CWUTheatre NewsTheatre News’s Mary Poppins Is “Practically Perfect in Every Way”, 02 May 2016 07:31:30<p><img alt="" src="/theatre/sites/" style="width: 124px; height: 90px; margin: 4px; float: right;">Experience the eternal magic of Nanny Mary Poppins in Central Washington University Central Theatre Ensemble’s <em>Mary Poppins</em>. Based on the series of books by P.L. Travers and the 1964 Disney film, this stage musical production will have you laughing, crying, and singing along to all your favorite songs.</p><p>When an extraordinary nanny appears on their doorstop, life for the Banks family is turned upside-down in the most “supercallifragilisticexpialidocious” way. Before you can say “spit-spot,” Mary, Bert, and crew take the wayward, yet wistful Banks children—and their parents—on a life-changing adventure.</p><p><em>Mary Poppins</em> will be performed at 7:30 p.m. May 6-7 and 12-14, in the McConnell Auditorium. There will be two matinee performances at 2:00 p.m. on May 8 and May 15. Reserved seating tickets are $15/20 general admission (ages 18-64); $12/15 seniors (65 and older); $12/15 for non-CWU students; and $8 for CWU students with ID. Advance ticket purchases are recommended.</p><p>In addition, the Dakota Café is offering dinner packages for this show on Fridays and Saturdays. Dinner packages must be purchased by Monday the week of the event.</p><p>Families will enjoy the opportunity to meet the cast, and take a selfie, at a special scholarship fundraiser, the Mary Poppins Ice Cream and Tea Social ( The event will take place in the CWU Sue Lombard Room immediately following the Mother’s Day matinee performance, May 8. Ice cream has been generously donated by Winegar’s. This event is pre-ticketed with a $5 scholarship donation and $2 ticket fee.</p><p>A special alumni relations event will follow the May 15 matinee in the Sue Lombard room.</p><p>Tickets for all the <em>Mary Poppins </em>events can be purchased online at Tickets may also be purchased in person at the Wildcat Shop Customer Service in the Student Union and Recreation Building, or by phone at 509-963-1429.</p><p>Families of all ages can enjoy this production together. Younger children should be able to sit next to their parent quietly for at least one hour.</p><p>Parking at CWU lots is free after 4:30 p.m. and on weekends, except in specially marked spaces and in residential hall lots.</p><p>Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,<br>May 2, 2016</p></br>CWU theater carefully selects props for each show, 30 Mar 2016 08:08:32<p><img alt="" src="/theatre/sites/" style="width: 480px; height: 320px;"></p><p>When the curtains on McConnell Auditorium's stage open and the main character moves across the stage, people already have answers to simple questions like what time period the character lives in and whether he's rich or poor.</p><p>Even before the character speaks a word, a carefully chosen combination of props on stage tell the viewer time, place and status, among other things.</p><p>David Barnett, scene shop manager and McConnell stage manager, has been working for the Central Theatre Department for 21 seasons, and has helped students carefully choose and create props for the five to six shows produced at Central Washington University each year.</p><p>Read more of this story in the <a href="">Daily Record</a>.</p>CWU play explores real-life drama using real-life language, 08 Feb 2016 07:55:13<p><img alt="" src="/theatre/sites/" style="width: 427px; height: 320px;"></p><p>Central Washington University theater students will assume the role of strangers taking a drama class in the upcoming “Circle Mirror Transformation” play set to debut next week.</p><p>“Circle Mirror Transformation” tells the story of an unlikely collection of four strangers who enroll in Marty’s six-week adult creative drama class. The story unfolds like an indie film. The group plays Marty’s imaginative (and sometimes awkward) theater games, and as relationships develop, real-life drama unfolds.</p><p>Read more of this story in the <a href="">Daily Record</a>.</p>Overcoming tragedy through theater, 29 Dec 2015 12:50:44<p><img alt="" src="/theatre/sites/" style="width: 400px; height: 300px;"></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.4;">A Washington state professor with ties to the area came up with a plan to help Umpqua Community College students heal from the Oct. 1 mass shooting.</span></p><p>Central Washington University Assistant Professor of Performance Patrick Dizney, who grew up in Eugene and has ties to the area, believes that extending encouragement and a helping hand can help a community heal.