November 11, 2019

Actors Split Role in UMW Musical ‘Fun Home’

In UMW Theatre’s production of Tony Award-winning musical ‘Fun Home,’ three actors – Madison Neilson, Olivia Whicheloe and Lydia Hundley – portray graphic novelist Alison Bechdel at various stages of her life. Photo by Geoff Greene.

In UMW Theatre’s production of Tony Award-winning musical ‘Fun Home,’ three actors – Madison Neilson, Olivia Whicheloe and Lydia Hundley – portray graphic novelist Alison Bechdel at various stages of her life. Photo by Geoff Greene.

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 to say to my dad,” said senior Lydia Hundley, who plays the college-aged Alison Bechdel, who later became a successful graphic novelist, in Fun Home. Hundley credits Bechdel’s critically acclaimed memoir and the musical it inspired for teaching her how to communicate with her own parents.

She’s one of three actors who will portray Bechdel at various stages of her life. Junior Madison Neilson plays her at age 10, and senior Olivia Whicheloe portrays her as an adult. The show, which continues UMW’s 2019-20 theatre season, kicks off tonight with a Pay-What-You-Can Preview Performance in Klein Theatre at 7:30 p.m. The box office opens at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Read more. 

Cast Gets Just Desserts in UMW’s ‘God of Carnage’

UMW's God of Carnage runs through Feb. 24.

UMW’s God of Carnage runs through Feb. 24.

Mary Washington theatre students are cooking up something special for their new production, God of Carnage. The comedic commentary on the modern-day strains of remaining civil amid controversy runs Feb. 14 to 24 in UMW’s Klein Theatre.

Two pairs of well-to-do parents sort through a playground altercation between their sons in the show, set entirely in the New York apartment of Michael and Veronica Novak, collectors of African art. Valued sculpture and masks mingle with thick stacks of books, sleek furniture and animal-print pillows in the posh, upscale apartment. But if one of the props looks good enough to eat, it’s because it is. Cast members gather in an off-campus kitchen to create the delicious clafoutis they nibble onstage.

Feigning ingesting a faux version of the dessert just wouldn’t do, said Director of Marketing and Audience Services Jon Reynolds. “In professional theatre, real food is consumed all the time. For the sake of authenticity, we replicate that practice here at UMW.”  Read more.

A Thirst for Theatre

Austin Bouchard finds his calling at UMW.

UMW Theatre Continues 2014-15 Season with “The Drunken City”

The University of Mary Washington’s Department of Theatre & Dance will continue its 2014-15 season with The Drunken City, a comedy by Adam Bock. Eaglevision-Drunken-Slide-webPerformances will take place Feb. 12-14 and 19-21 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 15, 21 and 22 at 2 p.m. in Klein Theatre, located in duPont Hall on UMW’s Fredericksburg campus. In The Drunken City, bride-to-be Marnie and her two bridesmaids, Linda and Melissa, take to the city that never sleeps for one last night of bachelorette fun. When they meet Frank and Eddie during their bar crawl, the bridal party becomes the only thing between the bride-to-be and a huge mistake. While exploring “Sex and the City” themes, the play proves that happiness and heartache are two sides of the same coin. Canadian playwright Adam Bock is the resident playwright at Encore Theatre and a Shotgun Players Artistic Associate. The Drunken City was originally commissioned by the Kitchen Theatre Company in Ithaca, New York and was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway Play in 2008. The Drunken City is directed by Gregg Stull, professor and chair of the Department of Theatre & Dance and Department of Music. Scenic design is by Associate Professor Julie Hodge and lighting design is by student designer Christopher Stull. Costume design is by Associate Professor Kevin McCluskey and sound design is by guest designer Jon K. Reynolds. On Friday, Feb. 13, the department will host a “Ladies Night Out” event at 5:30 p.m. which includes cocktails at the Hyatt Place Fredericksburg-Mary Washington and admission to the performance. In addition, the matinee performance on Sunday, Feb. 15 will be followed by Afterwords, a post-show talk with the cast. Tickets are $12 for standard admission and $10 for students, senior citizens and military. For further information on the events or to purchase tickets, call the Klein Theatre Box Office at (540) 654-1111 or visit http://www.umw.tix.com.