Wagner College Theater Opens 2010-11 Season wtih CINDERELLA 10/6


The Wagner College Theater season opens in October with Rodgers & Hammerstein's "Cinderella" and Lanford Wilson's "Burn This."

Wagner College's theater program has consistently been ranked among the top five collegiate stage programs in the nation by the Princeton Review.

"Cinderella," guest directed by Drew Scott Harris, kicks off the Main Stage season. Harris directed "Beauty and the Beast" last spring on the Main Stage. He has directed over 150 plays on and off Broadway, including the Broadway production of "Ain't Broadway Grand," for which he was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Direction. Harris is leading the cast of "Cinderella" in a new direction, beyond the fairy-tale aspects of this Broadway standard.

"Drew asked us to think about how we would react in real life when we deal with the emotions of the play," said Jill Butterfield (Cinderella).

"He made us look at Cinderella in a different light," said Regan Featherstone (Prince Charming). "We're bringing the characters to life in such a way that the audience can relate to them."
Among the cast members are seniors Butterfield, Featherstone, Jacqueline Nuzzo (Godmother), Sal Pavia (Herlad), Michael Dineen (Chef) and Sammi Cohen (Stepmother).

Opening the Stage One studio theater season is Lanford Wilson's "Burn This," which explores the confusing nature of relationships. "Burn This" brings together four volatile characters following the death of a brother, friend and roommate in New York City as they try make sense of their loss and their lives.

Directing "Burn This" is Wagner College Theater's Head of Voice David McDonald, the director of last season's "Waiting for Lefty." He described the play as "universal."

"We've all dealt with loss and had to re-evaluate our lives, our jobs, our relationships, our inner selves," McDonald said. "At some stage, we've all been dealt a big blow and have had to figure out how we're going to manage. We're forced to review what we believe when we experience some ground-shaking event like losing someone close to you."

The cast includes seniors Donny Londono, Patrick Heffernan and Ryan Rhue and junior Chelsea Vann.

Wilson is an important voice in contemporary American theater. Among his best-known works are "The Hot I Baltimore," winner of the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award and the Obie Award, "Balm in Gilead," and "Talley's Folly," for which he was awarded the 1979 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

"Burn This" tackles mature subject matter, but infuses it with a lot of humor.

'CINDERELLA' plays in the Main Stage theater, in Wagner College's Main Hall:
* Wednesday, Oct. 6 through Friday, Oct. 8 -- 8 p.m. only
* Saturday, Oct. 9 -- 2 and 8 p.m.
* Wednesday, Oct. 13 through Friday, Oct. 15 -- 8 p.m. only
* Saturday, Oct. 16 -- 2 and 8 p.m.
* Sunday, Oct. 17 -- 2 p.m. only

'BURN THIS' plays in the Stage One studio theater, next to Seahawk Stadium:
* Tuesday, Oct. 12 through Friday, Oct. 15 -- 8 p.m. only
* Saturday, Oct. 16 and Sunday, Oct. 17 -- 2 and 8 p.m.

For information and reservations, call the Wagner College Theater Box Office at 718-390-3259.

The Wagner College Theater will stage a total of eight shows during the 2010-11 season. On the Main Stage, in addition to "Cinderella," Wagner will present "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" (November, December), "Smokey Joe's Café" (February, March) and "Seussical" (April). In addition to "Burn This" in the Stage One studio theater will be "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (December), "Loose Knit" (March) and "The Dance Project" (April).


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