The Brooke Hills Playhouse has announced a forty-first summer season that includes a classic fantasy, a classic whodunit, a heartfelt comedy featuring mature women, a musical spoof of 1950's science fiction movies and a farce by a modern-day master.
According to Julia Barnhart of Wellsburg, president of the Brooke County Arts Council, parent organization for the Playhouse, "Our five main stage productions offer something for everyone's tastes, as well as giving audience members a chance to try something new."
The season will open Friday, June 1 at 8 p.m. with J.M. Barrie's children's classic, "Peter Pan," directed by Barnhart. The show will continue June 2 and June 8-9 at 8 p.m. with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. on June 3 and 10.
The second main stage production will be presented June 22-23, 29 and 30 at 8 p.m. and June 24 and July 1 at 2 p.m. "The Dixie Swim Club" by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten, is the comedic story of five mature Southern women whose friendship began on their college swim team and continues decades later. Rob DeSantis of Follansbee will direct.
The third major production of the summer season, "Zombie Prom," with music by Dana Rowe and book and lyrics by John Dempsey, will be directed by Julia Barnhart. The musical is a spoof of 1950's low-budget science fiction movies featuring teenage protagonists. In this case, a pretty high school senior falls for the class bad boy, who's back from the dead after an accident at a nearby nuclear power plant. The show will be presented July 13-14 and 20-21 at 8 p.m. and July 15 and 22 at 2 p.m.
The season continues August 3-4 and 10-11 at 8 p.m. and August 5 and 12 at 2 p.m. with Agatha Christie's classic murder mystery, "The Mousetrap," the longest running non-musical play in Broadway history. The play will be directed by Diana Mendel of Wellsburg.
The final main stage show of the summer will be Ken Ludwig's comic farce "Leading Ladies," to be directed by Russ Welch of Wellsburg. The play, to be presented August 24-25, and August 31-September 1 at 8 p.m. and August 26 and September 2 at 2 p.m. follows two unemployed male Shakespearian actors who try to pass themselves off as the long-lost nieces of a rich, dying old lady.
In addition to the five main stage productions, the Playhouse will offer a series of "Spotlight" productions on the weekends between the major shows. The first of these, "The Marvelous Wonderettes," is a musical revue featuring girl-group songs from the 1950's and '60's as it follows four high school friends from their 1958 prom through the turbulent '60's. "Wonderettes" will be directed by Diana Mendel, and will be presented June 15-16 at 8 p.m. and June 17 at 2 p.m.
Auditions for the first three main stage productions and "Wonderettes" will be held Saturday, April 7, at Franklin United Methodist Church on West Virginia State Route 27, east of Wellsburg. Tryouts will begin at 10 a.m. for "The Dixie Swim Club," followed by "Peter Pan" at 11:30 a.m. "The Marvelous Wonderettes" at 1 p.m. and "Zombie Prom" at 2 p.m.
Anyone unable to audition at the assigned times must call the Playhouse at (304) 737-3344 by Friday, April 6, to make other arrangements. Any requests after that date will not be considered.
Once again, the Playhouse is offering its patrons a number of money-saving pre-season combinations. Patrons may visit their website at brookehillsplayhouse.com for more information. All pre-season orders must be completed by May 31.