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Alexis Harvey

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The department of theatre and dance will be producing three different shows this year, ranging from Shakespeare all the way to musical theater.   

“As an art form in which human beings are both the medium and message, our productions provide an ideal way for our students to explore the highs and lows of the human experience,” said department chair and UM-Flint alumnus William Irwin.

“Romeo and Juliet”

The first show of the 2015-2016 school year is a Shakespearean classic, and according to the play’s director, Janet Haley, this is going to be nothing like the high school’s production.

“[We’re] exploding some, maybe, assumptions about what Romeo and Juliet is. That it’s some kind of sentimental love story,” said Haley, who is also an Artistic Associate with the Michigan Shakespeare Festival.

“We’re emphasizing the themes of violence. Their world is violent. You imagine it to be arson laden and bomb laden.” As part of this “explosion” of assumptions in this play, there will be moments where the actors will not be onstage but, as Haley stated, “in the audience’s laps.”

It is also emphasized that the struggles of the characters on stage are not too far from people of the real world.

“The young people are really struggling to find hope in this [fictional] world of conflict. I think that Genesee county and our campus community can relate to the struggles of these characters and of these circumstances and how it is hard to find hope or passion perhaps in an environment that is really struggling.”

Auditions will be held Sept. 8 6-10 p.m. at the theater main stage. See the call board in the theater department for audition details.

Romeo and Juliet will be run Oct. 30-31, Nov. 1, 6-8.

“The Call”

In this play written by Tanya Barfield, a white couple considers adoption of a baby from Africa and the people that are in their lives, be it friends or even neighbors, have very strong views on the decision.

“I decided quite early on that I wanted to direct a play written by a female playwright and preferably a writer of color,” said Andrew Morton, lecturer in the department of theatre and dance and the director of the show. He said he felt very strongly about bringing plays to the University which were written by people of diverse backgrounds for the diverse cast.

Auditions for “The Call” will take place later in the Fall semester, and the show will run from Jan.

29-31 and Feb. 5-7.

Morton urges students of all majors to audition, and if one is unsure or nervous he offers his personal assistance to prepare potential actors for the audition. Morton may be reached at [email protected] or in the theatre department office on the second floor of French Hall.

“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”

The musical selection for this season is a Tony award winning show that focuses on six kids who compete in a spelling bee as they are on the cusp of puberty. According to the department website, “The outsiders use competition to define themselves apart from their crazy families, while their struggle to escape childhood is overseen by grown-ups who never escaped it themselves.”

Auditions for “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” will be held in the Winter semester and the show will run from March 25-26 and April 1-3.

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