Arts Council announces theater lineup

The Surry Arts Council has announced the lineup for its upcoming community theater season which, according to the organization, includes a variety of offerings “from Shakespeare to Willy Wonka to Elvis to ABBA.”

The season kicks off with Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” directed by Mark Donnell.

“‘Macbeth’ is an exploration of unfettered ambition, lust for power, and the all-too-human capacity to be misled,” the council said in announcing the show. “Brave Scottish general Macbeth receives a prophesy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders the king and takes the throne. Wracked with guilt and paranoia, he is forced to commit more murders to protect himself from enmity and suspicion.”

“Macbeth” opens on Saturday, Nov. 3, at 7:30 p.m. and shows again Nov. 4 at 3 p.m. before closing Nov. 5 at 7:30 p.m. The run will also include school performances on that Monday.

The season continues with “The Nutcracker” presented by New York Ballet for Young Audiences. The classic story of Clara, a young girl on the brink of womanhood, whose dreams are both childlike and tinged with romance, comes to life. Local youth get to perform with professional dancers in this popular, one-of-a-kind production. It shows Sunday, Dec. 2, at 3 p.m.

Cameron Kent’s original musical “Welcome to Virginia,” directed by Debby Severs Diamont, is next. It tells the story of five people stranded at an interstate rest area.

“Frank Loudman, a brash billionaire businessman, is trying to run away from Christmas to avoid a painful past. He finds himself stuck with his homespun secretary, Kristine; Charlie, a janitor who just wants to get home; Tom, a homeless country musician; and Mary Beth, a young widow who is very pregnant,” according to the arts council.

”Through a heartfelt and hysterical series of revelations from this motley crew of cold-weather captives, Frank’s frozen heart may have hope to rediscover the magic of Christmas. ‘Welcome to Virginia’ is sweet, laugh-out-loud funny, family entertainment filled with the true spirit of Christmas.”

This production will be on stage Saturday, Dec. 8, and Dec. 9, at 3 p.m. each day and Dec. 10, at 7 p.m. Auditions are Oct. 1-2, 6-7:30 p.m. in the Surry Arts Council Photo Gallery.

Other shows included in the theater season include:

• Surry Arts Holiday Revue featuring a community chorus performing an evening of classic holiday songs as well as songs from shows such as “A Christmas Story, The Musical,” “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical,” “White Christmas,” “Holiday Inn,” and more. The show has one performance, on Friday, Dec. 14 at 7 p.m.

• Virginia Repertory Theatre’s “’Twas the Night Before Christmas,” Dec. 15, with performances at 2 and 4 p.m. Inspired by the poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” and by the real life of its author, Clement Moore, this comical musical introduces Santa in a particularly beneficent light.

• “All Shook Up” brings the music of Elvis to life. Shelby Coleman will direct this story of a small Midwestern town that is thrown into a frenzy with the arrival of Chad, a good-looking, motorcycle-riding roustabout, who rides from town to town with a guitar on his back, blue suede shoes on his feet, and a song in his heart. Features such Elvis classics as “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Jailhouse Rock,” and “Don’t Be Cruel,” and “All Shook Up.” Saturday, March 23, at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, March 24 at 3 p.m. and Monday, March 25, at 7:30 pm.

• “Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka JR.” will be directed by Madi Chitty; June 1 and 2 at 3 p.m. each day.

• Missoula Children’s Theatre returns for drama camp July 8-13 with a show on Saturday, July 13, at 2 p.m. at the Andy Griffith Playhouse.

• Youth Acting Camp: One Act returns July 15-19 and July 22-26. The daily rehearsals include the basics of blocking, memorization, characterization, and performance. The show is Friday, July 26, at 4 p.m. at the Andy Griffith Museum Theatre.

• “Mamma Mia!” closes the season. Directed by Joey Marion, “Mamma Mia!” is a story of a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her father on the eve of her wedding. The story-telling magic of ABBA’s songs comes to the local stage. “Mamma Mia!” opens on July 27, at 7:30 p.m. and shows again July 28, at 3 p.m., and July 29, at 7:30 p.m.

For additional information on the 2018-2019 Surry Arts Council Theatre Season, visit the website at www.surryarts.org, or call 336-786-7998. Tickets for all shows are on sale and can be purchased online or by phone.