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Vinegar Tom, Candide: weekend must-dos

Vinegar Tom-4x3Vinegar Tom – Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 20-22, 8 p.m.; Sunday, Feb. 23, 3 p.m. All performances will be held at Stetson Theatre Arts’ “Second Stage” located inside the Museum of Art, 600 N. Woodland Blvd., adjacent to the DeLand campus. Admission is $12 for adults, and $10 for seniors and area students. Stetson students, faculty and staff are admitted free with a valid ID. For information or reservations, call Stetson Theatre’s “Second Stage” box office at (386) 822-8700. Caution Notice: This play is for mature audiences due to the coarse language and sexual content. 

Stetson University presents Vinegar Tom, by Obie Award-winning author Caryl Churchill, with the collaboration of Stetson singers and video projections by Stetson’s Digital Arts Program.

Vinegar Tom, directed by Julie Schmitt, director of Stetson’s Theatre Arts Program, tells the story of a small rural village in 17th Century England. It examines the devastating effects that result when feelings of paranoia and hatred are channeled into accusations of witchcraft. Although the story is set in the 17th century, the play has a contemporary feel as a result of the modern staging and the inclusion of popular music sung by a chorus of singers.

The audience will be drawn into this production due to the intensity of the story and the intimacy of the staging. Audiences will feel as though they are a part of the action with the ¾ thrust-style stage arrangement, which allows the audience to more fully surround the actors on stage.

“The most exciting aspect of this production involves the level of collaboration that is taking place between artists of different backgrounds,” said Schmitt. “In addition to getting to work with talented scenic and costume designers, I have also had the opportunity to collaborate with Cathy Neff, a music composer, and Matt Roberts, associate professor of Digital Arts at Stetson. So not only will this production have compelling actors performing on an incredibly dynamic set, but those performances will also be supported by original music and engaging video projections. It has been a lot to coordinate, but I know it will be worth it in the end.”

The actors include: Grace Aguda (pictured-standing), Erin Foster, Roxy Ghamgosarinia, Jonathan Greer, Sabrina Lemar, Jacob Manos (pictured), Rachel Markunas (pictured, right), Ellen Smittle and Samantha Williams. The singers include: Allie Champagne, Caron Davis, Ashley Johnson and Amie Vaughn. (Photo by Ken McCoy.)

opera (Candide)Candide – Friday, Feb. 21, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, Feb. 23, 3 p.m. Both performances at DeLand High School Auditorium, 800 N. Hill Ave. Admission: $20 for general admission; $15 for seniors; $10 for Concert Series Card Holders and area students; free to Stetson students, faculty and staff with valid Stetson ID. Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance online through ticketreturn.com. For more information please call Stetson’s School of Music Concert Line at (386) 822-8947, or the School of Music at (386) 822-8950. 

The Stetson University School of Music Opera Theatre will present Leonard Bernstein’s Tony Award-Winning opera, Candide, directed by Russell Franks, with orchestra conducted by Anthony Hose.  

The opera Candide  is based on the novel by the same name, written by Voltaire in 1759. The opera begins in a baron’s castle in Westphalia and introduces the notion that all is for the best in “The Best of All Possible Worlds.” The characters, however, are carried through a series of events that can only be described as bad luck, proving that the philosophy may, in fact, not be for the best.

Candide provides the audience with a cast of lively characters, a slew of comedic situations, and a number of beautifully written songs.

The university cast of over-the-top characters will be played by the members of the School of Music Opera Theatre. Some of the cast members are pictured, left to right: Caroline Brazelton, singing the role of Cunegonde; Michael Vlach, singing the role of Maximillian; Sean O’Malley, now pursuing a Master in Music at LSU; and Stephanie Polonio, now pursuing a Master in Opera at University of Maryland.

Visit www.stetson.edu/music to see the full concert schedule for 2013-14. Check out stetson.edu/cultural-calendar for all university music, theatre, art and lecture schedules. Visit Stetson’s Creative Arts Program for more information about the university’s arts, digital arts, theatre arts and the humanities programs.