Music Theatre Wichita Announces Creative Teams For 2019 Season
Music Theatre Wichita, entering its 48th summer season, today announced the roster of artistic teams who will be guiding the five large-scale summer productions.
One of the few remaining musical theatres in the U.S. to exclusively self-produce Broadway-sized productions each year, Music Theatre Wichita has been internationally praised for its consistently high quality, as well as for the debut opportunities it offers to up-and-coming artists. The current New York season boasts the work of over 40 MTWichita alumni, from Tony-winning luminaries such as Kelli O'Hara and Kristin Chenoweth, to leading actors in such current shows as Mean Girls, The Prom, King Kong, and Fiddler on the Roof, who began their professional careers at this Midwestern theatrical center.
Artistic leaders for the 2019 season include a core of award-winning artists with long tenures at MTWichita, including Producing Artistic Director Wayne Bryan (32 years), Associate Producer Nancy Reeves (31), Musical Director Thomas W. Douglas (20), Lighting Designer David Neville (33), and Costumer Deborah Roberts (26) - a total of 142 seasons represented by those five individuals.
Guest artists for the upcoming season include Director-Choreographers Brian J. Marcum, Jeffry Denman, and Carlos A. Mendoza, along with Scenic Designers Adam Koch, XuZheng He and David L. Arsenault, Projections Designer Michael Commendatore, and Costume Designers George T. Mitchell and Danita Lee. Other key participants include Production Manager Mitchell Southerland, Associate Musical Director Chuck Koslowske, and Sound Designer David Muehl.
Over the course of 10 weeks from June 12 to August 11, the five locally produced musicals will be attended by more than 70,000 patrons at the Century II Concert Hall in downtown Wichita, KS.
Celebrating the 60th anniversary of its Broadway debut, the fact-inspired family favorite The Sound of Music opens the season, June 12-16, showcasing freshly created scenic designs by Adam Koch, featuring spectacular Alpine vistas painted by XuZheng He. Debbie Roberts will provide costumes for the large cast.
Returning to a show he helmed successfully for the Ogunquit Playhouse, director-choreographer Jeffry Denman (White Christmas, Kid Victory) makes his MTWichita debut with An American in Paris, June 26-30. Set designer David L. Arsenault will expand the scenic designs he originally created for Ogunquit, including a full-stage turntable, with staging to be enhanced by the work of projection designer Michael Commendatore. West coast-based costume designer George T. Mitchell is creating all new, period-authentic costumes for the lavishly choreographed production.
A frequent collaborator at MTWichita, director-choreographer Brian J. Marcum returns to stage both of the classic shows which famously vied for 1975 Tony Awards: A Chorus Line (July 10-14) and Chicago (July 24-28). Mr. Marcum is currently a professor of dance within the musical theatre program at Syracuse University. He performed in six Broadway shows including 42nd Street, The Boy from Oz, and The Drowsy Chaperone, and his many directing and choreographing credits include Associate Choreographer for the Broadway production of Elf, The Musical.
The ebullient season finale In the Heights (August 7-11) will showcase the direction and choreography of Los Angeles-based Carlos A. Mendoza who (like Brian J. Marcum) was a member of the MTWichita performing company early in his career. Since that time, Mr. Mendoza's career as performer and director has taken him around the world, leading productions for Moonlight Stage (including an award winning production of In the Heights), Performance Riverside, Musical Theatre West, Teatro Mascara Magica, and Hispanic Arts Theatre. Danita Lee will be creating the wardrobe for the production.
Music Theatre Wichita has earned a reputation as one of the foremost summer opportunities for young upcoming talents. This year's Broadway season features nearly forty MTWichita alumni, including cast members of Come from Away, Anastasia, King Kong, Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, Book of Mormon, The Cher Show, The Prom, Kiss Me, Kate, Oklahoma!, Pretty Woman, Mean Girls, My Fair Lady, and many more. Founded in 1972, MTWichita has produced the world premiere of the revised Good News!, the U.S. premiere of Betty Blue Eyes, and the regional premieres of such Disney titles as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Freaky Friday, and High School Musical. MTWichita has also created cast albums for Honk! and Good News!
Season tickets and gift certificates are on sale now, either online at mtwichita.org, or by calling 316.265.3107. More information, including biographies, histories, and videos, can be found at www.mtwichita.org, and on social media sites Facebook (Music Theatre Wichita), Twitter (@MTWichita) and Instagram (MTWichita).