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Commonwealth, NKU Theatre Announce Upcoming Seasons

Commonwealth Theatre Company at Northern Kentucky University announced its 2019 summer season and NKU's School of the Arts announced its 2019-20 academic year theatre season this week.

Commonwealth will perform Noel Coward's Fallen Angels from June 7-23 and Church Girls from July 5-21.

Fallen Angels: Before Julia and Jane married their husbands Fred and Willy – there was Maurice, a former French lover. While the women's blissfully ignorant husbands are away on a golf trip, he shows up and reminds them of what they might be missing. Following an evening of drunkenness and fevered anticipation, Julia and Jane become concerned that indiscretions from their past will be revealed, and comedic antics ensue. Fallen Angels is a biting, hilarious comedy about rivalry and manners, resulting in a champagne cocktail of wit and charm.

Church Girls, a musical with book by Ken Jones, lyrics by Christine Jones, and music by Jamey Strawn: The “ladies” of Umatilla Second Christian Church Women’s Auxiliary League are back and producing their annual Mother’s Day pageant. As the “church girls” prepare for their pageant, chaos and calamity bring out less than ‘saintly’ behavior. The result is Heaven sent hilarity! Making its farewell performance, Church Girls is a campy, cheeky, audacious musical comedy that will hit your funny bone and keep you laughing.

NKU season

The African Company Presents Richard III by Carlyle Brown, Sept. 26 - Oct. 6, 2019

In 1820’s Manhattan, William Henry Brown, a free black American, organizes a production of Shakespeare’s Richard III for a predominantly black audience. When the booking of a famous English actor to play Richard III by a rival theatre company threatens to close their production, his African Grove Theatre Company is forced to reflect on their lives - performing jobs of servitude by day and their artistry by night. Drawn to the stage because of their ability to create art out of their own experiences, the company members must determine if their artistry is worth risking it all. Based on a true story, The African Company Presents Richard III carries a timeless message of negotiating racial consciousness in theatre that still resonates today.

Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov, Oct. 17-27, 2019

As the Prozorov sisters and their brother yearn for a return to adventure-filled life in Moscow, the pastoral setting of their new lives brings change and reflection on love, marriage, and career. In a prophetic hinting of the coming Bolshevik Revolution, the playwright weaves a memorable tale about the rise of the working class and social change in Russia. Considered one of Anton Chekhov’s greatest plays, Three Sisters is packed with action and emotion, and explores the aching desire of dreams and the often cold realities that come to pass.

Freaky Friday, a musical with book by Bridget Carpenter, music by Tom Kitt, and lyrics by Brian Yorkey, Nov. 14-24, 2019

When an overworked mother and her teenage daughter magically swap bodies, they have just one day to put things right again. By spending a day in each other's shoes, Katherine and Ellie come to appreciate one another's struggles, learn self-acceptance, and realize the immeasurable love and mutual respect that bond a mother and daughter. Freaky Friday, a new musical based on the celebrated novel by Mary Rodgers and the hit Disney films, is a heartfelt, comedic, and unexpectedly emotional update on an American classic.

H.M.S. Pinafore by W.S. Gilbert & Arthur Sullivan, Feb. 21–March 1, 2020

The gentlemanly Captain Corcoran has a daughter, Josephine, who is in love with a lowly but gallant sailor named Ralph Rackstraw. Meanwhile, the Captain’s former nanny, Little Buttercup, falls in love with him, but he hesitates to reciprocate due to his higher social rank. The whole situation is turned on its head when Little Buttercup reveals a game-changing secret she has kept for decades. H.M.S. Pinafore is filled with robust sailors, star-crossed lovers, and crazy comical antics sure to tickle your funny bone and lift your heart.

Buried Child by Sam Shepard, March 26–April 5, 2020

Deep in the American Heartland, life seems to have mysteriously come to a stop. Grappling with the disillusionment of American Mythology a family seeks to hide their past, only to become trapped by it. The surprise arrival of an estranged grandson and a mysterious finding in the field ignites the characters like fireworks on the Fourth of July. Alternately funny and darkly macabre, Buried Child weaves a twisted family drama of epic proportions.

Mamma Mia!, a musical with music and lyrics by Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, and book by Catherine Johnson, April 24-May 3, 2020

On the eve of Sophie’s wedding, her quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother's past back to the Greek island they last visited 20 years ago. But which one is her real father? The story-telling magic of ABBA's timeless songs propels this enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship, creating an unforgettable show that is guaranteed to have you singing and dancing!

First Year Show, Nov. 29–Dec. 1, 2019

This production shows off freshman and transfer students. Title will be announced in September 2019.

Dance ‘20, March 20-23, 2020

Featuring a company of NKU's best young dance artists, along with new and innovative works created by faculty, guest artists, and nationally renowned choreographers, Dance ‘20 has something for everyone – theatre dance, contemporary and classical ballet, tap, modern, jazz, and world dance.

-Staff report

Photo via NKU SOTA