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FSU Department of Theatre and Dance Plans Exciting, Varied Season

Comedies and classics, dance and drama are on tap for the 2009-2010 season of offerings from Frostburg State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance, showcasing the performance skills of FSU’s students, as well as student direction and choreography.

The 2009-2010 season will open with the “The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940” by John Bishop. The production will be presented Oct. 2, 3, 8, 9 and 10 at 7:30 p.m. with a matinee performance on Oct. 3 at 2 p.m. in the F. Perry Smith Studio Theatre

The creative team of a recent Broadway flop (in which three chorus girls were mysteriously murdered by the "stage door slasher") assembles at the estate of a wealthy benefactor to hold auditions for their new show. All goes according to plan until a blizzard cuts off connection to the outside and the "slasher" strikes again. Boasting an intriguing variety of suspenseful elements, including masked figures, an outlandish German maid, a bumbling police officer, flying knives, dropping bodies and secret passageways, “The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940” sparkles with comedic wit, as fingers point in all directions to reveal the slasher's identity ... before it's too late.

Next up in the season, is the Fall Dance Concert Series presented by The FSU Dance Company. Performances will be held Thursday, Oct. 22 through Saturday, Oct. 24. All performances are at 7:30 p.m. in the Drama Theatre.

The dance concert experience is a melding of movement and sound, enhanced by textural lighting and flowing costumes. Dance Company members will create choreography using dance styles ranging from lyrical and modern to jazz and ballet. Engaging and visually dynamic, the dance concerts celebrate the training and artistry of company members and professional guest artists alike. New this season is the addition of a Thursday evening performance.

“A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens will headline the holiday season at FSU. The play begins Dec. 4 and runs through Dec. 12. Show times are 7:30 p.m. with performances on December 4, 5, 9, 10, 11 and 12 at 7:30 p.m. Special matinee performances will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 5 and 12. All performances take place in the Drama Theatre.

Based on the classic book by Charles Dickens, “A Christmas Carol” tells an enthralling story of the redemption of a human soul. The play follows the ever-powerful Scrooge, a lonely and greedy miser, who, through the intervention of spirits and visions from his past, present and future, finds a second chance to become a caring, generous human being. This richly textured play brings the full spirit of Dickens’ London to life on stage. A delight for the eyes, ears and heart, “A Christmas Carol” is a holiday gift to experience with the whole family.

“Dark of the Moon” by Howard Richardson and William Berney will kick off the second half of the season. “Dark of the Moon” debuts Feb. 26, 2010. Shows are scheduled to run Feb. 26 and 27 and again March 4, 5 and 6. A matinee performance will be held on February 27 at 2 p.m. All other show times are 7:30 p.m. Performances will be held at the Drama Theatre.

Loosely based on the ancient folk song, “The Ballad of Barbara Allen,” “Dark of the Moon” is a powerful, mystical folk drama set in the mysterious and mesmerizing Smoky Mountains of Appalachia in the 1920s. A tale of tragic love, reminiscent of “Romeo and Juliet,” is at the heart of a story which depicts a clash of incongruent worlds -- the mountains where witches and other supernatural beings reside and the valley where the humans live. When John, a “witch boy,” falls in love with the beautiful, lusty mortal, Barbara Allen, he makes a pact with a conjurer to gain human status. His wish is granted on the condition that Barbara remains faithful to him for one year. But, myriad characters from both “worlds” conspire to thwart their happiness through a series of extraordinary, haunting, sometimes frightening plot twists. Simultaneously spectacular and intimate, “Dark of The Moon” contains the best elements of good theatre with truly magical appeal.

“Godspell”, based on The Gospel According to St. Matthew, is scheduled to run from April 16 until April 24, 2010. Shows are slated for April 16, 17, 22, 23 and 24. Special matinee performances are scheduled for April 17 and 24 at 2 p.m. All other show times are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Performances take place in the Drama Theatre. “Godspell” is presented with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and based off of the book by John-Michael Tebelak.

A rock musical celebration of the life and teachings of Jesus, “Godspell,” taken from an ancient word for “gospel,” is one of the most successful musicals in theatre history. Based on the teachings of St. Matthew, “Godspell” features a lively score by Stephen Schwartz and boasts a string of familiar songs, including “Day by Day,” that bring the parables of Jesus to contemporary life. Drawing from the theatrical traditions of clowning, magic, pantomime, charades, acrobatics and vaudeville, “Godspell” continues to attract audiences through rocking energy and a child-like faith in the goodness and boundless potential of people today.

The annual Spring Dance Concert by the FSU Dance Company will end the 2009-2010 season. The concert will be held on May 6 through 8 in the Drama Theatre. All show times begin at 7:30 p.m.

“Topdog/Underdog” by Suzan-Lori Parks will headline the Second Stage Series of student-directed plays in the month of November. Shows are set for Nov. 5, 6 and 7, with all shows beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the F. Perry Smith Studio Theatre.

Recipient of the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, “Topdog/Underdog,” a darkly comic fable, concerns two African American brothers, Lincoln and Booth, whose names were given to them as a joke by their father. Abandoned by both parents and forced to depend on one another for survival, the men, now in their 30s, struggle to shed their poverty amidst a past that is haunted by sibling rivalry and escalating resentment.

“Wonder of the World” by David Lindsay-Abaire will end the 2009-2010 Second Stage Series, running April 29, 30 and May 1, 2010. All show times are 7:30 p.m. and can be seen in the F. Perry Smith Studio Theatre. When Cass rummages through her husband’s sweater drawer, she learns a shocking secret – the kind that makes her question everything about life. As a result, she embarks on a journey of self-discovery. First stop, Niagara Falls, where Cass teams up with a suicidal alcoholic named Lois, who plans to end it all by going over the falls in a barrel. As the wild ride ensues, our heroine and her sidekick cross paths with a loner boat captain, wacky argumentative spies, a questionable clown psychologist and even the aforementioned husband. Altogether, Lindsay-Abaire's comedic and wacky play is a postcard invitation for laughter as riotous as the roar of Niagara Falls.

Season subscriptions are available. The Main Stage subscription offers the general public four tickets to Main Stage shows for $40, and the student subscription offers students six tickets to both Main Stage and Second Stage productions for $30. In addition to a cost savings, season subscribers can reserve tickets in advance of the general public. Individual tickets are $12 for general admission and $6 for students.

For more information about season subscriptions and individual ticket purchases or show times, call the Theatre and Dance box office at 301-687-7462, Monday through Friday 9 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 until 4 p.m.

FSU is committed to making all of its programs, services and activities accessible to persons with disabilities. To request accommodations through the ADA Compliance Office, call 301-687-4102 or use a Voice Relay Operator at 1-800-735-2258.

Situated in the mountains of Allegany County, Frostburg State University is one of the 13 institutions of the University System of Maryland. FSU is a comprehensive, residential regional university and serves as an educational and cultural center for Western Maryland. -end-

For further information on this release, contact:

Office of News and Media Services
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-3171
Fax: 301-687-7589