We can’t deny that Tennessee Williams’, Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, stands the test of time as an American classic, but we can’t ignore the heavy themes that are spread throughout this timeless work. Check out this video with the cast of “A Streetcar Named Desire”, as they highlight what these themes are, and discuss how they prepared to portray their iconic characters.
Theatre and Dance at Wayne was lucky to start the 2017-2018 season with Scotty Arnold on campus. Hailing from California’s Bay Area, Arnold now lives in New York where he writes music and musicals as a founding member of the Musical Theatre Factory, and has also served on the music teams of over 30 new musicals including Fun Home, Here Lies Love, Murder Ballad, The Last Goodbye, Giant, The Total Bent, The Band’s Visit, and American Idiot. Arnold served as the guest director for our season opener, The Underpants, but also shared his many musical talents with both our graduate and undergraduate students. Theatre students at Wayne had the opportunity to work on a week-long workshop with Scotty, working on his original songs and short musicals.
Third Year MFA Actor, Nick Stockwell, who performed in Arnold’s short musical The Veterans Wife for the workshop, said of his experience “Scotty Arnold wrote some absolutely incredible pieces and this program, in addition to Motor City Cabaret [(the undergraduate participants)], is absolutely loaded with talent. At this point I am no longer surprised to see what my classmates can do with only one week of work.”
Luke Hodgson, a member of Motor City Cabaret also had an amazing experience learning from Scotty, saying “It was fantastic for all of us to have the opportunity to work with such a great talent, and to see each of us grow through the amazing experience.”
Scotty also had a great experience hosting this workshop. “It was invigorating to work on my short musicals with the amazing students at Wayne State. Their eagerness to dive into challenges and lay themselves bare onstage was admirable, and I can’t wait for the chance to do it again.”
“Scotty Arnold showed us that we are all capable ofmaking a product that was unique, genuine, and all around a great time!” – Alex Morrison, Motor City Cabaret
Seeing how much Theatre and Dance at Wayne students were able to grow and accomplish over the course of one week, working with such a talented guest as Scotty Arnold was inspiring for students and audience members alike. Are you interested in exciting and enriching experiences like these? Check out our admissions website to learn more about joining Theatre and Dance at Wayne!
From Much Ado About Nothing in the Wild West, to an Arabian Twelfth Night, Shakespeare’s plays are often reimagined in different settings. Director Lavinia Hart has reinterpreted Theatre and Dance at Wayne’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream as a Slavic fairytale. The play is originally set in Ancient Athens, but changing the setting allowed for creativity and an unconventional style. Designers Fred Florkowski and Mary Copenhagen were tasked with creating a set and costumes which transport the audience into the fantastical world of the play. To establish the Slavic fairytale setting they took their inspiration from the illustrations of Russian artist Ivan Bilibin. His 1902 illustrations of the Tale of Vasilisia the Beautiful, featuring infamous Russian folklore witch Baba Yaga, were particularly influential. The richer earthier color palette, not found in the typical Western fairytale, lends an air of mystery to the mischievous characters. The lighting and sound, designed by students Andrew Cora and Kelsey Nowak, create a mystical atmosphere which complements the nimble, delicate movement choreographed by Biba Bell. Other Slavic inspired nuances, such as a sculpted dragon throne and skull lanterns, bring surprising elements to this familiar story.
Relocating the tale makes for a stunning visual reinterpretation. Take in this unique and beautiful production starting October 12th. Get your tickets at theatreanddanceatwayne.com.
Behind-the-Scenes: Designing Costumes for The Underpants
Join Mary Elizabeth Valesano (second-year MFA candidate) as she discusses her role as costume designer for the Hilberry company’s production of Steve Martin’s uproarious comedy, The Underpants.