Artists in Action: JSU brings magic to the stage this season
by Hervey Folsom
Special to The Star
Sep 09, 2012 | 1695 views |  0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sometimes things are not what they seem. Sometimes, we ask, what is real and what is not? Jacksonville State University Drama Department‘s coming season in the Stone Center addresses that enigma with five productions under the theme “Magic, Illusion, and Whimsy” with lots of entertainment along the way to finding the answers.

Randall Blade, JSU’s drama department chair, is excited about the combination of shows.

“There is something special about the way all the shows fit together,” he said. “These productions collectively celebrate and take advantage of all the magic theater has to offer. Whether the script examines a romantic relationship, a magical village in Scotland, a magician’s cave or mischievous ghosts, they all give the audience a great story.”

“The Shape of Things” by Neil Labute kicks off the season Oct. 11-14. The romantic drama contains some adult language and mature themes.

“The Illusion” by Tony Kushner, adapted from Pierre Corneille’s” L’Illusion Comique,” will be the inaugural production on the newly named R. Carlton Ward Stage Nov. 15-18. In this strange tale, a father seeks out a sorcerer to find the location of his estranged son.

The musical “Brigadoon,” a Scottish fantasy, is next, open for two weekends Feb. 2-March 3.

“Blithe Spirit”, scheduled for May 15-19, is one of Noel Coward’s most well-known comedies. It includes a séance scene with medium Madame Arcati presiding.

Then, “A Tennessee Walk” by Robb Winn Anderson wraps up the season. The drama, presented June 19-23, is about a tragedy that happened during a circus parade in a small town in Tennessee. The whole account has never been revealed. But now, a freelance journalist is determined to find answers. “Walk” (appropriate for age 13 and up) is winner of the 2012 Southern Playwrights Contest, hosted annually by JSU.

For season ticket and single ticket information, call 256-782-5648.

Dulcimer workshop

If you like the tones of the guitar and mandolin, you may enjoy learning to play the dulcimer. Little River Canyon Center in Fort Payne is offering a Mountain Dulcimer Workshop Sept. 22 and 29, and Oct. 6 and 13 in the canyon center. Musician Mickey Luck will teach the basics of playing the mountain dulcimer from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at each lesson. Also, the instructor has dulcimers to lend for the sessions.

According to Luck, the mountain dulcimer is an Appalachian instrument similar to those brought over by European settlers to the mountainous areas of the Northeast and then to the South.

“It’s a fun instrument and easy to learn,” he said. “It’s great to sing with and to use for instrumental pieces as well.”

Traditionally, the mountain dulcimer is held on the lap and its strings strummed with a pick. It gained popularity during the American folk music movement in the 1960s.

The fee for the workshop is $100. To pre-register, call JSU Field Schools at 256-782-8010.

Hervey Folsom is a longtime supporter of the arts in Calhoun County and has been writing for The Star since 1971. She can be contacted at
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Artists in Action: JSU brings magic to the stage this season by Hervey Folsom
Special to The Star

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