On with the show; Riverland Theatre enchants and entertains with upcoming season
Published 6:01 am Monday, August 24, 2015
Area audiences are in for an exceptional theater season at Riverland Community College, according to Riverland officials.
Challenging plays, comedies galore and more are part of the 2015-2016 Riverland Theatre season.
“I really felt that this year, we have such a strong crop of returning students, we had such a strong crop of community members,” Riverland Director Lindsey Duoos Williams said.
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The season opens Oct. 7 with the Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods.” The musical combines popular fairy tales as Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood, a childless baker and his wife all head into the woods to pursue their wishes.
“’Into the Woods’ is one that I’ve been wanting to do for a very long time,” Williams said. “This is a show that I’ve loved since I was young.”
The musical’s recent popularity stems from last year’s movie starring Anna Kendrick and Meryl Streep, but Williams believes the show’s true strength is its theatrical background.
“There’s nothing quite like seeing it onstage,” she said.
The fall season continues with “Dancing at Lughnasa” by Brian Friel, playing Nov. 18-22. This play tells the story of five unmarried sisters living out their lives in a small village in Ireland in 1936. The sisters struggle to make ends meet as they each negotiate their hopes and dreams throughout numerous obstacles.
The classic William Shakespeare comedy “Much Ado About Nothing” will be the first production of 2016, opening Feb. 24. “Much Ado About Nothing” is a classic tale surrounding the unlikely couple Beatrice and Benedick, whose love blossoms with every insult they hurl at each other. By the same token, a wonderful wedding among nobles is threatened by political scheming and silly policemen.
“We had talked about doing a Shakespeare this year, and 2016 is the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death,” Williams said. “So we thought it would be the perfect time.
Riverland’s season will finish with the Broadway musical “Young Frankenstein,” by comedic legend Mel Brooks. Frederick Frankenstein, grandson of the infamous Victor Frankenstein, inherits his family’s estate in Transylvania. With the help of a hunchbacked sidekick and a leggy lab assistant, Frederick finds himself in the mad scientist shoes of his ancestors as he brings to life a creature to rival his grandfather’s, with hilarious results.
“It’s a really beautiful play and one that we’ve never done at Riverland,” Williams said. “It really is probably the funniest movie ever made. All of us around here have been saying we can recite the movie from start to finish.”
Auditions for “Into the Woods” will be held Aug. 25 and 26 from 6 to 8 p.m. Auditions for “Dancing at Lughnasa” will be held Aug. 27 from 6 to 8 p.m. All auditions are held at the Frank W. Bridges Theatre on the Austin Campus, East Building. Actors will be given sides to read from the show and, if auditioning for “Into the Woods,” music will be taught. Although Riverland students are given priority in casting, auditions for all Riverland theater department productions are open to the public. Contact Lindsey Williams at 507-434-7390 or Lindsey.Williams@riverland.edu for more information.
Riverland 2015-16 season
Into the Woods
7:30 p.m. Oct. 7, 8, 9, 10;
2 p.m. Oct. 11
Dancing at Lughnasa
7:30 p.m. Nov. 18, 19, 20, 21;
2 p.m. Nov. 22
Much Ado About Nothing
7:30 p.m. Feb. 24, 25, 26, 27;
2 p.m. Feb. 28
7:30 p.m. April 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30;
1 p.m. Nov. 22