HCC Theatre Performances
Highland to Present The Mystery of Edwin Drood
The Highland Community College drama and music departments will present the musical, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, on April 26 and 27 at 7:30 pm and April 28 at 3:00 pm. Directed by Graham Cooper, with musical direction by Shayna Leahy and Yvette Cook, this melodrama/musical is based on the last, unfinished novel of Charles Dickens [1812-1870]. Highland’s production of Edwin Drood is a nod to the bicentennial of his birth and a celebration of his writing.
The melodrama, although based on the work of Dickens, was written by American Rupert Holmes in 1985 and was the first Broadway musical to have multiple endings, in this case determined by audience vote. The Mystery of Edwin Drood, which won five Tony Awards, alternates between reality and melodrama. Since Dickens died before completing the end of his story, he did not provide the identity of the murderer. Depending on the votes of each night’s audience on whodunit, the Highland cast will be challenged to deliver alternate endings to the production.
The setting for the play is as follows. When the Music Hall Royale stage a melodrama of Charles Dickens’ unfinished novel, they are shocked to discover half way through the second act that he died before he could finish it. The play screeches to a halt, and in the ensuing melee the Chairman decides that the show must go on, even if it means the audience must decide who the murderer, detective, and lovers are.
With over thirty possible endings, this is quite simply the who-done-it that keeps you guessing to the last moment. With music by Rupert Holmes, the second act is a cross between ‘Clue” and the nightmare where you find yourself at work without your pants on and can’t remember how you got there.
Set in 1895, we step behind the façade of Music Hall Royale to watch the actors prepare and play their roles. Every night is the premier of this full score musical, and in every performance the actors have to deal with the show the audience presents to them. The comedy is fast and furious farce. The ending is an uplifting tribute to the embattled human spirit.
Highland Theatre to Perform The Snow Queen
The Snow Queen is coming to the Mary Helen Porter Stage in Culbertson Auditorium on the campus of Highland Community College as the Highland Student Theatre Company’s (HSTC) annual Children’s Theatre Production on February 10, 11, and 12. There are two performances on Friday and Saturday, February 10 and 11, a matinee at 1:00 and an evening performance at 7:30. The afternoon performance on Sunday, February 12 will be at 3:00.
The Snow Queen is an adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy-tale where The Great Cold She (the Snow Queen) has sent her minions called Orcs to steal the Rose that protects the Cedar Forest. Once the Forest is destroyed, the Queen can destroy childhood and become immortal by filling the Seeing Thrones with four children. It is a quest that pits good versus evil and love against betrayal.
In this pantomime, the audience travels from the Cedar Forest to the Queen’s lair, the great ice fortress of Amille Henge. They will discover friends where she least expects them and treason in the last place they thought possible, for it is not only the characters at risk but them as well. The cast of about forty members includes pre-kindergarten through adult actors from the area chosen from open auditions. The Snow Queen is an interactive pantomime of the oldest theatrical tradition where the audience is expected to cheer the good and boo the bad, which will make the production a happening rather than just a performance.
All the design elements have been worked on by HSTC students and illustrate the array of talents and specialties in the department. Information about the production can be obtained from Highland theatre instructor Graham Cooper at email@example.com or 442-6089. This production is open to the public free of charge.