Wagner College Theatre has a history-making season in store for 2017–18. On the Main Stage, Wagner’s highly touted student performers will present four musicals, portraying the revolutionary fervor of 1776, “rock star” President Andrew Jackson in the 1820s, and the glamour and rebellion of the 1960s.
WCT also has an innovative line-up in store for audiences on Stage One, the black-box theatre. Only two shows for that stage are being planned in advance. Besides those, WCT will stage works-in-progress, created by WCT and directed by faculty members David McDonald, Michele Pawk, and Theresa McCarthy. These works will also feature student directors and choreographers. Audiences will have the opportunity to see theater in the making, while students will gain valuable new learning experiences.
It’s the summer of 1776 and the nation is ready to declare independence ... if only our Founding Fathers can agree! Follow John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson as they persuade the Second Continental Congress to free the colonies from the shackles of the British monarchy. Winner of the 1968 Tony for Best Musical, 1776 reminds us of our founding ideals and struggles. Sherman Edwards and Peter Stone’s musical will be directed by Mickey Tennenbaum, with choreography by Carissa Belando ’04 and music direction by Matt Hosmer ’13.
November 16–19, November 30–December 3
Inspired by Federico Fellini’s semi-autobiographical film 8½, Nine follows the story of celebrated film director Guido Contini, set in glamorous 1960s Italy. Portrayed through a bewitching score by Maury Yeston (Titanic), Guido’s midlife crisis blocks his creative impulse and entangles him in a web of romances. Nine received the Tony Award for Best Musical in 1982 and the Tony for Best Revival in 2003. Directed by Gregg Wiggins with choreography by Carissa Bellando ’04 and music direction by Dr. Lauri Young.
Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson
February 22–March 4
Who would imagine that the founding of the Democratic Party and America’s seventh president would be the subject of a rock musical? With Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, that is exactly what is brought to raucous, comedic life. This 2009 show (music and lyrics by Michael Friedman, book by Alex Timbers), which had a successful run at the Public before transferring to Broadway, is an exhilarating and brash take on one of our nation’s founding “rock stars.” Directed by James Barry, music direction by Carl Haan.
Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical celebrates the Sixties counterculture in all its barefoot, long-haired, bell-bottomed, and fringed glory. To an infectiously energetic rock beat (music by Staten Island’s own Galt MacDermot), the show features popular anthems like “Aquarius,” “Good Morning, Starshine,” “Hair,” and “Let the Sun Shine.” Hair reminds us of such ideals as peace, love, and acceptance — and what it means to be young and believe you can change the world. Directed and choreographed by Darren Lee, music direction by David Sisco.
This 90-minute comedy focuses on the extraordinary life of the English playwright and spy Aphra Behn. The New York Times said, “Liz Duffy Adams’ historical romp of a backstage sex farce about Restoration playwright Aphra Behn displays style, humor, and jaw-dropping wit.” Directed by Brian Sgambati ’97.
The Dance Project 2018
Original choreography and music will be featured in a collaboration between Wagner Head of Dance Rusty Curcio and Musical Director Dr. Lauri Young.
During the season, we will stage multiple workshop productions, created by WCT and directed by faculty members David McDonald, Michele Pawk, and Theresa McCarthy. These works will also feature student directors and choreographers. Stay tuned to WCT’s website and social media for the latest on this exciting opportunity to see theatre in the making!