CULLOWHEE – Western Carolina University is ready to raise the curtain on its 2004-05 theatre season as the University Players stage the Tony Award-winning drama “Dancing at Lughnasa,” the Greek classic “Antigone” with a modern twist, the off-beat musical comedy “Little Shop of Horrors” and the Pulitzer Prize-winning mystery “Proof.”

All shows will stage in Hoey Auditorium, with evening performances and weekend matinees.

Season tickets are on sale now. Prices for season tickets are $45 for adults, $35 for senior citizens and Western faculty and staff, and $20 for students.

Memberships also are available for the Patron Club, which provides additional financial support to the University Players and its activities. Memberships are available at the Actor ($250), Director ($500) and Producer ($1,000) levels. All membership levels offer tickets to all productions, and much of the cost of membership is tax deductible.

Opening the season is Brian Friel's “Dancing at Lughnasa,” a drama told from the viewpoint of a young boy growing up in a fatherless home with his unmarried mother and four spinster aunts in 1930s Ireland. Their lives are interrupted by the arrival of two men – the boy's long-lost father, who is off to Spain to fight the war against Franco, and an elderly uncle who has “come home to die” after a lifetime in America. Directed by Stephen Michael Ayers, associate professor of theatre arts, “Dancing at Lughnasa” runs Sept. 29-Oct. 3.

“Antigone,” directed by Richard Beam, associate professor of theatre arts, will be staged Nov. 10-14. An adaptation by Lewis Galantiere of Jean Anouilh's work, the play was originally produced in Paris in 1942, when France was occupied by Nazi Germany and was part of Hitler's Europe.  Based on Sophocles' ancient Greek tragedy, the play depicts an authoritarian regime mirrored by the predicament of the French people of the time.

Howard Ashman's tongue-in-cheek musical “Little Shop of Horrors” comes to the stage on March 17-20 as a joint effort between the university's theatre arts and music programs. A blend of science fiction, comedy and musical, the play tells the story of a florist who nurses a man-eating plant back to health, then makes a deadly pact with the plant to win the woman he loves. With book and lyrics by Howard Ashman and music by Alan Menken, the show won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical in 1983. Western's production will feature musical direction by Bradley Martin, instructor of music, and choreography by Amy Dowling, assistant professor of dance.

The season will close with the mystery David Auburn's “Proof,” directed by Claire Eye, instructor of theatre arts. The play tells the story of a disputed mathematical proof found among the abandoned notebooks of a brilliant but unstable professor, and his daughter's search for the truth while confronting her family's twin legacies of madness and genius. Hailed by Variety as “wonderfully funny” and “ambitiously constructed,” “Proof” will be staged April 20-24.

For more information about season tickets or Patron Club memberships, contact the department of communication, theatre and dance at (828) 227-7491, or visit http://theatre.wcu.edu . Tickets also will be available for individual productions.

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Last modified: Friday, March 28, 2014 | Originally published: Tuesday, September 14, 2004
Copyright 2004 by Western Carolina University