</p><p>Read more of this story in<a href=""> NR Today</a>.</p><p><em>[news release]</em></p><p><strong><span style="line-height: 1.4;">CWU Theatre Professor Reaches Out to Umpqua Students after Tragedy</span></strong></p><p><img alt="" src="/theatre/sites/" style="width: 104px; height: 104px; margin: 4px; float: right;">Sometimes just extending encouragement and a helping hand can help a community heal. Patrick Dizney, Central Washington University professor of theatre arts, hopes to do that with several initiatives supporting students and staff at Umpqua Community College (UCC), which was the site of a mass shooting on October 1.</p><p>Dizney recently visited the students and faculty at Umpqua, both as a representative of CWU and as the incoming regional chair of Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) Region VII. While at Umpqua, he had the opportunity to get to know some of the students in this small department.</p><p>“I think these kids are a little isolated and need to feel the support and concern of the larger theatre and academic communities.” With that goal in mind, Dizney was able to extend significant gestures of support to the UCC theatre community.</p><p>Dizney has raised funds and donations to sponsor two theatre students from Umpqua to attend the regional festival held February 15-19 in Denver. KCACTF will waive festival registration and arrange conference housing.</p><p>Dizney has also started a GoFundMe! initiative to cover flights, food, and miscellaneous expenses for the two Umpqua students (, which has already exceeded its goal. A private donor has offered enough frequent flier miles to fund the flights. The Kennedy Center festival region has also offered to waive production participation fees of one year for productions at Umpqua allowing more theatre artists to visit the Umpqua campus and respond to productions mounted by the fragile department.</p><p>“I grew up in Eugene and spent a couple of spring breaks and one summer in Umpqua, so the community is close to my heart in many ways,” said Dizney. “I have also been developing a platform at CWU to utilize theatre as a means of facilitating social change and this seemed to be a great opportunity—empowering and healing through theatre. Plus, it's just the right thing to do—this community is hurting and we are in a position to offer some assistance.”</p><p>With support from his CWU theatre arts colleagues, Dizney will remount the upcoming CWU production of <em>Circle Mirror Transformation</em> on the Umpqua campus March 4 and 5.</p><p>“<em>Circle Mirror Transformation </em>deals with themes of developing relationships, building better lives, and the human capacity for positive change,” said Dizney. “This is exactly what CWU theatre hopes can happen for the people of Roseburg, with the encore production.”</p><p>Proceeds of the ticket sales will be contributed to a scholarship named for one of the victims, Quinn Cooper, who was a drama student at Umpqua Community College.&nbsp; While in Roseburg, CWU students will offer additional workshops for drama students at Umpqua.<br><br>“I am so very proud of the work the faculty and staff of the department do for our own students,” said Scott Robinson, chair, CWU theatre arts. “And I am even more impressed with how our professors show our theatre students how they can themselves be instruments of change in a world of increased turmoil.”<br><br>“I think the worst thing is for people to feel they are alone in situations like this,” said Dizney. “We are not performing miracles, only reaching out a hand to say ‘hey, we're here for you and would like to support and grow with you.’ We all need to hear that more often.”</p><p>For more information on supporting Umpqua students, contact Patrick Dizney, CWU Theatre Arts, 503-449-2112,</p><p>Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,<br>December 29, 2015</p></span style="line-height: 1.4;"></span style="line-height: 1.4;"></br></br></br></br></br>Fun, Family-friendly ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas Opens December 3, 01 Dec 2015 08:38:15<p><img alt="" src="/theatre/sites/" style="width: 156px; height: 113px; margin: 4px; float: left;">Follow the wild holiday adventures of a mouse, an elf, and a spunky little girl who just won't take no for an answer on their quest to find out why Santa missed their house last year. Central Washington University Central Theatre Ensemble’s <em>‘Twas the Night Before Christmas</em> provides a charming night of holiday entertainment for children of all ages.