Pulitzer Prize Winning Drama Comes to Wheaton Drama Stage

December 18th, 2018

 

Wheaton Drama’s upcoming production, WIT by Margaret Edson, is currently in rehearsals, with cast & crew working delicately to bring this poignant drama to life.
WIT tells the story of Vivian Bearing, PhD, a literary professor who is grappling with a recent diagnosis of terminal ovarian cancer. As she reflects on her life between moments of decline & crisis, she uses her own grit, determination, & knowledge of John Donne’s sonnets to make meaning of the course of her life.
Director Lisa Dawn is crafting WIT to find the profound humanity that exists when we, as people, experience the most vulnerable, difficult moments of our lives. This humanity is reflected in the fear, humor, & calm resolve we all might experience in the face of adversity.

What does it take to stage a medical crisis?
The cast & crew of WIT are working with a medical consultant & fight choreographer in order to recreate realistic scenes of chaos that are sure to have audiences on the edge of their seats.
 
(Right: Cast & Crew of WIT rehearse bedside with medical consultant Katelyn McKeon)
WIT will be on stage at Wheaton Drama from January 18 through February 10, 2019. Performances are Thursdays/Fridays/Saturdays at 8pm & Sundays at 3pm.
Tickets available NOW at www.wheatondrama.org or by phone at 630-260-1820.
WIT is presented through special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York.

Register NOW: Kids’ Workshop begins Jan 8!

December 5th, 2018
STUDENT ACTING WORKSHOPS AT WHEATON DRAMA
A Fun Experience For All!
Young performers, Grades 1 – 8, will learn basic onstage and acting techniques while they develop their imagination and creativity.  All children will have a blast as they explore acting through a series of theater and improvisational games.  This ensemble building class will foster each student’s self esteem and help him/her become an independent thinker both on and off the stage.
Six-week sessions will be offered at Wheaton Drama, located at 111 N. Hale Street, Wheaton, IL. All sessions will be on Tuesday afternoons at these times:
WINTER 2019
January 8 – February 12, 2019 (Make Up: February 19)
5:00 p.m. until 5:55 p.m.
(Please note that this session will be Grades 1 – 8 combined and both classes will run at the 5pm time slot.)
Tuition: $100 per child for the six-week session
To register, visit www.wheatondrama.org or call 630-260-1820 and leave a message about registration. 
Contact Education Governor Elyse Willis with questions or for more information at
wdieducation@gmail.com.
Note: Classes are subject to change based on enrollment.

Audition Notice: Murdered to Death by Peter Gordon

December 5th, 2018

Wheaton Drama (WDI) proudly announces auditions for the hilarious comedy, Murdered to Death, by Peter Gordon.  Directed by Annie Walker-Bright and produced by Rebecca Poole-Dumper.

Auditions will be held Sunday, January 6 and Monday, January 7, 2019 starting at 7pm, with callbacks as needed on Tuesday, January 8that 7:30 p.m.  Auditions will be held at Wheaton Drama’s Playhouse 111, located at 111 N. Hale Street, Wheaton, Illinois.  Auditions are open, with no appointments required.  Cold readings from the script and sides will be provided for each character at auditions.

Murdered to Death will run March 22 through April 14, 2019; Thursdays/Fridays/Saturdays at 8pm; Sundays at 3pm. Performances will take place at Wheaton Drama’s Playhouse 111, located at 111 N. Hale Street in downtown Wheaton.

Synopsis:

Murdered to Death is the first in the ‘Inspector Pratt’ trilogy of spoofs of the Agatha Christie ‘whodunnit’ genre, with a dash of Inspector Clousseau thrown in for good measure.

The play, set in the 1930s, takes place in an English manor, slightly worse for ware, with worn out decor and furnishings.  It introduces the inept and bungling Inspector Pratt, who battles against the odds and his own incompetence to solve the murder of the house’s owner. It soon becomes clear that the murderer isn’t finished yet; will the miscreant be unmasked before everyone else has met their doom or will the audience die laughing first?

Characters:

The characters in Murdered to Death are all deliberately based upon ‘whodunnit’ stereotypes. All of these characters are caricatures of typical English gentry, but according to director Walker-Bright, “My experience in directing most comedies shows that the humour works best when they are played relatively ‘straight’.”  Character ages below are for guidance only and can be varied, provided that the overall balance is maintained.  Director Walker-Bright gives the following advice: “I would rather see huge characters at first.  Show no fear in presenting over the top performances as one is then able to be pulled back if necessary.”

Mildred– Late fifties. Moderately wealthy owner of Bagshot House.

Dorothy– Mildred’s niece. Late twenties and rather plain but very appealing.

Bunting– The butler. Sixties. Pedantic and rather creepy.

Colonel Charles Craddock– Early sixties. Dresses in tweeds. Confident but over the top bluster.

Margaret Craddock– The long-suffering but acerbic wife of Charles.

Elizabeth Hartley-Trumpington – Mid twenties. Attractive and stunningly dressed. Very high society.

Pierre Marceau– A french art dealer in his early thirties. An exaggerated french accent.  Will need to hear cockney from this character as well.  Aha!!!!

Joan Maple – A spinster in her sixties. Amateur sleuth. Think of all the Miss Marples you have ever seen and this is Joan Maple.

Constable Thomkins– Young, bright uniformed village policeman, but well aware of Inspector Pratt’s pratness!!!!

Inspector Pratt – Inept, posing and clumsy. Thinks he so clever but we know better.  A master of malapropism, but this is not intentional.

