Grab a season ticket, an atlas and a carpetbag because Fort Hays State University's Fringe Theatre is ready to act up and act out in the 2005-06 theatre season. Four plays and a bonus production will take theatre-goers "Around the World with Fringe."
The schedule's first stop is 1930s Berlin and a visit to the "Cabaret." The musical will run two weekends: Sept. 30 through Oct. 2 in conjunction with Homecoming activities and the following weekend, Oct. 7-9.
Brenda Meder, the musical's director, describes Fringe's version of the play as "an homage to the Broadway show," which ended its six-year run last year. "It's more raw," Meder said. "It's real and it's honest."
"Cabaret" follows the love affair between night club performer Sally Bowles, played by Andrea Crees, Hays graduate student, and American writer Clifford Bradshaw, played by Mario Lazoya, Cunningham junior. It also provides a look at life in Germany as Hitler rises to power.
Terry Crull, instructor of music at FHSU, will direct the music for the show and Jackie Creamer will serve as choreographer. Creamer choreographed the department's production of "Gypsy" last year.
Having worked up an appetite during all the singing and dancing, the actors invite patrons to "Dinner with Friends," which is set in Connecticut and New York. The show will run from Nov. 17-20. Dr. Kim Miller, instructor of communication studies at FHSU and Fringe Theatre sponsor, will direct the production of Donald Margulies' Pulitzer Prize-winning play.
The play "touches everyone's lives," said Miller.
"Dinner" centers on two couples' friendship. Gabe and Karen are food critics who enjoy cooking and have been close friends with Tom and Beth for more than a decade. The play focuses on dinners shared by the couples throughout the course of their relationship.
Because everyone enjoys a full stomach and a good laugh, Fringe's next stop is England in the mid- to late-1600s for "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged."
This play takes the audience on a humorous journey through all 37 of Shakespeare's plays in less than two hours.
"It's a spoof with a 'Monty Python' type humor, a full-out buffoon comedy," said Bruce Bardwell, assistant professor of communication studies and the show's director.
Bardwell has built sets for FHSU theatre productions for nearly 20 years, but this show will be the first time in a decade that he will direct a production.
The last stop on the season's voyage will be another chapter from a literature textbook. A performance of "A Doll's House" promises to make Norway, circa the late 1800s, more entertaining than sitting through a lecture.
"It's part of the theatre department's educational service, but it's still a gripping play," said Miller.
The show centers on Nora and her husband, Torvald. When Nora tries to help Torvald with a business problem, his response is not what she expects. She then must look at her marriage and make decisions about her life.
"A Doll's House" will run from April 27-30. Miller will again direct.
Shows begin at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. All performances are in Felten-Start Theatre in Malloy Hall on the FHSU campus.
Tickets for each show are $8 for FHSU students and $10 for non-students.
Season tickets are available now through Oct. 9. The public can purchase tickets for $30 per set and FHSU students can purchase them for $15.
The season also includes a special production. In conjunction with the interdisciplinary Women and Gender Studies program, Fringe Theatre will present "The Vagina Monologues," directed by Erin Renard, FHSU graduate student. The show will begin at 8 p.m. from March 2-4 in Felten-Start Theatre.
Ticket prices for this production have not yet been set; however, season ticket holders can purchase tickets for half price. All proceeds will be given to a local women's charity.
Special contributor packages are available. The Patron package provides two season tickets for a $75-$124 donation. Sponsors receive four season tickets for a $125-$224 donation. Angels receive eight season tickets for a $225-$324 donation. Benefactors receive 12 season tickets for a $325-$424 donation. Underwriters receive 16 season tickets for a donation of $425 or more.
For more information or to purchase tickets contact Tara Neitzel, ticket booth manager, at (785) 628-4225 or firstname.lastname@example.org.