For the first time in recent history, the UWF Theatre Department is preparing to deliver three full-length shows in a single semester this fall.
Every year, the students and teachers of the Center for Fine and Performing Arts gather to give us two plays each semester, with the only annual event being “A Christmas Carol” in December. This semester, they are treating us to both a play and a musical in addition to the Dickens classic.
The season will begin with Shakespeare’s classic “Othello” directed by Sara Schoch. Dealing with problems still faced today in our current social climate, Othello follows a protagonist of the same name in the tale of his tragic fall following his military promotion. It is a tale of love, vengeance, and justice featuring both action and romance while dealing with issues of racism and isolation. This show will feature the acting talent of Azayah Suggs as Othello, who made his debut last semester as Sebastian in “The Little Mermaid,” and Sam Kegley as Iago, who was in “School For Scandal,” “A Christmas Carol,” “The Little Mermaid,” and “Antigone” last year.
Next in the busy schedule is the Broadway musical “First Date,” written by Austin Winsberg and directed by Corey McKern and Tom Baraco of the UWF Music Department. The musical is based on the feeling you get from going on a blind date for the first time. Following the story of Aaron, a nerdy banker, and Casey, an avid dater with little luck with men, as they experience the uncharted waters of their first date. A comedic tale full of embarrassing moments, hilarious lines, and an over-the-top soundtrack. Performers include Spencer Samson as Aaron, known best for his experiences in “School For Scandal,” “The Little Mermaid,” and “Dearly Departed.”
Concluding our fall semester and marking the halfway point of the season is the annual showing of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” A familiar story of the miserly Mr. Scrooge as he is forced to reconsider his life by three unwanted ghostly figures. This year will be slightly different, however, as the show is being directed by Ellen Paige, who choreographed “Evita” for the University in 2017. For those who saw A Christmas Carol last year, you may recognize a face or two. Dakota Scarborough, who graduated last Spring, is returning to reprise his role as Ebeneezer Scrooge. Frequent play attendees here on campus will also recognize him for his work in “School For Scandal” and “Dearly Departed” last season.
“Othello” opens on Oct. 18 and closes on Oct. 27; “First Date” opens on Nov. 15 and closes Nov. 24, and “A Christmas Carol” opens Dec. 7 and closes Dec. 16. Tickets are available at the box office in front of the CFPA and online here.