</p><p>“Such a playful spirit romps through <em>'Twas the Night Before Christmas</em>, you might think the show itself was a product of Santa’s workshop,” commented one critic.</p><p><em>'Twas the Night Before Christmas</em> will be performed at 7:30 p.m., December 3, 4, and 5 at the Milo Smith Tower Theatre. There will be a matinee performance at 2:00 p.m. on December 6. Tickets are $15 for general admission, $12 for seniors and non-CWU students, and $8 for CWU students with ID. Advance ticket purchase recommended. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling 509-963-1429. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the Wildcat Shop Customer Service at the Student Union and Recreation Building.</p><p>Parking is free in all university lots after 4:30 p.m. and on weekends, except in residential housing lots and in specially designated spaces.</p><p>Parental Guidance<br>Families of all ages can enjoy this production together.<br>Children should be able to sit next to their parent quietly for at least 1 hour.</p><p><br>CWU is the only state institution that offers a bachelor of fine arts degree with highly competitive programs in musical theatre, performance, and design and production.</p><p><br>Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,</p><p>November 30, 2015</p></br></br></br></br>Theatre and War: The Campaign to Win Vietnamese Hearts and Minds, 05 Nov 2015 14:15:02<p><img alt="" src="/theatre/sites/" style="width: 450px; height: 253px;"></p><p>Sometimes “water-cooler talk” can develop into something much more profound. That's what Jay Ball and Jerry Dougherty, faculty in the theater arts department, discovered when their low-key chats about international affairs developed into serious discussions, and ultimately, “a great faculty collaboration.”</p><p>Ball and Dougherty co-authored "Cultural Seeding: Van Tac Vu Theatre and Pacification during the Vietnam War," a paper on the American “hearts and minds” campaign during the Vietnam War.</p><p>“I was an international relations major as an undergrad and most of my research as a theatre historian has been focused on political hot spots around the world,” said Ball, professor of theatre and performance studies. “Jerry has been to those hot spots, and ever since I arrived at CWU three years ago, we have routinely had water cooler talk about international affairs and his military experiences.”</p><p>Dougherty, CWU’s Theatre Arts department production manager, is an Iraqi War veteran and a current Lt. Colonel in the US Army Reserve. He has 23 years of service as both a cavalry and logistics officer.</p><p>“When I had the opportunity to propose a paper—in this case, on the theatrical properties of American ‘hearts and minds’ efforts during the Vietnam War—I popped the question to Jerry: want to co-write a piece of original theatre history with me?” continued Ball. “He was surprised, then shrugged his shoulders and said, ‘Sure. I don't know what you want me to do, but let's do it.’”</p><p>According to Ball, winning "hearts and minds" was shorthand for the American strategy of convincing rural Vietnamese people to withdraw their support for the Viet Cong and rally to the cause of South Vietnamese government. To achieve this, the US military deployed a range of so-called psychological warfare techniques, including leaflets, helicopters with massive speakers to broadcast messages (think the film Apocalypse Now), medical assistance teams, as well as using radio and television. This type of integrated information campaign had its start in Viet Nam, Dougherty related.</p><p>“The subject of our paper, Van Tac Vu, were specially trained theatre troupes who would go from village to village putting on magic shows, short plays, and sing-alongs—all with a pro-government message,” said Ball. “Since General Petraeus revolutionized the thinking of the US military about counter-insurgency during his time in Iraq, all of these "hearts and minds" operations are being studied again for their application to contemporary conflicts.”</p><p>Dougherty mined incredible research from places Ball would not have known how to access, like the Army War College.</p><p>“The Army War College in Pennsylvania and the Command and General Staff College in Kansas are open to any one in the military who wants to do research,” said Dougherty. “I was able to access papers and other research that had already been published, such thesis projects on the subject.”