Wright State announces spring arts lineup

Dayton native and Wright State University alumna Renika Williams has been cast as Willow in Mindy Kaling's upcoming TV series "The Sex Lives of College Girls."

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Dayton native and Wright State University alumna Renika Williams has been cast as Willow in Mindy Kaling's upcoming TV series "The Sex Lives of College Girls."

Events to be held online, outdoors

Wright State University’s Department of Theatre, Dance and Motion Pictures ushers in spring with an assortment of classic, contemporary, original and reinvented programming slated March 26-May 2.

Defined by organizers as a “compressed season of COVID-safe and easily accessible” options, the schedule encompasses both online and outdoors. However, if circumstances change due to health concerns, there will be immediate plans to adapt in order to accommodate.

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“Both our students and audiences are starved for performance experiences,” said Joe Deer, chair and artistic director. “So, we’ve taken a creative leap into making productions in ways that are unlike anything we’ve done before. Our thought is, if we can’t bring the audience to the show, we’ll take the show to our audiences. This spring, we’ll present events online or in-person virtually every week. So, our audiences are in for a creative cornucopia of incredible student talent. As always, the variety of plays, musicals, choreography and film subjects and styles is as impressive as the student talent.”

The lineup consists of:

March 26-28, 2021

Online Contemporary Musical Song Cycle

“The Theory of Relativity” by Neil Bartram and Brian Hill

Directed for video by Greg Hellems

Musical direction by F. Wade Russo

This moving, unconventional song cycle addresses interconnection through life’s shared experiences. Purchase tickets at https://www.showtix4u.com/event-details/49156 or follow the link at www.wright.edu/tdmp box office tab.

April 3-4, 2021

In-Person Outdoor Classical Drama

“Hamlet: unloaded” by William Shakespeare

Directed and adapted by Josh Aaron McCabe

This rough, contemporary and energetic 90-minute adaptation features nine actors playing all the roles in outdoor, physically distanced, early-evening performances on the Creative Arts Center loading dock. Free to the public by advance ticket required through Theatre Box Office at 937-775-2500 or Jamie.Suttle@wright.edu. Donations will be accepted online or in-person.

April 10-11, 2021

In-Person Outdoor Classical Drama

“Antigone” by Sophocles, translated by Nicholas Rudall

Directed by John Lavarnway

This classic struggle between a sister’s conscience and her government’s policy will be performed at WSU’s outdoor amphitheater. Free to the public by advance ticket required through Theatre Box Office at 937-775-2500 or Jamie.Suttle@wright.edu. Donations will be accepted online or in-person.

April 16-18, 2021

Online Dance Concert

Wright State University Dance Ensemble in Concert

Six dance pieces created by WSU faculty as well as regional and nationally renowned guest choreographers will highlight the artistry of BFA Dance students. Purchase tickets at https://liberal-arts.wright.edu/theatre-dance-and-motion-pictures/box-office-and-current-season#upcoming

April 22, 2021 at 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Online Film Festival

Big Lens Film Festival

Students in WSU’s Tom Hanks Center for Motion Pictures supply an array of short films ranging from documentary to contemporary drama to comedies. Drive-in Showings at Dixie Twin Drive-In: https://dixietwin.com/

April 24-25, 2021

In-Person Outdoor Performance Festival

Parking Lot Fringe Festival

Marya Spring Cordes, Festival Director

This outdoor festival of original short student musical, movement, acting, and improvisation will be held on the Creative Arts Center’s front steps and in the safety of the parking lot. Ticketing information will be available at https://liberal-arts.wright.edu/theatre-dance-and-motion-pictures/box-office-and-current-season#upcoming

April 30, May 1-2, 2021

Online Contemporary Musical Theatre

“Fugitive Songs” by Chris Miller and Nathan Tysen

Directed for video by Jamie Cordes

Musical Direction by Melissa Yanchak

This innovative song cycle blends traditional folk music with contemporary pop and gospel. It will also be filmed on the stage of the Festival Playhouse. Purchase tickets at https://www.showtix4u.com/event-details/49156 or follow the link at www.wright.edu/tdmp box office tab

WSU alumna cast in new Mindy Kaling TV series

Dayton native Renika Williams, who received her B.F.A. in acting from Wright State University, has been cast in Mindy Kaling’s upcoming comedy series for HBO Max “The Sex Lives of College Girls.” She will portray Willow, a student at the prestigious New England Essex College. She will also be seen in season 2 of Amazon’s “Modern Love” opposite Dominique Fishback (“Judas and the Black Messiah”). Her stage work includes Off-Broadway productions of “All the Natalie Portmans” at MCC Theater and “The Climb” at Cherry Lane Theatre. She has also appeared in Indiana Repertory Theatre’s “Pipeline,” Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s “A Raisin in the Sun,” Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park’s “To Kill a Mockingbird,” National Black Theatre’s “Sweet,” and Wright State’s “Romeo and Juliet.”

Contact this contributing writer at rflorence2@gmail.com.

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