Wright State presents ‘Mamma Mia!,’ ‘Sweet Charity’ in 2021-2022

Full season of in-person productions embrace classic and contemporary tastes

As the 2021-2022 arts season gets underway, take a chance on Wright State University Theatre whose refreshing lineup includes a classic, rarely staged 1960s musical, a Pulitzer Prize-winning contemporary drama and the best of ABBA.

The university’s return to in-person productions begins with Ken Ludwig’s hilarious, Tony Award-nominated farce “Lend Me a Tenor” (directed by Joe Deer) followed by ABBA-friendly “Mamma Mia!” (directed and choreographed by Greg Hellems), Annie Baker’s off-Broadway community center drama class comedy “Circle Mirror Transformation” (directed by Josh Aaron McCabe in the downstairs, black box Herbst Theatre), Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize-winning and Tony Award-nominated blue-collar drama “Sweat” (directed by WSU alum Shaun Patrick Tubbs), Gilbert and Sullivan’s charming opera “The Gondoliers” (directed by Lee Merrill Hapner in the aforementioned Herbst Theatre), and Cy Coleman, Dorothy Fields and Neil Simon’s legendary musical “Sweet Charity” (directed by Marya Spring Cordes).

“In what will be among our most varied and exciting seasons ever, we’re proud to present plays, dance and musical theater that excites, challenges, celebrates and restores,” said Joe Deer, WSU artistic director, in a release.

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In addition, the Department of Theatre, Dance and Motion Pictures will present three dance concerts (fall student dance concert, emerging choreographers’ concert and spring dance concert) and two motion pictures events (Doc Night and Big Lens Film Festival).

“The elephant in the room is COVID,” Deer added. “At the moment, we’re planning to perform live and in-person, indoors. If things get worse, we’ll adjust and adapt, as always. And, we’ll keep our public informed as any of that changes. Meantime, we’re charging full steam ahead.”

For tickets or more information, visit wright.edu/tdmp or call the WSU Box Office at 937-775-2500 or 937-775-3789.

WRIGHT STATE’S 2021-2022 THEATRE AND DANCE SEASON

“Lend Me a Tenor” – Sept. 23-Oct. 3 – Festival Playhouse

“Mamma Mia!” – Oct. 29-Nov. 14 – Festival Playhouse

“Circle Mirror Transformation” – Nov. 19-Dec. 4 – Herbst Theatre

“Sweat” – Feb. 3-13 – Festival Playhouse

“The Gondoliers” – Feb. 18-27 – Herbst Theatre

“Sweet Charity” – March 24-April 3 – Festival Playhouse

Wright State Dance Concert – April 21-24 – Festival Playhouse

MOTION PICTURES EVENTS

Doc Night – Late fall semester (date TBA) – CAC 280 (Center Cinema)

Big Lens Film Festival – Late spring semester – (venue TBA)

ADDITIONAL DANCE EVENTS

Fall Student Dance Concert – Late fall semester – CAC Studio 170

Emerging Choreographers’ Concert – Early spring semester – CAC Studio 170

Credit: Wright State Alumni Association / Twitter

Credit: Wright State Alumni Association / Twitter

ADDITIONAL WRIGHT STATE UPDATES

  • Reality TV judge and Grammy-nominated pop star Nicole Scherzinger, who appeared in Wright State University’s productions of “Chicago” and “Show Boat” among others, has been cast as Grace, Daddy Warbucks’ secretary, in NBC’s Dec. 2 telecast of “Annie Live!” She joins Harry Connick, Jr. as Daddy Warbucks and Taraji P. Henson as Miss Hannigan. The recipient of the WSU 2017 Alumna of the Year Award, Scherzinger notably received an Olivier Award nomination for her portrayal of Grizabella in the 2014 production of “Cats” in London’s West End.
  • Tyrell Riggins, who gradated from Wright State University in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in theater studies, is the founder and artistic director of the Trinity Theatre Company, a youth performing arts organization and community theater in Columbus. The company’s upcoming season reportedly includes the musical “All Together Now” in the fall, and a children’s play, a Black history production, and “Godspell” next summer. He currently works at Cassady Elementary School in Columbus, where he started a drama club. His WSU credits included “Fences,” “Peter Pan,” “Romeo and Juliet” and “Les Misérables.”

Credit: SCOTT ROBBINS

Credit: SCOTT ROBBINS

DCDC PRESENTS ‘TAKING IT TO THE STREETS’

Dayton Contemporary Dance Company opens its 2021-2022 season next weekend with “Taking It to the Streets.”

Slated for Sunday, Aug. 29 at 7 p.m. at Dayton Levitt Pavilion, 134 S. Main St., the free, community-friendly concert is described as “the summer energy of a street party meets the innovation of site-specific performance.” An array of new routines will celebrate “Black joy and global culture.”

Special musical guests, activities and food trucks will be featured as well.

For more information, visit dcdc.org.

Contact this contributing writer at rflorence2@gmail.com.

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