Beauty and the Beast, Pack of Lies and Freaky Friday are just a few of the shows the Department of Theatre announced for their upcoming 2019-2020 season.
This year, the theatre department has chosen to both begin and end their 2019-20 season with Disney musicals “Beauty and the Beast” and “Freaky Friday.” The decision to do this came from Dawne Swearingen-Meeks, chair of the theatre department.
“I kind of loved…the idea… of doing some family-friendly pieces,” Swearingen-Meeks said.
The Homecoming Musical, “Beauty and the Beast”, will take place at 8 p.m. on Oct. 18 and 19 and at 2 p.m. Oct. 20 at the Abilene Convention Center. The musical will feature exciting aspects such as flying characters, meticulously crafted sets and elegant costumes rented from a professional theatre house.
“We really try to do quality work, whether it’s from the aesthetic, the costumes or a full 35-piece live orchestra in the convention center,” Swearingen- Meeks said.
Although Swearingen-Meeks loved the idea of doing family-friendly productions, that was not the only reason for picking them. Swearingen-Meeks also wanted to showcase the theme of transformation set throughout the homecoming musical.
“As we watch the beast go from this ugly heart where this enchantress turns him into the very thing that nobody saw on the inside,” Swearingen-Meeks said. “And then only through love that he is transformed…humanity has shifted.”
The theatre department 2019-20 season also features non-Disney musicals and dramas such as “The White Rose,” “Pack of Lies” and “One Night Only.” In addition to these, the Theatre Department will also host the Abilene Shakespeare Festival. This is a free event for the public and its patrons to attend but donations can be made to help support the festival. Season ticket subscribers will have priority seating at the event.
“All of our shows will be done to the best of our abilities and will be incredible,” sophomore Corban Gililland said. “I think this season will really be a crowd pleaser.”
The Abilene Shakespeare Festival will take place at the Fulks Theatre and will feature two different plays: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “Shakespeare in Love”. The Theatre Department encourages students to come and experience a night watching live actors perform right in front of their very eyes.
“As an audience member you’re responding in time to what you’re seeing on stage,” Swearingen-Meeks said. “…there’s something so beautiful about that live experience.”
All information regarding show dates and ticket prices can be found on the official theatre 2019-20 season brochure.