</p><p>“Jerry was also able to translate government documents and military manuals into civilian English,” said Ball. “More than that, he has been in a war zone. He just brought an insider's view—and veteran's understanding—to this work that has made it infinitely richer than I could have done on my own.”</p><p>They will present the paper the national American Society for Theatre Research as part of the organization's "Theatre and War" working group. It's highly competitive, premiere theatre scholarship conference held November 5-8, in Portland, Oregon.</p><p>“I’m really excited about this paper, but I’m also very interested in digging deeper into this subject,” said Dougherty. “There are still stones left to be turned over.”</p><p>Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,<br>&nbsp;</p><p>Photo: Jerry Dougherty and Jay Ball</p></br>CWU Graduate Student to Direct "Look Back in Anger", 18 Sep 2015 07:58:41<p><img alt="" src="/theatre/sites/" style="width: 166px; height: 250px; margin-left: 6px; margin-right: 6px; float: left;">Joshua Kelly, a CWU theatre arts master's degree candidate, is directing Look Back in Anger for The Montana Repertory Theatre in Missoula, Montana.</p><p>"[Playwright John] Osborne&nbsp;was famous for "liquid poetry," Kelly said, "and this script is the best example of his poetic vitriol there is."</p><p>Kelly graduated from UM in spring 2014 with his bachelor's degree in theater. He's now getting his master's degree at Central Washington University, with a thesis in progress on Osborne.</p><p>He first read "Look Back" a year ago and said 'fire just erupted from the page.'"</p><p>Read more of this story in <a href="">the Missoulian</a>.</p>Vintage US Army Uniforms Donated to CWU Theatre Arts, 01 Sep 2015 07:55:54<p><img alt="" src="/theatre/sites/" style="width: 452px; height: 300px;"></p><p>Fifty years of US Army uniforms, from World War II to the Vietnam War, are now available to students in Central Washington University’s Department of Theatre Arts, thanks to another generous gift from Grant and Virginia Green of Alexandria, Virginia.</p><p>Grant’s mother helped establish Gallery One in Ellensburg, and worked with Central and its theatre and arts departments throughout her career. In addition, his aunt, Ramona Solberg taught at Central. When settling his mother’s estate, he chose CWU to receive her couture 1950s wardrobe as a gift to the university.</p><p>“We came to know of Central’s knowledge and experience with historical clothing and its educational programs,” wrote Green. “This is what has led us to gift these military uniform items of mine and father’s to Central.”</p><p>The uniforms represent his father’s 30-plus years in the US Army, “which included service in the Pacific during WWII and the Korean War.” Green also donated uniforms from his own 23-year career in the army, including his two tours of duty in Vietnam.</p><p>“It’s great to have these uniforms which represent such significant eras in US history,” said Scott Robinson, chair of theatre arts. “What is truly remarkable is that these are so complete, with the proper epaulets, button studs, and hats.”</p><p>The Green family donated six full uniforms, including formal mess uniforms, a summer dress uniform, and full army green and blue uniforms (the US Army replaced green with Army blue in 2009).</p><p>“These will be so useful in shows,” said Robinson. “It’s very powerful for an actor to put on article of clothing that carries the history of a real person that wore them.</p><p>“They will also be so valuable for teaching. Our students will be able to closely examine how the garments were made,” Robinson continued. “This can also be a springboard of research about uniform regulations, which are very specific as to the branch of service of the soldier.”</p><p><img alt="" src="/theatre/sites/" style="width: 151px; height: 100px; margin-left: 6px; margin-right: 6px; float: left;">In addition to the uniforms, the Greens included a 1960s-era officer’s raincoat, a pre-World War II man’s hat, a bowler or “bob” hat from Bolivia, and a number of unique vintage feathers.</p><p>“These gifts will be an inspiration to theatre students for many years,” said Robinson.</p><p><br>Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,</p></br>CWU's Central Theatre Ensemble Receives 2015 Best of Ellensburg Award, 07 Aug 2015 08:05:53<p><span style="line-height: 1.4;"><img alt="" src="/theatre/sites/" style="width: 174px; height: 130px; margin: 5px 7px; float: right; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;">The Central Theatre Ensemble has been selected for the 2015 Best of Ellensburg Award in the Theater category by the Ellensburg Award Program.