WWU theatre to perform the musical ‘The Glorious Ones’

William Woods University next month will present “The Glorious Ones,” a backstage musical about the lives, loves, ambitions, and art of 16th century Commedia dell’Arte performers in Italy.

The WWU theatre program will perform “The Glorious Ones” at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 10-12, with a matinee performance at 2 p.m. Oct. 13, in Cutlip Auditorium of the McNutt Campus Center. Music is by Stephen Flaherty, with book and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens.

The Commedia dell’Arte is a style that emerged during the Renaissance. It is a masked form of physical theatre that involves broad comedy and highly structured improvisation. The hallmark of the Commedia is the desperate nature of its stock characters.

Both slapstick and serious, the musical tells how the troupe came to be and how it captured the public’s adoration with its comedy, before changing artistic fashion altered its way of life.

It follows seven archetypal characters—the charismatic leading man, the sly harlequin, the quack doctor, the old miser, the voluptuous leading lady, the devoted dwarf and the elegant Moon Woman—as they search for immortality and love. Intheir search for glory and fame, the characters are thrown out of France by the religious court. The leading man, Flaminio, struggles with the court’s decision and how it affects his life as a performer.

Cast members are Michael Dodson of Fulton, Mo., as Flaminio; Maggie Hunter of Columbia, Mo., as Columbina; Stephen Chamineak of St. Louis, Mo., as Francesco; Melissa Williams of St. Louis, Mo., as Armanda; Joey Merlotti of St. Louis, Mo., as Pantalone; Julia Carney of St. Louis, Mo., as Isabella; and TJ Green of Brandon, Miss., as Dottore.

The production will be directed by Joe Potter, assistant professor and artistic director of theatre. Choreography will be created by Adrienne Branson, dance instructor. Musical direction will be provided by Rebecca Talbert, music instructor. Staff member Jane Friedman will design the costumes. Michael Dodson, a theatre graduate assistant, will be the assistant musical director.

Tickets for “The Glorious Ones” go on sale Sept. 30. Prices are $8 for children (6 -12); $12 for students, faculty and staff; $12 for senior citizens 62 and up; and $14 for adults.

Purchase tickets by contacting the box office in McNutt Campus Center 1-5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 573-592-4267 or box.office@williamwoods.edu.

Tickets are also available online at www.Showtix4u.com (credit/debit card only).