Actors and dancers look to impress

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This year, the Theatre and Dance Department is determined to wow students, Director of Public Events of the College of Arts and Communication Sarah Altermatt said.

The department is performing six productions that range from a children’s show to a scandalous opera.

“Including the events in Crossman Gallery, I think there are 130 events happening this year,” said Altermatt.

The first production for the theatre deaprtment is “Glengarry Glen Ross,” a comedy dealing with the idea of the American dream.

Altermatt said the department usually does something a little edgier for the first production of the year. As a result, the “Glengarry Glen Ross” performance comes with an adult language audience warning.

During October, the department will perform a traveling children’s show. This year it’s a twist of the beloved classic “Cinderella.”

The cast travels to local elementary schools and ends it tour in Racine.

Having a traveling show allows the actors to experience what it it like to tour on the road. They perform multiple shows  per day and help with set-up.

In December, the theatre department will host the world premiere of the historical fiction play, “The Edwin Booth Company Presents…” The play is written and directed by well-known Milwaukee actress and UW-W professor Angela Iannone.

The first show of the spring semester is usually a musical, varying between a traditional musical, an opera, and a non-traditional musical Altermatt said. This year, the department will put on an opera titled, “The Coronation of Poppea.”

According to the Theatre and Dance Department website, “The Coronation of Poppea” could be called one of the first soap operas.

“It is kind of a racy opera,” Altermatt said. “There’s a lot of scandal and whatnot… we’re really going to play that up and sort of demystify the opera. Generally, when you think of opera, you think boring, but this will be different.”

In March, dance students and faculty get to showcase their talents in “Dancescapes.” Students, faculty and a guest artist choreograph pieces to show in the event. Altermatt said the event is always popular, the Barnett Theatre if full for three nights of performances.

The theatre and dance season is annually wrapped up with a classic. This year, the department is doing the comedic show show “she Stoops to Conquer.”

According to the Theatre and Dance Department website, “Mistaken identities, practical jokes, and love triangels have made this satirical, romantic comedy of errors an enduring favorite.”

For more information on the performances and events in the Center of the Arts, visit the UW-Whitewater website and click on Arts and Entertainment.