June 2, 2023

UMW’s ‘Bee’ Leaves Audiences Spellbound

U-n-e-x-p-e-c-t-e-d. Unexpected. Definition: unforeseen; surprising. Used in a sentence: University of Mary Washington Theatre’s season-closer, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, is filled with UNEXPECTED and fun twists. In a battle of spelling prowess, this musical spells out what it’s like to be kids uncomfortable in their own skin and conveys the challenges of […]

UMW Theatre Plans Reflective In-Person Season

Mina Sollars sums up UMW Theatre’s upcoming season in a single word: revival. “Preparing for the first in-person performances on campus in more than a year is such an honor,” Sollars, a University of Mary Washington junior, said of the lineup, which kicks off tomorrow at 7:30 with a pay-what-you-can preview performance in duPont Hall’s […]

UMW Presents a Palette of Pandemic-Era Arts

Soon after the University of Mary Washington Chamber Choir performed live in the James Farmer Hall atrium last March, UMW went totally online, and singing was deemed a “super-spreader” activity. Last fall, UMW Choirs sang together again – virtually – performing In Te Domine Speravi. The new piece by composer Sarah McDonald focuses on isolation, […]

Alum Skyrockets in Career as NASA Videographer

Paul Morris ’10 grew up recording epic space battles on stop-action film. He’d pose and re-pose Star Wars figures, capturing them with a Sony Super 8 camera that kept conking out. Now a video producer for NASA, Morris’s outer-space odysseys are a bit more high-tech. A documentary he created – from conception to final cut […]

Video Spotlights Theatre Students, Broadway Stars

When UMW Theatre performed Adam Gwon’s musical Ordinary Days in February, students couldn’t anticipate that just weeks later, they’d yearn for rehearsals with castmates and performances in front of live audiences. They also couldn’t have guessed they’d get to sing one of Gwon’s songs alongside Broadway stars. Seven UMW Theatre students were selected to appear […]

Actors Split Role in UMW Musical ‘Fun Home’

A pivotal scene in UMW Theatre’s upcoming musical features the protagonist recalling a drive she took with her late father. Struggling to find the words, they sing a heartbreaking duet about their failure to have an open and honest conversation. “I’ve lived that exact moment, looking out the car window because I didn’t know what […]

UMW Theatre Continues 2018-19 Season with Merrily We Roll Along

UMW Theatre will continue its 2018-19 season with Merrily We Roll Along, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by George Furth. Performances will be Nov. 1-3, Nov. 8-10, and Nov. 14-17 at 7:30 p.m., and Nov. 4, 10, 11, 17, and 18 at 2:00 p.m. in Klein Theatre, duPont Hall at the University […]

UMW Theatre Opens 2018-19 Season with The Amish Project

A generation ago, Broadway responded to rocketing ticket prices with a “rush line,” helping bring New York theatre back into the mainstream. This week, UMW Theatre joined the best in the business when it kicked off its 2018-19 season with a pay-what-you-can preview performance of The Amish Project by Jessica Dickey on Wednesday, Sept. 19. Patrons could quite literally pay whatever they could afford for the special production, which began at 7:30 p.m. in Klein Theatre, located inside the University of Mary Washington’s duPont Hall. Regularly priced tickets are $20; students, senior citizens, alumni and the military usually pay $16. “We want to be certain that our work is accessible to the widest audience possible and we hope this initiative removes any economic barrier to attending live theatre in Fredericksburg,” said Gregg Stull, professor and chair of the Department of Theatre & Dance and director of The Amish Project. “Professional theatres throughout the country have included pay-what-you-can performances in their seasons for more than 25 years. We want to share our work with as many people as we can and we hope this will open our doors to people who might not otherwise attend a performance in Klein Theatre.” To that end, each of UMW Theatre’s 2018-19 productions will include an opening, pay-what-you-can performance. Regular performances of The Amish Project will be held Sept. 20-22 and Sept. 26-29 at 7:30 p.m., and Sept. 23, 29 and 30 at 2 p.m. in Klein Theatre. AfterWords, a post-show talkback with the cast, will take place after the matinee performance on Sept. 23. The Amish Project, which features a cast of UMW theatre students from around the country, is a fictional depiction of factual events: a tragic shooting that took place in a one-room schoolhouse in an Old Order Amish community. In October of 2006, a gunman entered the West Nickel Mines schoolhouse in a village in Bart Township, Lancaster, Pennsylvania and opened fire before turning the gun on himself. Through the stories of these imagined characters, Jessica Dickey explores unconditional forgiveness and reconciliation within the Amish community in the wake of this tragedy. From cast member and stage manager to costume construction and lighting design, UMW students have taken front seat roles in the theatre production, directed by Stull. Scenic design is by assistant professor Michael Benson, and costume design is by associate professor Kevin McCluskey. Lighting and sound design are by guest designers Catherine Girardi and Jon K. Reynolds, respectively. The Amish Project was originally written and performed by Jessica Dickey as a one-woman, multiple character show, which premiered at the New York International Fringe Festival in 2008. After being workshopped, the play opened Off-Broadway in 2009, and has since been adapted for an ensemble. For more information, call the Klein Theatre Box Office at 540-654-1111 or visit www.FredTix.com.