The Appalachian State University Department of Theatre and Dance will present nine productions during the 2018–19 season, a year that marks the 25th anniversary of its primary performance venue, the Valborg Theatre. Running from early September through the end of April, productions include award-winning plays and original dance works:
- American Dance Festival’s “Movies by Movers” Film Festival
- First Year Showcase
- “The Laramie Project” by Moisés Kaufman
- “The Wolves” by Sarah DeLappe
- Fall Appalachian Dance Ensemble
- “Eurydice” by Sarah Ruhl
- Spring Appalachian Dance Ensemble
- “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by William Shakespeare
- “The Ugly Duckling” by Larry and Vivian Snipes
Department Chair Kevin Warner, associate professor of dance studies at Appalachian, noted that the season includes three works recently named among the 25 best American plays of the last quarter century by the by the New York Times, plus Shakespeare’s most popular classic comedy.
“I’m proud that our faculty chose these selections long before that list was published,” he said. “In addition, we take pride in the fact that more than a dozen dance works will be produced this season. From dance on film and world premiere works by our exceptional faculty and guest artists, to original dance pieces by our talented student choreographers, the full range of the art of dance will be on display for audience members and dance enthusiasts throughout the region.”
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Valborg Theatre, which opened in the spring of 1994 with a production of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” the department is offering this production as well. Dr. Derek Davidson, assistant professor and chair of the play selection process, is pleased with the committee’s decision to revisit Shakespeare’s work as part of this anniversary season.
“What better way to mark the occasion than by reviving the first play ever produced in Valborg Theatre?,” he said.
According to Davidson, “the season truly represents the best of what the American theatre has to offer. Each play will challenge our students, faculty and staff to even greater levels of accomplishment, and will expose our dedicated audiences to works with which they may be unfamiliar, as well as a beloved comedy by the world’s most produced playwright. Undoubtedly, our theatre and dance patrons will be delighted.”
Tickets are available in person at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts box office weekdays 9 a.m.–5 p.m., by phone at 828-262-4046 and online at www.theatreanddance.appstate.edu. A full schedule of the 2018–19 season follows.
The 2018–19 Season
American Dance Festival’s “Movies by Movers” Film Festival
Sept. 13–15, times vary
Turchin Center for the Visual Arts and Varsity Gym
“Movies by Movers” is an annual festival dedicated to the celebration of the conversation between the body and the camera. The festival contributes to the history of collaboration between the art of live movement and the perpetual nature of film. Students, emerging artists, seasoned professionals, even those who would not consider themselves “artists,” but have great ideas, find room in festival to share their craft.
First Year Showcase
Sept. 26–29 at 7 p.m., Sept. 30 at 2 p.m.
I.G. Greer Studio Theatre
This popular showcase is a fast-paced, high-energy performance by new students. The theme for the 2018 showcase is “Time,” and the record-breaking incoming class of 73 students will make their Appalachian debut. First-year theatre and dance students will present devised scenes and perform original choreographic work. Pieces featured in the showcase are personal to the performers, highlighting their past and current experiences.
“The Laramie Project”
by Moisés Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project
Oct. 2–5 and 7–9 at 7 p.m., Oct. 7 at 2 p.m.
This play was inspired by the reaction to the 1998 murder of gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyoming. The murder was denounced as a hate crime and brought attention to the lack of hate crime laws in various states, including Wyoming. The play draws on hundreds of interviews conducted by the Tectonic Theatre Company with inhabitants of the town, company members' own journal entries, and published news reports. Ten actors portray more than sixty characters in a series of short scenes.
by Sarah DeLappe
Oct. 25–27, 29–30 and Nov. 1–3 at 7 p.m., Oct. 28 at 2 p.m.
I.G. Greer Studio Theatre
AstroTurf, orange slices, acceptance and anxiety. DeLappe's Pulitzer Prize nominated play offers a glimpse into the complex inner lives of nine teenage girls on an elite girls' soccer team. Each has a unique story, but they share a common history. Will their community hold through crisis?
Fall Appalachian Dance Ensemble
Nov. 14–17 at 7 p.m., Nov. 18 at 2 p.m.
This popular annual concert features Appalachian faculty, students and guest artists showcasing their talents in choreography and performance. The 2018 fall choreographers include students Hayley Beichkart, Rachel Bohannon, Emma Dubinski and Lyndsey Porter, faculty members Emily Daughtridge, Susan Lutz and Ray Miller, along with new work by guest artist Laura Pettibone.
by Sarah Ruhl
Feb. 20–23 at 7 p.m., Feb. 24 at 2 p.m.
Two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist Sarah Ruhl revisits this well-known legend of Orpheus and Eurydice. Called a “beautiful” and “innovative” drama by critics, Eurydice tells the story of a young woman who is caught between memory and reality, romance and family, the world of life and the world of death. The depiction of Eurydice, while whimsical and original, shows the power of theater to mirror the human condition, reminding us that although sorrow may be inescapable, loss unavoidable, and death inevitable, the bonds of love transcend them all.
Spring Appalachian Dance Ensemble
March 21–24 at 7 p.m., March 25 at 2 p.m.
This popular annual concert features Appalachian faculty, students and guest artists showcasing their talents in choreography and performance. The 2019 spring concert is scheduled to include work by faculty Laurie Atkins, Cara Hagan, Sherone Price and Chris Yon, as well as a choreographic world premiere by an internationally-known guest artist.
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
by William Shakespeare
April 10–12 at 7 p.m., gala performance April 13 at 8 p.m., April 14 at 2 p.m.
Celebrating the 25thAnniversary of the Valborg Theatre, The Bard of Avon’s 1596 comedy portrays the events surrounding the marriage of Theseus, the Duke of Athens, to Hippolyta, former queen of the Amazons. Numerous subplots include the adventures of four young Athenian lovers and a group of six amateur actors, “The Mechanicals,” who are controlled and manipulated by the fairies who inhabit the forest in which most of the play is set. The play is one of Shakespeare's most popular works for the stage and is widely performed across the world.
“The Ugly Duckling”
by Larry and Vivian Snipes
Presented by Appalachian Young People’s Theatre (AYPT)
April 26 at 7 p.m., April 27–28 at 2 p.m.
I.G. Greer Studio Theatre
In a comfortable, cozy campsite filled with shadows and stories — yours, ours, Hans Christian Andersen’s, and more — one duckling is learning to navigate the waterways of life. Discovering who you truly are challenges everyone, but especially the Ugly Duckling. This adaptation of a beloved children’s classic puts the familiar story in a completely new light – with a special AYPT twist!
About the Department of Theatre and Dance
The Department of Theatre and Danceis one of seven departments housed in Appalachian’s College of Fine and Applied Arts. Its mission is to facilitate transformative experiences for students and the public, which cultivate compassionate, creative and collaborative communities through theatre and dance. The department also offers coursework for integrated learning through the arts to the general university student population. Its dynamic co-curricular production program provides exemplary theatre and dance experiences to departmental students, the university community and the region.
Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.