While I love drama, the other mask wears just as well, and I am a self proclaimed glutton for comedy! So I am tickled to share that our 25th Theatre Series season opener will be A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum. This hilarious musical with book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart, and based on the plays of Plautus combines classic comedy with the music and lyrical stylings of Stephen Sondheim, one the most accomplished musical theatre composers in history. Described as a “non-stop-laugh-fest,” this show combines timeless comedic situations with the infectious energy of vaudeville theatre. I love a good laugh, and this play is one of America’s most celebrated musical comedies!
After the Roman romp of Forum, we will continue the Summer with some romantic comedy, some historical laughs, and some imaginative mystery. Almost, Maine, our second 2014 Theatre Series production, is a bittersweet, romantic comedy that we will produce in our Elbow Room space. This show equally warms the heart while tugging the heart strings. On a hot summer day in the Valley, let us take you to Almost, Maine, where, on a wintery cold night, the town’s residents are falling in and out of love in a variety of unique ways.
Our Summer Conservatory Youth and Family Production featuring local high school aged youth together with members of our professional summer company is Aristophanes’ The Frogs, which features historical homage, hilarity, and mythological adventure in one dynamic production.
To carry us into early September, we will produce a true tour-de-force of a show, The 39 Steps. This show, adapted by Patrick Barlow from the novel by John Buchan, is humorously based on the Alfred Hitchcock movie of the same name. The spy genre and Monty Python-style antics combine in this fast-paced, whodunit, featuring a dynamically talented cast of four actors who play over 150 characters. If you count yourself among those who love the magic of theatre, you will devour this show! Later in the fall, we will produce a classic of the French variety with The Miser, by Molière, a dynamically vivid satire of love, family and farce. And for the 2014 Holiday Season we will again be producing Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates, adapted by Festival Theatre favorite James L. Walker.
You may want to read more about the upcoming shows here on the website, where you will also find opening and closing dates for each show. Remember, our 2014 Flex Passes are eligible for our entire Theatre Series and if you order before January 1, you will also get a free pair of tickets to either our Spring Youth & Family Series production Aesop’s Fables (classics with a moral), or our Conservatory production of The Frogs.
This past year has been incredible, and it is hard to say goodbye to all those shows, characters, sets, props and people. We had a great group of artists produce one of the largest seasons Festival has ever undertaken. I am so proud to work amongst the staff, the artists that dedicate their talents to our productions, the amazing community that supports this local gem and our artistic home, the arts ambassadors that volunteer with Festival Theatre as ushers, committee members, Action Group members, board members, and Host Home hosts, our generous contributors, and our returning and new patrons.
I am also immensely grateful for the many other artists, administrators, volunteers, donors, and community members who helped to build this organization and create a place for live theatre in St. Croix Falls over the past quarter century. Many of you I have had the joy of meeting, many more I have not, but I am thankful for all of you and the work we have shared. Whether you showcased your talents on stage, in the office, or anywhere else we needed you, whether you have been here from the beginning or are seeing your first production this holiday season, we are grateful to you for helping Festival Theatre continue it’s mission by being a part of this community. I couldn’t be more proud to be working on our upcoming season with the entire Festival Theatre team, including all of the volunteers, patrons, contributors and community of seasons past, present and future.
Happy holidays, a joyous new year, and many thanks for all the life, love and laughs we have shared--and here’s to many more to come! See you in 2014!
Associate Artistic Director