The School of Theatre and Dance at Kent State University continues its 2016-17 season with the classic musical "Kiss Me, Kate." The production is directed by this year's Roe Green Visiting Director Dennis Courtney and runs through March 5 in E. Turner Stump Theatre, located in the Roe Green Center for the School of Theatre and Dance, Center for the Performing Arts, 1325 Theatre Drive, Kent.
With music and lyrics by Cole Porter and book by Sam and Bella Spewack, "Kiss Me, Kate" invites audiences into the rollicking world of theatre in 1940s Baltimore as a company is preparing a production of "The Taming of the Shrew." But with quarrelling ex-spouses Lilli Vanessi and Fred Graham in the lead roles, there's just as much drama backstage as there is on stage.
"Kiss Me, Kate" is directed by 2016-17 Roe Green Visiting Director Dennis Courtney. An accomplished actor, director and choreographer, Courtney is the recipient of the 2009 Israeli Theatre Award (TONY equivalent) for Fiddler On The Roof at the Cameri Theatre in Tel Aviv. He has been the director/choreographer of over 150 stage productions. His credits include the off-Broadway production of Civil War Voices, Peter Pan with Cathy Rigby, Can-Can with Leslie Uggams, I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, The Producers, Ethel Waters: His Eye Is On The Sparrow, and The Last Five Years. On television, Courtney directed the 5th season opener of TV's Perfect Strangers.
The production and design team includes music direction by associate professor Jonathan Swoboda, scenic design by assistant professor Tamara Honesty, technical direction by associate professor Steve Pauna, lighting design by associate professor Jakyung Seo, costume design by Lisa Wilson and sound design by assistant professor Nicholas Drashner. Danielle Holloway serves as production stage manager.
Now in its 14th year, the Roe Green Visiting Director Series was established following a donation from local arts patron and activist Roe Green. Through this generous gift, the School of Theatre and Dance invites a guest professional director each year to work in residency with students and direct one of the School's Main Stage productions. Previous guest directors include Tony Award winner Michael Rupert, Victoria Bussert, Vincent Dowling and Sue Ott Rowlands.
For tickets call 330-672-ARTS (2787), purchase online at www.kent.edu/theatredance or in person at the Performing Arts Box Office located in the Roe Green Center lobby of the Center for the Performing Arts at 1325 Theatre Drive. The box office is openMonday through Friday, noon to 5 p.m. Tickets are $18 for adults, $14 for Kent State University alumni, faculty and staff, $14 for seniors (60 and older) and non-Kent State students ages 18 and younger are $10. Tickets for full-time, Kent campus undergraduates are free of charge. Groups of 10 or more can purchase tickets for $12 per person. Flex pass subscriptions are also available. The box office accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover, checks and cash.