</span></p><p>Long recognized as a theatre powerhouse in the region, Central Washington University's CTE recently hosted the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, where Scott Robinson, theatre arts professor and chair, received a second Gold Medallion of Excellence. It is the most prestigious regional award given by KCACTF and is one of the great honors in theatre education. CWU is the only public institution to offer the only Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Musical Theatre in the Northwest.</p><p>This year, the CTE will begin its season with the ever popular Red Curtain Broadway Revue on November 19.</p><p>Each year, the Ellensburg Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Ellensburg area a great place to live, work and play.</p><p>Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2015 Ellensburg Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Ellensburg Award Program and data provided by third parties.<img alt="" src="/theatre/sites/" style="width: 200px; height: 204px; float: left; margin: 5px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;"></p><p>About Ellensburg Award Program</p><p>The Ellensburg Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Ellensburg area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.</p><p>The Ellensburg Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community's contributions to the U.S. economy.</p><p><br>CONTACT: Ellensburg Award Program, E-mail:, URL:</p></span style="line-height: 1.4;"></br>Broadway Classic, Fiddler on the Roof, Opens May 8, 05 May 2015 13:35:01<p><img alt="" src="/theatre/sites/" style="width: 250px; height: 387px; float: left;">Winner of nine Tony Awards, a record-setting Broadway run and a musical score that has withstood the test of time, <em>Fiddler on the Roof</em> has enthralled audiences world-wide for more than half a century.</p><p>Based on the writings of Sholem Aleichem, the story follows Tevye, a simple milkman, as he navigates the rough waters of a turbulent time.</p><p>“Although the production will be interpreted traditionally, the values and sentiments are extremely timely—universal as it were,” said Patrick Dizney, director, and Central Washington University professor of theatre arts. “It really focuses on Tevye’s struggle to maintain his faith in the winds of great change and persecution.”</p><p>As Tevye raises his five daughters, he struggles to maintain his familial and cultural traditions as the currents of political and social change pull his family further and apart. Strewn with such classics as “Tradition,” “If I Were a Rich Man,” and&nbsp; “Matchmaker, Matchmaker,” theatregoers will be humming the music from “Sunrise [to] Sunset.” Full of warmth, humor, and a beautiful musical score, <em>Fiddler on the Roof</em> is sure to please audiences for years to come.</p><p>The role of Tevye will be played by seasoned theatre professional Eric Jensen. Jensen has been performing in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest since 1989.&nbsp; He has performed with ACT, 5th Avenue Theatre, Seattle Childrens Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Tacoma Actors Guild, and the Village Theatre, as well as the the Ordway in Minnesota and the Globe in California. A professional actor for the past 25 years, he has toured throughout the United States and the world—Barcelona, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, and Canada. His past roles have included not only Tevye, but also Javert (<em>Les Miserables</em>), The Beast (<em>Beauty and the Beast</em>), and Emile DeBeque (<em>South Pacific</em>) and others. He has also worked as an educator and director for Village Theatre's Kidstage program</p><p><em>Fiddler on the Roof</em> will be performed at 7:30 p.m., May 8-9 and 14-16, and at 2:00 p.m. on&nbsp;May 10 and 17 in McConnell Auditorium. Tickets are $15-20 for adults, $12-18 for students and seniors and $7 for CWU students w/ID.</p><p>Advanced purchase is recommended. To purchase tickets go to Tickets may also be purchased by calling 509-963-1429, or in person at the Wildcat Shop Customer Service at the Student Union and Recreation Building.</p><p>Parking in CWU lots is free after 4:30 p.m. and on weekends, except in residence hall lots and in specifically designated spaces.</p><p><em>Parents may consider some material unsuitable for their youngest children. May include situations, language, or actions that may startle some patrons.</em></p><p>Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,</p><p>May 5, 2015</p>