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West Potomac Theatre Department Tackles Art That Matters

West Potomac Theatre Department Tackles Art That Matters

Following the exciting 2016-2017 season of Beyond the Silver Screen, with its Cappies winning show, Billy Elliot, Beyond the Page Theatre Company at West Potomac High School (BTP) begins its 33rd season, Art That Matters 2: Human Struggle.

The Art That Matters concept began for BTP with American Idiot in 2015 with amazing success, and has been revived this season starting this fall with the musical Dogfight. This hard hitting stage adaptation of Nancy Savoca's 1991 film staring River Phoenix -- music and lyrics by Benj Pasak and Justin Paul, the songwriting team who gave us Tony Award winning Dear Evan Hansen for stage and Oscar winning La La Land for screen; book by Peter Dunchan -- is an absolute rollercoaster ride of emotions.

From high energy songs like Some Kinda Time to gut wrenching ballads like Pretty Funny, Dogfight engages the audience and makes them feel love, happiness, and the pain from cruelty by others and uncertainties about oneself. Dogfight follows the story of Eddie Birdlace, a young Marine, who unintentionally falls in love with a shy singer, Rose Fenny. Their night takes an abrupt turn when Rose learns the secret behind the Marine-sponsored "dogfight" tradition. As Eddie is shipped off to fight in Vietnam, Rose is left behind alone, confused and hurting to fight her own battles of self-esteem and betrayal. Dogfight addresses several universally difficult topics including sexual assault, negative self-image, and body-shaming, issues which are unfortunately no less common now than they were in the 1960s, the era in which this musical is set. American high school students today frequently suffer these problems, and issues like these are often ignored and left unaddressed to the detriment of individuals and society as a whole.

In performing Dogfight, BTP hopes to use Art That Matters to shed light on these dark issues and help to educate both its performers and audiences on how they might deal with them. Following two performances, the theatre company will host talk-backs on the topics of Sexual Assault (Oct 28, 7pm) and Self Confidence/Body Image (Nov 2, 7pm). These sessions will help to start important conversations in the community, just as the talk-backs during American Idiot in 2015 addressed the subjects of mental illness, substance abuse, and teen pregnancy.

Additionally, as a community philanthropic effort, the theatre company will be collecting travel-sized toiletries throughout the run of the production to donate to a local women's shelter. They ask that its audiences bring all of those hotel leftovers in drawers and closets at home with them to the show to donate. Assigned seating for all shows is $12 (plus service charge) and is available online until 2 hours before each performance. Any remaining seats will be available at the door one hour before performances. We recommend purchasing tickets online ahead of time.

This show contains mature content and adult language. Tickets are available at www.westpotomactheatre.org Dates: October 26th 7:00pm) October 28th (3:00) & (7:00pm) November 2nd (7:00pm) November 3rd (6:00pm) November 4th (7:00pm).



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