By Mia Proli Gable
Arizona Daily Wildcat
The UA Arizona Repertory Theatre (ART) is gearing up for a semester of interesting productions, including a new musical that is "destined for Broadway," according to Julia DeHesus, director of marketing & development for the Department of Theatre Arts.
The UA will be the first university to perform "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" said DeHesus. Originally a novel written by Horace McCoy, and then an Academy Award winning movie starring Jane Fonda, "They Shoot Horses" has only been performed by two other production groups. The musical centers around a dance marathon in Venice Beach, California in 1934.
One of the most exciting aspects of the musical, according to DeHesus, is that it is a work in progress. The composer, Robert Sprayberry, has been working with ART tailoring the musical to the group, as well as to the space. "They Shoot Horses" will be the second production in the new Laboratory Theatre.
Sprayberry and playwright Nagle Jackson will hold a discussion on the process of transforming a novel into a musical in March which will be free and open to the public.
ART's first production of the semester will be "Mad Forest," which opens in early February. This drama, by Caryl Churchill, revolves around the lives of two families living under a totalitarian regime that collapses. "Mad Forest" is a New Faces production. Designed to "introduce the new faces of the department," said DeHesus, this production allows freshman and sophomores the opportunity to perform.
Following "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?," the semester will conclude with "False Admissions." Written 250 years ago by French author, Pierre Carlet de Chamblain de Marivaux, this romantic comedy will give a glimpse into 18th century France, complete with period costuming. All three productions at the UA this semester will offer exciting views into three very different societies and times.
Stay tuned for reviews from other theatres around town, including Arizona Theatre Company's world premiere of Milcha Sanchez-Scott's newest play, "The Old Matador," which opens this Friday night at the Temple of Music and Art. Also, the Gaslight Theatre will be opening it's winter production "Sonny Montana Singing Cowboy" this week and from the Invisible Theatre comes Peter Shaffer's comedy "Lettice & Lovage," opening Jan. 25.
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