Audition forms will be available at the theater during auditions or you may download for completion here: Murdered to Death Audition Form

Contact Director Annie Walker-Bright with questions at Bebrightannie@aol.com.

Wheaton Drama is a non-equity theater and offers no pay. Cast members will be required to complete membership with Wheaton Drama in order to participate.

Casting Announced: WIT

November 15th, 2018

Wheaton Drama is pleased to announce casting for our upcoming production of “Wit” by Margaret Edson. Director Lisa Dawn & Production Manager Mike Boyna, along with the entire creative team for “Wit”, wish to thank everyone who auditioned & look forward to bringing this poignant, moving piece of theatre to the stage in January!

Cast

Vivian Bearing, Ph.D. Doreen Dawson
Harvey Kelekian, M.D./Mr. Bearing Pete Gately
Jason Posner, M.D. Garrett Ard
Susie Monahan, R.N. Ellen Hill
E.M. Ashford, Ph.D. Dianne Wawrzyniak
Ensemble member Shannon Bachelder
Ensemble member Ed Garzaro
Ensemble member Tony Leyva
Ensemble member Elissa Wolf

Crew

Director Lisa Dawn
Production Manager Mike Boyna
Assistant Director Elaine Phillips
Stage Manager Elyse Willis
Assistant Stage Manager Michelle Ho, Vikkie Willis
Scenic Design R.J. Ogren, 2011
Properties/Set Dec Lisa Wallace
Lighting Design Jim Van De Velde
Sound Design Sean Ogren
Costumes Lisa Wallace
Hair/Makeup Tracy Adams

“Wit” will be on stage from January 18 through February 10, 2019 at Wheaton Drama’s Playhouse 111, located at 111 N. Hale Street in downtown Wheaton. Showtimes are Thursdays, Fridays, & Saturdays at 8pm; Sundays at 3pm. Tickets & information available by phone at 630-260-1820 or online at www.wheatondrama.org.

“Wit” is presented through special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York.

Audition Notice: WIT

October 20th, 2018

Wheaton Drama (WDI) proudly announces auditions for the Pulitzer Prize winning drama, “Wit”, by Margaret Edson.  Directed by Lisa Dawn and produced by Mike Boyna.

Auditions will be held Sunday, November 11th and Monday, November 12th starting at 7pm, with callbacks as needed on Tuesday, November 13th.  Auditions will be held offsite at 112 N Wolf Rd, Northlake IL. To request an audition, please fill out the audition form and email it to WDIWitAuditions@gmail.com, along with your preferred audition date.  The date and scheduled time for your audition will be emailed back to you, along with sides for you to prepare and directions to the audition site. Walk-ins are welcome but will only be seen as time allows.

Performances of “Wit” will take place January 18 through February 10, 2019; Thursdays/Fridays/Saturdays at 8pm; Sundays at 3pm.

Audition Form available for download here: Wit Audition Form


Synopsis:  

Vivian Bearing, Ph.D., a renowned scholar and professor of English who has spent her life studying and teaching the metaphysical sonnets of John Donne, has been diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer.  During the course of her illness – and during her stint as a patient in an experimental chemotherapy program – Vivian comes to reassess her life and her work with a profundity and humor that are transformative both for her and the audience.

“[A] brutally human and beautifully layered play…you feel both enlightened and, in a strange way, enormously comforted.” – The New York Times

 

Characters:  

NOTE: All characters in “Wit” are open to all ethnicities.  Age preferences are listed*

Vivian Bearing, Ph.D. (Age 50’s) – The play’s main character and narrator.  As a professor, she is infamously tough, and as a scholar she is unrelenting in her pursuit of knowledge.  But as her disease and its painful treatment progress, she begins to question the single-minded values and standards that have always directed her, finally coming to understand the aspects of life that make it truly worth living.  You’ll also find that she contains elements of…humor.

Harvey Kelekian, M.D. (Age 50’s) – Chief of Medical Oncology and not only responsible for Vivian’s treatment but all of the medical fellowships, including that of Jason Posner.  Vivian and Kelekian are like-minded peers who speak different languages.

Jason Posner, M.D. (Late 20’s) – A medical fellow in Dr. Kelekian’s Oncology unit responsible for much of Vivian’s care.  Coincidentally, he was once a student of Vivian’s. Much like Vivian, his passion for research far outweighs his interest in personal connections.  

Susie Monahan, R.N. (late 20’s-30’s) – Vivian’s primary care nurse.  Though not considered “book smart” by scholarly standards, she shows Vivian that there is more to life than what can be taught in a classroom.  

E.M. Ashford, Ph.D. (Age 50-80’s) – Professor Ashford is Vivian’s college professor/mentor.  Though Ashford passed on to Vivian her unrelenting work ethic and thirst for knowledge, she also urged Vivian to find balance in life through personal connection – which she gives to Vivian in her time of need. Ashford is first seen at age 50 in a flashback, and then again at age 80.

Mr. Bearing (Played by the same actor as Kelekian) – Vivian’s father seen in a flashback from Vivian’s early childhood during the moment she acquired her passion for words.

Lab Techs, Clinical Fellows, Vivian’s students, Code Team (Age 20-30’s, preferably 2M, 2F) – Each of four actors will play four distinct characters, one from each of the above groups. These are roles that drive the action and represent aspects of Vivian’s journey, past and present, continually.  Seeking actors well versed in characterization and improv.

“Wit” is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Services, Inc., New York, NY.

Subscribe to RSS feed