected." - Variety