Theatre Department Announces 2015-2016 Season

Published August 7, 2015 at 11:33 am Theatre production season

Life is an adventure and Butler Community College theatre students invite the public to get in on the action with the productions slated for the stage in the coming academic year.

Butler’s Theatre Department has selected “Adventure” as the theme and will bring to life in the coming months old classics as well as original work.

“This year we are giving our 2015-2016 theatre audiences a Season of Adventures. Adventures that are filled with great laughter, heart-tugging and thrilling, meaningful lessons and heart breaking,” said Bob Peterson, Butler professor of theatre and speech.

Four productions are on the schedule with the first play, “Tom Jones,” launching in early October. “Tom Jones” is a farce adapted by Mark Brown from “The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling” by Henry Fielding. Mark your calendars now for October 1 and 2 at 7:30 p.m., and October 3 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

This new adaptation of Henry Fielding’s 18th century novel, “Tom Jones,” tells the story of the life, loves and adventures of the charming and rascally title character. Fielding reinvented comedy and filled “Tom Jones” with fresh, new concepts. Playwright Mark Brown, in his 21st century adaptation of Fielding’s novel, has thrown in the splash-dash of the Marx Brothers and heaping helpings of Monty Python silliness. A charming tale full of timeless wit and good old-fashioned, bawdy fun.

In November, “Tarzan®, The Stage Musical,” based on the Disney film and adapted from the story “Tarzan of the Apes” by Edgar Rice Burroughs and book by David Henry Hwang, will be performed November 19 and 20 at 7:30 p.m., and November 21 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Based on the animated movie with a fun score by musician Phil Collins, Tarzan comes to life on the stage as the man raised by apes soars through the jungle discovering who he really is.  

Butler’s Annual Children’s Theatre production will once again welcome “Alvin the Alligator,” to the spotlight February 20 at 2 p.m. in a brand new adventure. Written by Bob Peterson, Alvin, in his newest journey, shares the lesson of ‘facing your fears.’ A life lesson to be learned by children of all ages.

“The Last Lifeboat” by Luke Yankee will be performed April 14 and 15 at 7:30 p.m., and April 16 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. This memory play explores the life of J. Bruce Ismay, the Chairman of the White Star. The audience journeys from Ismay’s childhood, through the glory of building the Titanic and its tragic demise, to Ismay’s life after. It is the little-known story of inner conflict and the search for peace set against the backdrop of events surrounding the Titanic.

“What makes telling these adventures so exciting for us is that we have a wonderful and diverse group of theatre scholars coming in to tell those adventurous stories,” said Peterson of his current theatre students.

Peterson will direct “Tom Jones” and will write and direct the” Alvin the Alligator” adventure. Samuel Sparks, assistant professor of theatre, will direct “Disney’s Tarzan” and “The Last Lifeboat.” Matthew Udland, professor of music, will provide music direction for “Disney’s Tarzan.” Bernie Wonsettler, associate professor of theatre, will design scenery and lighting for all four productions.

Tickets for Butler Theatre productions range from $2-$5 and may be purchased from the Box Office either in person Monday-Friday, 1 to 5 p.m., or by calling (316) 322-3262, or online at www.butlercc.edu/finearts. Performances are held in the Fine Arts Auditorium located in the 700 building on the El Dorado campus.  

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