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2021-22 Season

Tickets are available online three weeks in advance through the Herberger Institute Box Office. Ticket prices and venues vary.

"The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee"
Sept. 30, Oct. 1, 2, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 3, 2 p.m.
Evelyn Smith Music Theatre

Music and lyrics by William Finn
Book by Rachel Sheinkin

Conceived by Rebecca Feldman
Directed and choreographed by Seth Tucker
Music direction by Kevin White (‘22)

Laugh-out-loud funny and effortlessly endearing, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” has charmed its way into Broadway history as a modern classic. A quirky group of mid-pubescent spellers compete for the championship title – six spellers enter, one speller leaves. At least the losers get a juice box! Experience the dramatic ups and downs on the wild ride to first place. With an engaging, tuneful score by William Finn and a sweet, H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S book by Rachel Sheinkin, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” causes audiences to fall in love, both with the show itself and its “perspicacious,” “jocular” and “effervescent” spellers.

Content warning: Suitable for audiences age 12 and up.

The Last Five Years (student production)
Oct. 22, 23, 7:30 p.m.
Oct.. 23, 24, 2 p.m.
Evelyn Smith Music Theatre

Written and composed by Jason Robert Brown
Directed by Jonice Bernard
Music direction by Kevin White

An emotionally powerful and intimate musical about two New Yorkers in their twenties who fall in and out of love over the course of five years, the show's unconventional structure consists of Cathy, the woman, telling her story backwards while Jamie, the man, tells his story chronologically. The two characters only meet once – at their wedding in the middle of the show.

Content warning: This performance may not be suitable for young audiences due to strong language and sexual content.

"Healing Wars" (a collaboration with music, dance and theatre)
Nov. 5, 6, 12, 13, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 7, 14, 2 p.m.
Galvin Playhouse Theatre

Conceived by Liz Lerman
Directed and choreographed by Keith Thompson

“Healing Wars” deals with the traumatic effects of war on soldiers and on those charged with healing them.

Content warning: References to Civil War deaths and to contemporary wartime injuries to soldiers (such as in Afghanistan).

"Hansel and Gretel"
Nov. 18, 19, 20, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 21, 2 p.m.
Evelyn Smith Music Theatre

Music by Engelbert Humperdinck
Libretto by Adelheid Wette

Conducted by Michael Ching
Directed by Dale Dreyfoos

Based on the classic fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm, “Hansel and Gretel” is a charming confection of tuneful melodies, spiced with suspense and humor when the children, Hansel and Gretel, fall in the clutches of the Wicked Witch! For over a century, audiences have fallen under the spell of this magical work, which has been called “the perfect introduction to children of all ages.” Performed in German with supertitles.

Content warning: Suitable for all audiences.

"Godspell" (student production)
Jan. 14, 15, 7:30 p.m.
Jan 15, 16, 2 p.m.
Evelyn Smith Music Theatre

Conceived and originally directed by John-Michael Tebelak
Music and new lyrics by Stephen Schwartz
Originally produced on the New York Stage by Edgar Lansbury / Stewart Duncan / Joseph Beruh

Directed by Wesley Bradstreet (‘22)
Music direction by Mario Yniguez (‘23)

A joyous celebration of community, Godspell follows a group of people as they help Jesus Christ tell different parables by using a wide variety of games, storytelling techniques and a hefty dose of comic timing. An eclectic blend of songs, ranging in style from country line-dance to vaudeville, is employed as the story of Jesus' life dances across the stage. Dissolving hauntingly into the Last Supper and the Crucifixion, Jesus' messages of kindness, tolerance and love come vibrantly to life.

Content warning: Suitable for audiences age 12 and up.

The Color Cabaret (student production)
January 29, 7:30 p.m.
January 30, 2 p.m.
Evelyn Smith Music Theatre

Directed by Jonice Bernard (‘22)
Music direction by Mario Yniguez (‘23)
Faculty mentor: Nathan De’Shon Myers

Join current ASU students for the annual Color Cabaret! This entirely student-led cabaret is an opportunity for BIPOC (Brown, Indigenous and people of color) students in the School of Music, Dance and Theatre to create performances that speak to their own experience. This performance also serves as a fundraiser for the BIPOC student scholarship fund, led by the ASU Music Theatre and Opera Student Organization. Together we celebrate and highlight what makes us different, in a field that is constantly changing. Join us and see how BIPOC students can make our communities more colorful, stronger and hopeful through our passion for performing.

Content warning: May contain language and subject matter not suitable for young audiences.

Opera Double Bill

"We’ve Got Our Eye On You"
A chamber opera
Feb. 17, 18, 19, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 20, 2 p.m.
Evelyn Smith Music Theatre

Music and story by Nkeiru Okoye
Libretto by David Cote

Conducted by Brian DeMaris
Directed by Stephanie Sadownick                                                         

"We’ve Got Our Eye On You" is a 60-minute opera loosely based on Ancient Greek myth, made famous in the “Stygian Witches” episode from 1981 fantasy classic Clash of the Titans. Inspired by that work and a dizzying range of influences – Gilbert & Sullivan, the Gershwins, Monty Python, Stephen Sondheim and Aretha Franklin – the opera uses broad laughs and keen, unexpected pathos to explore the unleashed desires of three highly unusual sisters torn between dignity and desire. The story takes place in Ancient Greece, in and around a cave inhabited by the Graeae, or Gray Sisters – Enyo, Pemphredo and Deino – eyeless siblings who share an external eyeball. A Chorus of Greeks introduces the sisters, who are cooking a man in their cauldron as they prepare for a visit from Pythia, the Oracle at Delphi. Pythia arrives and soon has a vision that the ladies will be “known” by the hero Perseus, who is on the hunt for Medusa. Inflamed by the idea of a strange man but honor-bound to protect their half-sister, the sisters vow not to tell. Inwardly, however, they fantasize about knowing him. Will romantic impetuosity ruin all? Is Perseus hunter or prey? Mixing broad feminist comedy with elegant, witty songwriting, the opera explores and critiques notions of heroism, chastity and the phenomenon of “hooking up.”

