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Excitement builds for first collaboration

Ref. No. 128

DATE:     May 8, 2002
SUBJECT:     Excitement builds for first collaboration

Cast, crew, and audience members are getting excited about the first co-production between Memorial University's School of Music and the Department of Theatre at the university's west coast campus, Sir Wilfred Grenfell College.

A perennial favourite, The Fantasticks has been selected to launch the new music theatre production course, another first for the university. Featuring classic songs like "Soon It's Gonna Rain" and "Try to Remember," The Fantasticks ran for 42 years in New York before it closed this January, and has been produced nearly 10,000 times around the world.

Director Ken Livingstone, head of the Theatre Program, summarized the classic plot. "On a simple platform stage, a boy and a girl fall in love. Their fathers invent a feud so that their children must undergo a trial of their love. A bandit and a couple of ancient travelling players help to complicate matters and in the end, sadder but wiser, the lovers are re-united."

The Fantasticks is rehearsing in Corner Brook. Cast and crew members are drawn from the huge breadth of talent encompassed in the students, alumni, and faculty of the theatre and music programs. (See attached list for details.)

"If you believe in the magic of the theatre, if you think that romance can bloom under a cardboard moon, that dashing bandits out of adventure stories can still sweep young girls off their feet and that an ancient pair of ‘traveling players' can teach a young man about the world, if you love great songs and wonderful music - don't miss The Fantasticks," advises Mr. Livingstone.

The production is more than an unmissable theatrical event, however. It launches an exciting new credit program with broad appeal. This year, the School of Music and the Department of Theatre collaborate on a new musical theatre course. Open to aspiring music theatre students by audition, the course centres on building a professional production and culminates in a cross-province tour.

The Fantasticks will open in the Fine Arts Theatre at the Grenfell Campus on May 14, with a matinee and evening performance again on May 15. The company then travels to the Arts and Culture Centre in Grand Falls/Windsor for a performance on Friday, May 17, wrapping up the tour in St. John's with performances in the Recital Hall at the School of Music on May 20 and 21. Tickets are on sale as of Friday, May 10 at the three venues. All performances begin at 8 p.m.


Note to reporters: Attached is a list of cast, crew and orchestra members, noting biographical information, including home towns.

For more information, please contact Ken Livingstone at (709) 637-6223.


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