WCSU Theatre Arts announces Spring Virtual Production Series

The Western Connecticut State University Department of Theatre Arts announces its Spring Virtual Production Series. The series comprises four unique productions that will be broadcast twice over two weekends spanning through Sunday, May 9. A ticket to each performance date will allow the purchaser to access the show over the course of 24 hours that day. Tickets are available at wcsuvpac.eventbrite.com.

“The WCSU Theatre Arts faculty is very proud of what we've been able to accomplish this year regarding our virtual productions,” said Department of Theatre Arts Associate Chair and Assistant Professor of Musical Theatre Justin P. Cowan. “Between last fall and this spring, our department will have fully produced and streamed a total of nine productions. Considering that most of our professional industry has been on hold for over a year, we are thrilled to not only be providing theatre to our community and beyond, but also to be providing such meaningful opportunities for our students. These productions have allowed our students to develop new skills; broaden their performance, design and technical experiences; and perhaps most importantly: taught them the importance of creation and expression during challenging times.”

Junior Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre major Logan Farley, of Belvidere, New Jersey, said, “The thought of doing virtual Zoom musicals and plays seemed so daunting. However, leave it to WCSU to prove me wrong and make lemonade out of lemons! The faculty pushed us to create, work together, and perform in a time when those things seemed impossible. I have always been so incredibly proud of the work we produce here at WCSU, and I am especially proud of the work we did together as a team this year under such extraordinary circumstances.”

Streaming on Thursday, April 29, and Saturday, May 8, is “SWEAT” by Lynn Nottage, directed by Tim Howard. Filled with warm humor and tremendous heart, “SWEAT” tells the story of a group of friends who have spent their lives sharing drinks, secrets and laughs while working together on the factory floor. But when layoffs and picket lines begin to chip away at their trust, the friends find themselves pitted against each other in a heart-wrenching fight to stay afloat. This poignant play looks at the de-industrial revolution through the lens of a history play, but also delves into the issues of today: the economy, immigration, race-relations in America, and politics. Nottage’s “SWEAT” gives us characters filled with the good and the bad, and asks us to reflect on our own views and the views of others.

 The next production featured in the Spring Virtual Production Series is William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” directed and adapted by Pam McDaniel. One of Shakespeare’s most popular and acclaimed comedies, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” tells the tale of love and marriage, order and disorder, and perception and reality. The play consists of four interconnecting plots, connected by a celebration of the wedding of Duke Theseus of Athens and the Amazon queen, Hippolyta, which are set simultaneously in the woodland and in the realm of Fairyland, under the light of the moon. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” streams on Friday, Apr. 30, and Sunday, May 9.

Streaming on Saturday, May 1, and Thursday, May 6, is “The Covid Decameron,” directed and curated by Sal Trapani. “The Decameron,” written in 1348 during the Black Plague in Florence, Italy, is the inspiration for this modern and provocative series of reimagined stories of Giovanni Boccaccio. Students, under the direction of Trapani and collaborating with a team of designers and technicians, have devised original pieces that include an adult puppet show, a short musical, a series of dance pieces, short comedic and dramatic films, new songs, unique storytelling, a Zoom play, performance art and some surprise performances. This daring and entertaining event is not to be missed.

The final production in the Spring Virtual Production Series is “Hedda Freeman, a Contemporary Adaptation of Ibsen’s “Hedda Gabler.” This production is directed by Justin P. Cowan, and adapted by Cowan and guest collaborator Kamilah Bush. Ibsen’s “Hedda Gabler” is perhaps one of the most polarizing plays of the 19th century. Published at the height of Ibsen’s fame and performed across Europe, “Hedda Gabler” dares to study one woman’s psychological drives, and how they are both influenced and informed by her surrounding socio-economic environment. In this contemporary adaptation, Hedda Freeman finds herself in a marriage and a society that she can’t seem to reconcile or escape. Issues of race, privilege, identity and destiny come to a dramatic head as Hedda struggles to define what freedom really means. “Hedda Freeman” streams on Sunday, May 2, and Friday, May 7.

The Spring Virtual Production Series will stream on two consecutive weekends beginning Thursday, April 29, and ending Sunday, May 9. Tickets for each performance are $10. For $30, passholders will have access to one performance of all four shows, for the cost of three. Tickets and season flex passes are available at wcsuvpac.eventbrite.com. To learn more about the shows and to view behind-the-scenes footage and photos, visit the Department of Theatre Arts on Facebook and Instagram.

WCSU Spring Virtual Performance Series cast lists

“SWEAT” by Lynn Nottage

Berny Balbuena          Newburgh, New York

Nate Bloom                 West Haven

Chrystal Campbell      Weston

Aidan Conroy             Bridgeport

Chloe Kramer              Poughkeepsie, New York

Darius Mullens            South Plainfield, New Jersey

George Pinnock           Queens, New York

Julia Rocchio              Naugatuck

Ulric Alfred Taylor     Brooklyn, New York

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

Jessica Abbotts           East Hampton

Hunter Chicoine          Granby

Victoria D’Orazio       Hopewell Junction, New York

Benjamin Elliott          Madison

Kayla Fischer              Middletown, New York

Ryan Hemstock          Orange

Ryan Charles Henry   Cortlandt Manor, New York

Luis Jordan                 Pleasant Valley, New York

Robert Knippel           Brookfield

Tyler Manemeit          Clinton

Dean Martin                Manchester

Sierra Mayhew            Pawling, New York

Alyssa McDonald       Nyack, New York

Haley Napier               Hopewell Junction, New York

Jamar Nichols             New Haven

Bailey Nickerson        Old Lyme

Ashley Raymond        Ridgefield

Laura Roberts             Shingle Springs, California

Sam Rogers                 Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Will Stewich               Shrewsbury, Massachusetts

Jackson Tubis              North Haven

Tina Vlamis                 Prospect

Chelsea Weaver          Tolland

“The Covid Decameron”

Derek Alexander         Swansea, Massachusetts

Raul Calderon             Waterbury

Colleen Callahan         Easton

Jamishay Cammann    New Paltz, New York

Ethan Chan                 Queens, New York

Alaina  Dwyer             Orange

Logan Farley               Belvidere, New Jersey

Dania   Fedrick            Naugatuck

Victoria Gentile          East Haven

Grace Goosman          Endwell, New York

Olivia Kirby                Waterbury

Teagan La’Shay          Seymour

Ariana Locasio            Southington

Sydney Maher             Milford

Tom O’Leary              Wappingers Falls, New York

Beckett Pais                Bethel

Charles Pelletier          Watertown

Elizabeth Quinby        Poughkeepsie, New York

Liv Rando                   Saratoga Springs, New York

Anna Raymond           Pomfret

Teah Renzi                  Newtown

Alex Rushton              White River Junction, Vermont

Victoria Santiago        Puerto Rico

Aurora Schloat                        Avon

Michelle Shapiro         Wantagh, New York

Donovan Shaw           Bristol

Joey Taylor                  Wappingers Falls, New York

Vitale Yenzer              Farmingdale, New York

“Hedda Freeman”

Bella Bosco                 Delaware, Ohio

Zachary Brown           Griswold

Rachel Faria                Brooklyn, New York

Sean    Gorman           Bethel

Raissatou Karim          Stratford

Liam McGrath             Fairfield

Alexis  Reda                Trumbull

For more information, contact the Office of University Relations at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


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