The upcoming Allen County Community College drama season promises to showcase the entire spectrum of theater to local audiences.
Students have begun rehearsing for their season opener, “The Drowsy Chaperone,” a self-described “musical-within-a-comedy” that runs Oct. 6-8 at the Bowlus Fine Arts Center.
As in years past, the Bowlus production serves as a collaboration between the college’s drama and music departments.
The remainder of the ACCC drama productions — “Almost, Maine,” “Student-Directed One-Acts” and “Night of the Iguana” will be in the ACCC Theatre.
The season will feature both comedies and dramas, as well as new and classic plays, drama instructor Tony Piazza said.
“It will be a good season,” Piazza said. “We’ve got some strong returning actors, and some fresh, new faces on board this year.”
“THE DROWSY Chaperone” is an homage to musicals of the jazz era, Piazza said, with a music buff reliving her daydreams through old theater show tunes. As the narrator, portrayed by Tanya Wilson of Garnett, plays various tunes, the characters in her fantasies come to life for the audience.
A healthy portion of the story follows an aging starlet who must decide whether to give up her showgirl career in order to get married.
“There’s a slender ‘boy-meets-girl’ plot as well,” Piazza said. “It’s a fun show, really well done.”
The collaboration with the music department means several actors will sing and dance — some for the first time, Piazza said. Likewise, some music students who are new to the drama scene also are participating.
“ALMOST, MAINE” features eight vignettes about love, all featuring different characters and settings with the common thread being that they are in Maine.
The play runs Dec. 1-3 at the ACCC Theatre.
The student-directed one acts run Feb. 23-25 and will keep with tradition through a mixture of plays penned by the students themselves, as well as published skits.
“We’ve already had a lot of students express an interest in directing and writing,” Piazza said.
One of the one-acts will be a slice of life skit “Knights on the Couch,” that Piazza saw performed at a recent drama festival.
“Knights on the Couch,” is similar to “Almost, Maine” and “The Drowsy Chaperone” in that all were produced within the past 10 to 15 years.
“That makes it exciting,” Piazza said. “We have some new faces doing some new pieces.”