The casual evening will include appetizers and wine, a country barbecue dinner, and a silent auction. The event will also include dancing with the string band Oh! Contraire and caller Mike Clark. WLNS anchor and community theatre personality Evan Pinsonnault will be the emcee for the evening’s festivities.
The event will be held in the department’s brand new scene shop on the MSU campus on Wednesday, May 8. The goal for the event is $15,500. Tickets are available for $45 each by calling (517) 355-6691.
The event is sponsored by the Friends of Theatre, a community group committed to promoting, encouraging, and enhancing activities and programs of the Michigan State University Department of Theatre.
Proceeds for the event will be used to support the 2013 Department of Theatre season and to replace the department’s dance floor, which is also used for stage combat classes. The Department of Theatre has a reputation for producing award-winning musicals such as the next musical on the calendar: “Funny Girl” (April 19-28) at the Pasant Theatre at Wharton Center.
MSU Department of Theatre’s new season, including Summer Circle Free Theatre’s schedule, includes three musicals. “Baby” (Summer Circle) focuses on three couples of various ages and their quest for a child; “Xanadu” offers glitzy fun performed in part on roller skates in collaboration with the Lansing Derby Vixens, and the family favorite, “Peter Pan” which will find cast members soaring above Neverland at the Pasant Theatre.
Sponsors of the “BackStage with Summer Circle Theatre” event at press time include Chalgian & Tripp Law, Classic Travel, Jack and Sue Davis, Kirk Domer, MSU Clerical Technical Union, MSU Federal Credit Union, Paramount Coffee Company, Rainier Investment Management, and Student Bookstore. In-kind donors include Allegra Printing and WLNS.
The department has an illustrious list of alumni, many of whom danced on the present dance floor, which is now buckling with the weight of its former dancers. Included are Anthony Heald, who starred with Patti LuPone in the 1988 revival of Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes,” the late Broadway dancer Mark Anthony Taylor, whose credits includes performances in “Chicago” and “The Life” and the late Tony Franklin, who performed the lead in the Broadway production of “Dreamgirls.”
Other illustrious alumni include stage and film actor Charles Cioffi (Klute), Broadway costume designer Frank Krenz, Broadway stage manager Jan Beroza and Lee Bo Henry, production designer for many films, most recently Tim Burton’s “Coraline.”
Michigan State University's Department of Theatre strives to provoke and sustain truth and insight into the human condition, to offer undergraduate and graduate programs of recognizable excellence, to promote drama and theatre as civilizing agents within society, and to address the redefinitions of dramatic and theatrical styles, forms, and structures as they emerge as artistic responses to the changing world.