WMU News

Pirates dock at Shaw Theatre

Feb. 13, 2004

KALAMAZOO--Gilbert and Sullivan's classic "The Pirates of Penzance" opens opens Thursday, Feb. 19, for seven performances in Shaw Theatre at Western Michigan University.

Presented by the University Theatre and the School of Music, the hilarious musical will be staged at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 19-21 and 27-28, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 22.

"The Pirates of Penzance" tells the tale of Frederick, who was supposed to be apprenticed to a sailing pilot, but his hard-of-hearing nursery maid sent him to a pirate instead. When Frederick arrives on shore at the end of his apprenticeship, he stumbles upon the beautiful daughters of the Major General. The ensuing antics keep audiences in stitches as the pirate clan arrives on the scene and tries to lure him back to sea.

With such memorable songs as "I am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General" and "Poor Wandering One!," "The Pirates of Penzance" demonstrates why Gilbert and Sullivan have their own niche in the history of theatre.

"The Pirates of Penzance" is directed by James Daniels, professor of theatre, with musical direction by David Little, associate professor of music. Derrick Evans, a visiting professor in the Department of Dance, provides the choreography.

The cast includes students from both theatre and music, featuring seniors Kathryn Campbell, Chris Hodson, Kristin Kenning and Brian Wilson; junior Joel Gelman; sophomore Eric Cadena; and freshman Sandy Zwier. Designers include seniors Linda Ward, scenery, and Joe Wilhelm, sound; and faculty members Gwendolyn Nagle, costumes, and Matthew Knewtson, lighting.

The production includes cameo appearances in the role of Queen Victoria by WMU President Judith Bailey (Feb. 19); Kalamazoo Mayor Robert Jones (Feb. 20); Raymond Harvey, music director of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra (Feb. 21); D. Terry Williams, chair of the WMU Deparment of Theatre (Feb. 22); Marilyn Schlack, president of Kalamazoo Valley Community College (Feb. 26); Duwain Hunt, executive director of the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre (Feb. 27); and WMU President Emeritus Diether Haenicke (Feb. 28).

An opening night reception sponsored by T.E. Murch's Country Market follows the Feb. 19 performance, and a post-show discussion with the director and cast is scheduled for Feb. 26.

Seating is reserved. Tickets for "The Pirates of Penzance" may be purchased by calling (269) 387-6222 or visiting the University Theatre Ticket Office weekdays from noon to 5 p.m. Admission for the general public is $16, $12 for WMU faculty and staff and $7 for students. The box offices at Miller Auditorium and the Epic Center in downtown Kalamazoo also sell tickets to University Theatre productions.

The 2003-04 University Theatre season is made possible through a partnership with TIAA-CREF.

Media contact: Patrick Donnelly, 269 387-6222, patrick.donnelly@wmich.edu

WMU News
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