Arts & Culture Editor
With an exciting new school year ahead of us, Millersville’s University Theatre is offering its students the chance to see and participate in several amazing productions. The University Theatre hosts and performs the main stage productions throughout the school year. However, there’s a lot more to it than at first glance.
Under the umbrella term “University Theatre” are groups like the All Campus Musical Organization (ACMO), the Citamard Players, and Improv Molotov. ACMO is a student-led musical organization that offers theater /non-theater majors the opportunity to continue performing or working behind the scenes throughout their time at Millersville. Citamard Players is also a student-run organization that gives students the opportunity to do it all, offering them the chance to act, write, manage, design, promote and direct theater productions. Need some brushing up on your stage skills? Not a problem! Citamard offers workshops throughout the year that students of all majors and backgrounds can attend to learn about theater. Finally, Improv Molotov is an extension of Citamard– a group of around ten students, this troupe creates improv shows for the students at Millersville. They play fun improv games and somehow come up with hilarious material right on the spot.
With all that being said, what is University Theatre doing specifically this school year at Millersville?
To begin the year, on October 14 and 15, the Citamard Players will be premiering their production of “No Exit,” a play that follows two women and one man who are locked up in a room for an eternity in Hell. Hence the title, this room has no exit. While it is not your typical portrayal of the afterlife, these three individuals will have to face who they really are as their darkest secrets and most terrible deeds are exposed to one another. This performance will not be the traditional, full-length play, but it is entirely student helmed and directed. This production will take place in Dutcher Hall at 8 pm.
On Friday October 21 at 7 pm in the Clair Performance Hall, University Theatre will be hosting “Dame Edna,” a distinguished Australian woman with an impressive resume, including house-wife, talk show host, megastar, and icon. Played by Scott Mason, Dame Edna will offer Millersville students her thoughts on American life through hilarious stand-up comedy. This event is especially important because it is a fundraiser for the theater program to make necessary updates to Dutcher Hall, the primary rehearsal space for University Theatre. Funds will also help the theater program create more amazing productions and opportunities for professional development for students interested in the theater.
Following this fundraiser, Improv Molotov will be hosting an Alumni Show on October 22 at 9 pm in the Student Memorial Center’s Multipurpose Room. Past Improv Molotov members will join current members on stage for an unforgettable night of laughs. Improv Molotov will also have three other performances at 9 pm in the SMC MPR on Oct 6, Nov 3, and Dec 1.
A scant few weeks later, University Theatre will have its first main-stage production. “Spring Awakening” is a rock musical that takes the audience through the struggles of teenage-dom with all the raging hormones one experiences during their journey towards adulthood. This production is not shy on portraying the real issues teenagers face today. This passionate and powerful representation of the tribulations of teens will be performed November 10-13 in Clair Performance Hall.
After “Spring Awakening,” Citamard returns with performances of their short plays. These are written by Millersville students themselves and similarly are directed by aspiring student directors. This series offers students a chance to get their feet wet in the world of theater. Short play performances will be held on November 18 and 19 in Dutcher Hall.
To round out the semester, Citamard will be hosting “Citamard Night Live!”
During the variety show, CNL students perform anything from stand-up comedy to comedic musical acts. CNL will be performed on December 9.
University Theater returns strong in the spring semester with its first production of “Dog Sees God.” After the death of his dog, protagonist CB begins contemplating whether an afterlife actually exists. With those close to him being of no help, he befriends an artistic kid who is an outcast at their school. In this new-found friendship, teen angst is at its highest and the pair discovers much about themselves. This whirlwind of a production will be performed on February 24-26 and March 2-5, 2017 at 8 pm in Dutcher Hall.
Next on the list, the All Campus Musical Organization (ACMO) is performing “Heathers: the Musical.” When misfit Veronica Sawyer arrives at Westerberg High School, she manages to get herself into the cliquiest of cliques: the Heathers. Veronica falls in love with the sexiest guy in school, J.D. One of the Heathers finds her choice in men distasteful and kicks Veronica out of the group. Veronica attempts to suck up to Heather, but it seems like J.D. has a darker plan in mind. This performance is entirely student produced and will be performed March 23-25 at 8 pm and March 26 at 2 pm in the Clair Performance Hall.
University Theater finishes out this amazing upcoming year with “Dancing at Lughnasa,” a play featuring five unmarried sisters living in a small village in Ireland in 1936. The quintuple are introduced during the festival of Lughnasa, a celebration of the God of harvest through revelry and drinking. The story is told through the eyes of the illegitimate son of one of the sisters and by way of some amusing anecdotes. This play will appear in Dutcher Hall April 21, 22, 27-29 at 8 pm or April 23 and 30 at 2 pm. Specific showtime details will appear later this spring.
If it is not obvious, University Theatre will be having two back-to-back seasons unlike any other this year. Their productions bring laughs and entertainment, but also shed light on the bigger issues college students face today. It is a hip and refreshing new take on theater that everyone will be able to appreciate on the Millersville campus.
Interested in being a part of University Theatre? Audition dates for this semester’s productions are below:
“No Exit” auditions: October 3 – 4
“Citamard Night Live!:” October 24, 25, 31; November 1-2
“Dog Sees God:” November 14 – 15
Also, check out the call board on the first floor of Dutcher Hall for more information on all productions!