WMU News

University Theatre reprises award-winning musical Quilters

Nov. 2, 1999

KALAMAZOO -- The Western Michigan University Department of Theatre is proud to present its revival of the musical Quilters by Molly Newman and Barbara Damashek with music and lyrics by Barbara Damashek. The department's 1988 production of Quilters was an American College Theatre Festival Winner at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Performances are Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 4-6, beginning at 8 p.m. Ticket prices are $14 for adults, $12 for senior citizens and WMU faculty/staff, and $5 for WMU students. For reservations call the Gilmore Theatre Ticket Office at 616 387-6222.

Directed by Todd Neal, the new WMU director of music theatre performance, the story follows the journey of a frontier woman, her six daughters and the experiences and people that touched their lives.

"Quilters has always been on my list of shows to direct, so it's quite an easy transition for this to be my first show to direct at WMU," says
Neal. "My grandmother lived to be 100 years old, and she was a quilter from Kentucky. I feel as though she is helping guide me
through this experience."

Prior to his position at Western Michigan University, Neal was the director of theatre at Rutgers University. His other credits include directing professional cabarets in New York City as well as acting and directing in California, New York City, and the Midwest. He also was an Irene Ryan Acting Award Winner at the 1987 American College Theatre Festival. He received his Bachelor of Science from Northern Michigan University and his Master of Fine Arts from Ohio State University.

The production features senior Dana Piccoli as the mother, Sarah Bonham. Her daughters are played by junior Erica Baker, freshman Sarah
Ball, sophomore Laura Buono, junior Anjanette Hall, sophomore Tiffany LaVoie, and sophomore Alyssa Wilmoth. The talented students working behind the scenes are Ellen P. Stockbridge (scenic/costume designer), Jerome J. Hoppe, Jr. (lighting designer), Trisha Hausmann (assistant director), and Andrea Mitchell (stage manager).

Two guest artists were brought in to assist with the production. Aaron Cassette, who is serving as the music director, has a Bachelor of Arts
in Education from Western Michigan University and has worked on many productions in the Kalamazoo area, including shows at many high schools and community theatres. Jennifer Mesch, the choreographer, is a recent alumna of the Western Michigan University Dance Department and has worked on shows at the API and Civic Theatres in Kalamazoo.

Media contact: Shauna Thieman, 616 387-6222, shauna.thieman@wmich.edu

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