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Dancers perform Briana Blair Kelly’s work “Resilience,” during a rehearsal for Fredonia Dance Ensemble 2024.
Dancers perform Briana Blair Kelly’s work “Resilience,” during a rehearsal for Fredonia Dance Ensemble 2024.

Dancers perform Briana Blair Kelly’s work “Resilience,” during a rehearsal for Fredonia Dance Ensemble 2024.

  • May 2, 2024
  • Doug Osborne-Coy

From time-tested classics to Broadway hits and from brand-new works to contemporary dance, the 2024-25 Walter Gloor Mainstage Series will have it all covered.

Tickets for the 2024-25 Walter Gloor Mainstage Series will go on sale in late August through the Fredonia Ticket Office in the Williams Center.

The series, produced by the Department of Theatre and Dance, will offer six productions during the 2024-25 season, which opens in October with the Broadway musical “Legally Blonde.”

Directed by Professor Jessica Hillman-McCord, “Legally Blonde” is described as “an upbeat celebration of self-discovery and female empowerment.” Based on the hit film, the musical follows heroine Elle Woods as she takes on Harvard Law School. The stage version had a successful Broadway run in 2007.

The Mainstage Series production runs for six performances in the Robert W. Marvel Theatre from Oct. 25 through Nov. 2.

In December, the series continues with four performances of “The Book Women” from Dec. 5 to 8 in the Alice E. Bartlett Theatre.

Directed by Assistant Professor Daniel F. Lendzian, the work by award-winning playwright Rachel Bublitz chronicles the efforts of a group of dedicated librarians in Depression-era Kentucky who take to horseback in order to deliver books – and hope – in coal country.

The spring semester will open with “Alicia’s Lens,” a production devised by the Fredonia Young Company under the direction of Associate Professor Nestor Bravo Goldsmith.

The play follows the journey of Alicia, a photographer working to complete a series for an upcoming exhibition in a prestigious gallery. Delving into an underground world inspired by Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” “Through the Looking Glass,” and Jorge Millas’ “Escenas inéditas de Alicia en el país de las maravillas” (“Unpublished Scenes from Alice in Wonderland”), Alicia encounters iconic characters such as the Mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts, the Precision Cat, and the White Rabbit. Through her lens, she documents surreal experiences, blending contemporary realism with Carroll’s fantastical universe.

The Mainstage production premieres in Bartlett Theatre from March 6 to 9 and then will tour high schools in Chautauqua County between March 11 and 14, and March 25 and 27.

The Fredonia Young Company was founded in 2021on the premise that theater should entertain, educate and be accessible to everyone – especially young audiences.

William Shakespeare’s classic comedy “Twelfth Night” continues the Mainstage Series with six performances from March 28 to April 5 in Marvel Theatre. SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor Paul Mockovak will direct.

“Twelfth Night” is considered a testament to Shakespeare’s “enduring genius” with its blend of mistaken identity, love, and comedic chaos as shipwrecked twins, Viola and Sebastian find themselves entangled in a web of romantic intrigue. Known for its witty dialogue and vibrant characters, the play explores themes of disguise, gender roles, and the pursuit of “love’s true essence.”

New to the Mainstage Series in 2024-25 will be a One-Act Play Festival from April 24 to 27 in Bartlett Theatre. The festival will premiere approximately one dozen new works created by Fredonia student playwrights.

The festival will be under the guidance of Assistant Professor Lendzian.
“The students will be creating those one-act works in our new playwriting class,” he said. “Every one of the works will be a world premiere.”

Rounding out the 2024-25 series will be the annual concert with the Fredonia Dance Ensemble from May 1 to 3 in Marvel Theatre. Professor Sam Kenney will direct the program of contemporary concert dance.

Highlights will include works by Fredonia alumni Abigail Donegan, Charles Fuller, and Briana Kelly, and guest artist Jenna Del Monte Zavrel, along with a restaging of Jose Limón's 1964 masterwork, “A Choreographic Offering.”