Pirates of Penzance to Open April 4-6

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Buckhannon, WV- The West Virginia Wesleyan College Department of Theater & Dance is partnering with the Department of Music to produce Gilbert & Sullivan’s exuberant musical theatre masterpiece Pirates of Penzance. The play runs Thursday and Friday, April 4 and 5 at 8 p.m., and twice on Saturday, April 6 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

A rollicking band of goofy pirates, a gaggle of giggling sisters, “the very model of a modern Major-General,” and a batch of blundering policemen frolic through this charming, ridiculous classic. The silly, fast-paced show is perfect family fun.

The show is directed by Thomas Schoffler ’97, assistant professor of musical theatre, and conducted by Dr. R. Daniel Hughes, concert chorale director, with musical direction by Dr. Mandy Spivak, choreography by Katherine Smart-Hughes, sets designed by Karim Badwin ’99, assistant professor of dramatic arts, and costumes designed by Rebecca Nelson. The production team also features guest lighting designer from New York City, Jay Scott. Wesleyan music department students and staff fill out the live orchestra, featuring adjunct instructor of piano, Marie Mallory.

Dashing pirate apprentice Frederic is played by sophomore Micah Spiece from Lewisburg, WV; vivacious soprano Mabel is portrayed by freshman Bethany Gardner, of Eighty Four, PA; The Major General comes to life through Charleston, WV native Phil Fisher; the Sergeant of the Police is played by senior Tim Brown, of Upper Marlboro, MD; and junior Amy M. Hein from Morgantown, WV plays the put-upon nursemaid Ruth.

“The West Virginia Wesleyan College Theatre Department is an excellent group of people to work with; even though I am not a theatre major, they have always been very welcoming,” said Hein. “We have been working hard on this production since September, and I have no doubt that it is going to show!”

The flamboyant Pirate King is played by Wesleyan’s Director of Admission and Buckhannon theatrical regular John Waltz ’01.

“Working on Pirates of Penzance has been a great opportunity to interact with students in a different way than I get to in my professional role at the College,” said Waltz. “It is awesome to watch them come from being involved in Greek life, other arts groups, athletics, leadership roles and so many other things and jump into a creative process. Their effort is always so good that it is challenging and tiring to keep up. More than anything, I appreciate that I consider many of the students friends and colleagues and am appreciative that they care to make me laugh and give me a hard time every day–the two kindest things anyone can do for me.”

The cast also features other members of the campus community and Concentus Vocum, including Holden Akers-Toler (Beckley, WV), Jared Ballard (Jane Lew, WV), Zach Bolon (Beckley, WV), Cassie Cline (Parkersburg, WV), Tyler Dos Santos (Herndon, VA), Marilyn Evans (Delaware, OH), Teneille Garton (Weston, WV), Joseph Greer (Bridgeport, WV), Lily Kurfman (Rochester, IL), Rachel Leigh (Buckhannon, WV), Molly McBride (Mechanicsburg, PA), Laura Mekhail (Egypt), Alex Richardson (Oak Hill, WV), Megan Richmond (Beaver, WV), Tiffany Renee (Brooklyn, NY), Jamie Wagner (Shrewsbury, PA), Caleb Waybright (Elkins, WV), Corinne Weaver (Oakland, MD), and James Young (Teays Valley, WV).

All performances take place in the Culpepper Auditorium in the Virginia Thomas Law Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are available at the door one hour prior to show time. Ticket prices are as follows: $3 for WVWC students, faculty, and staff (with ID); $5 for non–WVWC students and seniors; and $7 for adults.

For more information on Pirates of Penzance other theatre performances, contact Thomas Schoffler at schoffler_t@wvwc.edu or 304-473-8810.

The Arts Alive! series is sponsored by the 88 Restaurant & Lounge and Bicentennial Inn.