The month of October will spike to dramatic proportions because the 2012-13 theater season is here at Eastern Michigan University. What will make this season spectacular? It is the collection of seven productions, all uniquely powerful and thoughtful with a new talented cast.
The first upcoming stage production of this year is the controversial comedy by William Shakespeare, “Merchant of Venace,” to be performed on Oct. 19, 20, 26 and 27 at 7 p.m. and Oct. 21 and 28 at 2 p.m.
“White as Snow, Red as Blood: The Story of Snow White” is on Nov. 30 at 7 p.m.; Dec. 1, 6, 7 and 8 at 7 p.m.; and Dec. 2 and 9 at 2 p.m.
The stage reading of “Striking 12,” a holiday musical based on Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Little Match Girl,” will be on Nov. 9 and 10 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 11 at 2 p.m.
EMU Theatre Assistant Managing Director Pam Cardell believes that theater is a special asset and contributes a sense of creative escape for anyone to enjoy. If you have a love for creativity, set design, costumes or acting, all are encouraged to join.
“In any community, it’s the arts and culture that makes things vibrant,” Cardell said. “It’s the art and culture that adds variety, that adds beauty and interest in the community. All of our auditions of all our crew calls are opened to all EMU students. So you don’t have to be a theater major or minor to participate.”
The opening show of the 2013 lineup is “Urine Town: The Musical,” which is a satirical musical with an unconventional storyline that rips at the legal system, greed and corruption while parodying famous Broadway shows.
“Wedding Band: A Love/Hate in Black and White” showcases a forbidden love amongst the racial lines of a segregated south in 1918.
“Shaking Earth” focuses on two little girls from different ethnic backgrounds living in Missouri, bonded together by a secret friendship through the constant struggles of the Great Depression, World War II and racial discrimination.
“Honk!” is a vibrant musical that gives a new spin to the age-old story of “The Ugly Duckling” that is about accepting personal qualities and the path of finding your self-identity.
With the many portrayals of Snow White, from the colorful and spirited “Mirror, Mirror” to the dark and sleek “Snow White And The Huntsmen,” Cardell, who worked exclusively with “White As Snow, Red As Blood: The Story of Snow White,” will add a personal spin with a more earthy and mystical feel, even revamping the Seven Dwarfs. It was chosen as tribute to play writer Ginny Koste and in celebration of the 50th Anniversary Drama Theatre for the Young Program.
“The Seven Dwarfs, in the Disney version, there was Happy and Sneezy and Doc and Dopey,” Cardell said. “In this version, the dwarfs have names like Earthen and Firen. So it’s different, like Snow White meets ‘The Hobbit.’”
Every show serves as the opportunity to bring the campus community together for the love of entertainment and artistic expression and to influence audiences with a message.
“We hope [in] all of our productions that we have some impact with the audience,” Cardell said. “Some plays you’re going [to] come see, you’re going to leave questioning things and thinking about things. Some plays you might leave really joyful and happy. It might be an uplifting experience for you.”
Ticket prices are $15 regular admission, $12 students and seniors, $9 main stage patrons, $7 for children ages 6-12 and $7 for staged reading. They are available at the Student Center ticket box, the Quirk Box Office or at www.EMUtix.com.
If you’re interested in auditioning for future stage productions, contact the Quirk office at 734-487-1220.