Content warning: Suitable for audiences age 12 and up.

NOTE: The development of We’ve Got Our Eye On You was made possible in part by an OPERA America Discovery Grant for Female Composer program through the generosity of The Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.

"600 Square Feet"
A micro-opera
Feb. 17, 18, 19, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 20, 2 p.m.
Evelyn Smith Music Theatre

Music by Nkeiru Okoye
Libretto by David Cote

Conducted by Nathan De’Shon Myers
Directed by Kelli Shill

A young couple, Alexandra and Lance, share a small but cozy apartment. They have hit a rocky patch in their relationship. In fact, they just broke up. But rather than move out, they break up the apartment. Alexandra takes the bedroom, Lance stays in the living room. The reason for their fight: Lance saw Alexandra having coffee with a mutual friend and assumed they were having an affair. Meanwhile, Alexandra demands to know what Lance was doing downtown and not at his office. Both refuse to explain, yet each badly misses the other — in the next room. Can ex-lovers cohabitate in only 600 square feet without total honesty? See if love or stubbornness will triumph in this operatic rom com about trust, boundaries and real estate.

Content warning: Suitable for audiences age 12 and up.

Note: 600 Square Feet was commissioned by Baldwin Wallace University Voice Performance in Collaboration with Cleveland Opera Theater and Onsite Opera.


"The Valley" (new work reading)
Feb. 26, 7 p.m.
Feb. 27, 2 p.m.
ASU Kerr Cultural Center

Book and lyrics by Jamie Maletz
Music by Eric Fegan

Directed by Toby Yatso
Music direction TBD

Over two million people visit Iceland annually, eager to explore its black beaches and blue glaciers while driving the Ring Road in search of the elusive Northern Lights. Four tourists believe they have signed up for a free volunteer trip to help "repair damage caused by local elements" in Iceland. They are technically correct, but definitely not in the way they expected. Their journey brings the very problems they were running away from to the surface. The Valley is a story about redemption – taking action in the face of impossible odds – and discovering what it means to find a new normal. It is a contemporary dramatic comedy with a running time of approximately two hours.

This musical has a contemporary pop-rock score with influences ranging from Icelandic folk music and progressive rock to Disney ballads and swing jazz.

Content Warning: May not be suitable for young audiences.

ASU Class of 2022 Cabarets
Feb. 28 - March 4,  Time TBD
Location TBD

Directed by Robert Kolby Harper
Music direction by Kevin White

Come to the Cabaret! Join the ASU Musical Theatre Graduating class as they perform mini-cabarets as they launch their professional careers. Proceeds help fund the yearly trip to New York City.

Content warning: Contains strong language and other material that may not be suitable for young audiences.

"Bright Star"
April 21, 22, 23, 7:30 p.m.
April 4, 2 p.m.
Evelyn Smith Music Theatre

Music, book and story by Steve Martin
Music, lyrics and story by Edie Brickell

Directed by Robert Kolby Harper
Music direction TBD

Inspired by a true story and featuring the Tony®-nominated score by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, Broadway’s Bright Star tells a sweeping tale of love and redemption set against the rich backdrop of the American South in the 1920s and ’40s. When literary editor Alice Murphy meets a young soldier just home from World War II, he awakens her longing for the child she once lost. Haunted by their unique connection, Alice sets out on a journey to understand her past – and what she finds has the power to transform both of their lives. With beautiful melodies and powerfully moving characters, the story unfolds as a rich tapestry of deep emotion. An uplifting theatrical journey that holds you tightly in its grasp, Bright Star is as refreshingly genuine as it is daringly hopeful.

Content warning: Recommended for audiences ages 12 and up.

Musical Theatre Showcase
April 25, 7:30 p.m.
Location TBD

Directed by Robert Kolby Harper
Music direction by Kevin White (‘22)

Join our graduating Arizona State University Music Theatre students as they put their best foot forward in their final showcase performance. Arrive a little early and stay a little late for an evening of socializing with current and former ASU Music Theatre and opera alumni and professionals from around the Phoenix metro area.

Content warning: May contain language and subject matter not suitable for young audiences.

 

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. www.mtishows.com

The Last Five Years is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. www.mtishows.com

Godspell 2012 is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. www.mtishows.com

600 Square Feet and We've Got Our Eye on You are presented by arrangement with Nkeiru Okoye. www.nkeiruokoye.com

Bright Star is presented through special arrangement with and all authorized performance materials are supplied by Theatrical Rights Worldwide 1180 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 640, New York, NY 10036. www.theatricalrights.com