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Season Welcome

Eric Harrell

Welcome to Regent Theatre! It is my honor and privilege to once again serve as chairman of the Department of Theatre Arts—a department incredibly blessed since we premiered our first six-show season in the fall of 2003. Yes, it's been 10 years! Many of you have been with us every step of the journey. Simultaneously, we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the inception of our MFA in Acting program. Over the last decade you have seen dozens of talented, young actors tread the boards of the Regent stage. Many of these actors have gone on to very successful careers as performers, educators and ministers in fulfillment of our four-fold mission to positively impact the professional theatre, the academy, the church, and our culture. Some of these same students have now joined the ranks of Regent's professional theatre company in residence—Tidewater Stage!

Now, it gives me great pleasure to introduce the plays that comprise our 2013-14 theatre season. Every season we strive to bring you productions that run the gamut of the human condition: from thought-provoking drama to side-splitting farce; from cosmically dimensional tragedy to toe-tapping musicals that send you home humming the score. I think you will find that this season, in particular, we have truly delivered.

The NY Daily News called our opening production—Robert Harling's hit comedy Steel Magnolias—a "...finely constructed piece of theatre ... as resilient, as funny, as moving and as bracing as its marvelous title characters." Six Louisiana women seek refuge from the buffetings of life in Truvy's beauty salon, where they share and celebrate life's triumphs—and tragedies. Our season continues with one of William Shakespeare's most popular comic masterpieces, The Comedy of Errors, in which two unwitting sets of twins cause comical mayhem in a series of hilarious near-misses. Our fall semester concludes with William Inge's American classic, Bus Stop. Both uproariously comical and poignantly touching, worlds collide as a small group of travelers is stranded in a rural diner during a Kansas snowstorm.

Our spring semester kicks off with a play recognized as "brilliant" by the New York Post—William Nicholson's Shadowlands. This story chronicles the bittersweet romance between Oxford scholar C.S. Lewis and the tempestuous American poet Joy Davidman. Moving ahead, we experience an intimate examination of the horrific cost of war on the innocent in Euripides' harrowing tale of revenge and retribution—The Trojan Women. We conclude our season with the Tony Award-winning hit Broadway musical The Drowsy Chaperone. If you're a fan of the roaring 20's, Fred and Ginger, George Gershwin, and Cole Porter, you are going to LOVE this show! Critics hailed this gem as "Delightful, Sparkling Entertainment!"

Thank you for joining us for yet another exciting season!

Michael Hill-Kirkland, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Theatre Arts

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