MVA 2020-21 Theatre Season Line-Up Announced
The Montverde Academy Theatre Department proudly announces the season’s line-up for the 2020-21 theatre season. This season will feature memorable theatrical presentations, spotlighting the Academy’s award-winning student performers who bring the characters to life with spectacular sets and outstanding costuming to captivate audiences of all ages. Due to COVID-19, the schedule is not final, however, the following shows are planned for the season.
“Social distancing and other restrictions have made designing this season challenging,” said Mr. Dean Bell, Montverde Academy Director of Arts. “MVA will have flexible options that ensure our students and audiences receive an amazing theatrical season, while being fluid enough to adjust to the ever-changing times. Whether delivered in the auditorium, outdoors, virtually, or via live-stream, audiences will continue to enjoy the highest quality entertainment from our Theatre Conservatory. We look forward to seeing you at our performances.”
This season opens with a timely piece, “Clybourne Park,” a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner. A sharp satire about the politics of race, playwright Bruce Norris designed “Clybourne Park” as scenes that bookend Lorraine Hansberry’s, “A Raisin in the Sun.” Set in 1959, Russ and Bev move out to the suburbs and sell their home to the neighborhood’s first black family. Fifty years later, a young white couple buys the home in the predominantly black neighborhood, signaling a new wave of gentrification. Both scenes prompt community showdowns, pitting race against real estate.
The next production to be staged is, “Edges,” a non-traditional musical and exciting show written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (author of “Dear Evan Hansen”) about burgeoning adults asking classic coming-of-age questions. This contemporary song cycle carries an honest voice advocating introspection while providing a witty and honest examination of adulthood, exploring what happens when we are teetering on the edges of our lives. The songs cover universal issues of love, identity, commitment, and meaning while characters confront emotions, escape expectations, and decipher complicated relationships.
Then, audiences will be swept up in familiar songs from the 1950s and ’60s with the production of “Smokey Joe’s Café.” This jukebox musical celebrates the timeless songs of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stolle and is infectiously fun. “Smokey Joe’s Café” features dozens of cherished hits and its propulsive, nonstop energy barely leaves the audience, let alone the ensemble, time to catch their breath. There’s no narration or particular structure, just one terrific number after another, soaring through musical styles of rock, pop, soul, R&B, gospel and doo-wop to keep toes tapping all night!
The play, “Noise,” is the first play commissioned by MVA’s Theatre Conservatory and was written by J. Andrew Norris and Ezra Brain, who were chosen for their writing style and personality. After spending a week with faculty and students, the writers crafted the script based on their feedback and topics. The show examines pressure and anxiety in adolescence, how both are exacerbated by the world we live in, and how peer groups are affected by these challenges. The result is a thoughtful, meaningful piece that seeks to realistically dissect the subject and demonstrate the need for greater awareness, support, and compassion for those affected by the epidemic of anxiety.
“Macbeth,” a Shakespearen tragedy, dramatizes the damaging physical and psychological effects of political ambition. It is the story of Macbeth, a brave Scottish general, who receives a prophecy that he will one day become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders King Duncan and assumes the Scottish throne. Wracked with guilt and paranoia, he is forced to commit more murders to protect himself, to become a tyrannical ruler. The bloodbath and consequent civil war swiftly take Macbeth and Lady Macbeth into the realms of madness and death.
The season concludes with the outrageous, crowd-pleasing musical farce, “Something Rotten.” Set in the 1590s, brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom are desperate to write a hit play to emerge from the shadow of Renaissance rock star known as “The Bard.” When a local soothsayer foretells that the future of theatre involves singing, dancing and acting at once, Nick and Nigel set out to write the world’s very first musical. Amidst the scandalous excitement of opening night, the Bottom Brothers realize that reaching the top means being true to thine own self, and all that jazz. Filled with wacky characters and over-the-top numbers, this evening of hilarity is sure to prove that “nothing’s as amazing as a musical.”
Please visit Montverde.org for details which will be updated as performance schedules are finalized.