Theater program has successful summer, large plans for school year

The Central Michigan University theater program is hoping to build off its success this summer heading into the 2013-14 academic year.

The program impressed audiences this summer with three productions, “Anybody For Murder,” “All I Need to Know About Life I Learned in Kindergarten” and “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.”

Each of the performances took place in different locations: CMU's Bush Theater, Young Auditorium in Sturgis, Mich., and Howmet Playhouse in Whitehall, Mich.

Shelby Township senior Kyle Burch, who played the lead role of both Jekyll and Hyde in one of the summer productions, was impressed by the size of the audience despite performing in venues away from campus.

“The turnout for each of the performances was a pleasantly decent size, especially considering we were performing in the summer and in two out-of-town locations, where we don't have our students and regulars from the school year to come see the performances,” he said.

Director of University Theatre Steven Berglund was also pleased with the crowd.

“The response at our touring venues is always really strong," he said. "(The audience) appreciates the quality of work we bring.”

The university theater program has six performances scheduled this year, beginning with a fall continuation of “Jekyll and Hyde” starting Sept. 4 and ending with the University Theatre Dance Company concert on April 27.

The university theater program varies its productions, working with both famous pieces and student-written works.

“We have a really varied and well-stacked main stage season with big names like '42nd Street' and 'The Cherry Orchard,' as well as student-written works like the Alpha Psi Omega one-acts, 'Abacus' by (Shelby Township senior) Chris Burch and (Mount Pleasant sophomore) Conor Hall, and 'Common Enemy' by myself,” Burch said.

Berglund has plans to create productions that please a variety of theater-goers.

“Our goal is to have our productions be interesting and unique with enough variety that everyone should be able to find something they like,” he said.


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