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Otterbein Summer Theatre Announces 51st Season, New Direction

April 03, 2017
Otterbein University

Season of “Epic Imagination, Intimate Encounters” under new Artistic Director Lenny Leibowitz 

WESTERVILLE, OH – Otterbein Summer Theatre unveiled its 51st season with promise of a fresh vision for the future. Newly appointed Artistic Director Lenny Leibowitz is reimagining the creative possibilities for this, one of Central Ohio’s longest running summer theatre programs, in a season he has dubbed as one of “Epic Imagination, Intimate Encounters.”

“We’re beginning a new chapter in our story, and entering a new era of artistic enterprise. This season we will stage two of the most captivating musicals ever written with a dynamite company of our very own Otterbein students working both onstage and behind the scenes,” Lenny Leibowitz said. 

The season will open with “My Fair Lady” which will feature a resourceful cast of 11 — many playing multiple roles — and a radically reimagined scenic design that eschews elaborate set changes, placing primacy instead on actor-driven ingenuity and a joyous sense of theatricality. The production will be staged in the small, 237-seat on-stage arrangement in the Fritsche Theatre at Cowan Hall by Leibowitz with music direction by Lori Kay Harvey. “My Fair Lady” will run June 1-24. Cowan Hall is located at 30 S. Grove St.

“I love the challenge of re-envisioning a big musical in a small space; it can be a thrilling, exhilarating experience for audiences and artists alike to encounter a show like ‘My Fair Lady’ in a setting much more intimate than they may be accustomed to when experiencing a large-scale musical,” Leibowitz said.

The tale of a cockney flower girl transformed into an elegant woman, “My Fair Lady” features one of musical theatre’s greatest scores. Songs include “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly?,” “With a Little Bit of Luck,” “The Rain in Spain,” “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “On the Street Where You Live,” “Get Me to the Church on Time,” and “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face.”

The summer season will continue with the Neil Simon and Marvin Hamlisch collaboration of “They’re Playing Our Song” from July 6-22 in Riley Auditorium at the Battelle Fine Arts Center, 170 W. Park St. The big-hearted musical will be directed by Melissa Lusher with music direction by Dennis Davenport, both Otterbein faculty members.

Set in the 1970s, “They’re Playing Our Song” is a funny, romantic show about an established composer and his relationship with an aspiring young female lyricist. Professionally, their relationship works beautifully, but ultimately leads to conflict on the home front. Of course, there’s a happy ending.

The usual three-show season will be shortened to just two in order to make way for renovations to the theatrical rigging system in Cowan Hall, but will be the start of many new, exciting changes.

According to Leibowitz, “We plan to maintain our commitment to providing our students practical pathways to the professional stage. At the same time, we plan to expand our artistic family by returning to the tradition of occasionally bringing in exciting, talented guest artists from further afield, enlarging our creative breadth as well as our external reputation.”

Other additions will include the introduction of a staged reading series and the continued commitment to produce big plays and musicals with great stories in a way that defies expectations and transcends conventional thinking.

Season ticket packages, which will be available for sale in April, are $61 each.  Individual tickets, which go on sale beginning May 15, will be $33 each. 

Opening night performances begin at 7:30 p.m., Sunday and Friday matinees are at 2 p.m., and all other performances begin at 8 p.m.

The Otterbein Summer Theatre Box Office will officially open on May 15. Box office hours will be Monday through Friday from 12-4 p.m., and one hour prior to all performances. For more information about Otterbein Summer Theatre and the 2017 Season, please contact Otterbein University Theatre at 614-823-1109 or visit www.otterbein.edu/drama.  

 

Details:

My Fair Lady
Book and Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, Music by Frederick Loewe
Adapted from George Bernard Shaw’s play and Gabriel Pascal’s Motion Picture “Pygmalion”

Directed by Lenny Leibowitz
Music Direction by Lori Kay Harvey
Choreography by Stella Hiatt Kane

June 1-4, 8-11, June 15-18, and June 22-24 
(Two performances Friday, June 9 - 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.),
All performances ONSTAGE in the Fritsche Theatre at Cowan Hall, 30 S. Grove St.

Performance Schedule:
Thursday, June 1          7:30 p.m.
Friday, June 2              8 p.m.
Saturday, June 3           8 p.m.
Sunday, June 4            2 p.m.
Thursday, June 8          8 p.m.
Friday, June 9              2 p.m.
Friday, June 9              8 p.m.
Saturday, June 10         8 p.m.
Sunday, June 11          2 p.m.
Thursday, June 15        8 p.m.                                                                                          
Friday, June 16            8 p.m.
Saturday, June 17         8 p.m.
Sunday, June 18          8 p.m.
Thursday, June 22        8 p.m.
Friday, June 23            8 p.m.
Saturday, June 24         8 p.m.

The tale of a cockney flower girl transformed into an elegant lady features one of musical theatre’s greatest scores. Songs include “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly?,” “With a Little Bit of Luck,” “The Rain in Spain,” “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “On the Street Where You Live,” “Get Me to the Church on Time,” and “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face.”

 

They’re Playing Our Song             
Book by Neil Simon, Music by Marvin Hamlisch, Lyrics by Carole Bayer Sager

Directed by Melissa Lusher
Music Direction by Dennis Davenport
Choreography by Stella Kane

July 6-9, 13-16, and 20-22 (Two performances July 14 - 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
All performances in Riley Auditorium at the Battelle Fine Arts Center, 170 W. Park St.
*NOTE CHANGE IN LOCATION FOR THIS PRODUCTION.

Performance Schedule:
Thursday, July 6          7:30 p.m.
Friday, July 7               8 p.m.
Saturday, July 8           8 p.m.
Sunday, July 9             2 p.m. 
Thursday, July 13        8 p.m.
Friday, July 14             2 p.m.
Friday, July 14             8 p.m.
Saturday, July 15         8 p.m.
Sunday, July 16           2 p.m.
Thursday, July 20        8 p.m.
Friday, July 21             8 p.m.
Saturday, July 22         8 p.m.

Set in the 1970s, “They’re Plying Our Song” is a funny, romantic show about an established composer and his relationship with an aspiring young female lyricist. Professionally, their relationship works beautifully, but ultimately leads to conflict on the home front. Of course, there’s a happy ending.

 

Ticket Information:        
Season ticket packages, which will be available for sale in April, are $61 each.  Individual tickets will go on sale beginning May 15 for $33 each.

Opening night performances begin at 7:30 p.m., Sunday and Friday matinees are at 2 p.m., and all other performances begin at 8 p.m.

The Otterbein Summer Theatre Box Office will officially open on May 15. Box office hours will be Monday through Friday 12-4 p.m., and one hour prior to all performances. For more information about Otterbein Summer Theatre and the 2017 Season, please contact Otterbein University Theatre at 614-823-1109 or visit the Otterbein University website, www.otterbein.edu/drama.  

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