CNY Arts Center announces 2020 theater season and auditions

Pictured above, Jessie Fyfe Effig as Queen Aggravain from this season’s “Once Upon a Mattress.” Effig received a 2019 SALT nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical. The 2020 season kicks off with new opportunities for actors and audiences alike at CNY Community Arts Center, located at 121 Cayuga St., Fulton. For more information, visit www.CNYArtsCenter.com or call 315-598-2787.

FULTON — The newest stage in town is ready to launch the theatre season of plays and musicals for 2020 at the Community Arts Center in the heart of downtown Fulton along with a second performance stage for smaller plays and entertainment options. Based on a theme of “New Beginnings” the mainstage season will host four musicals and two plays, with classical drama and popular shows while the Black Box theater space in the lower level will produce three smaller one-act productions.

The year begins with the debut of the Black Box theater and a production of “Keely and Du,” a hard hitting drama for adults only concerning abortion rights and the confusion that surrounds the conversation. “Keely and Du” takes a human inspection of both sides in a non-dictating approach that stimulates dialogue and introspection for audience members.

The play is directed by Nancy Fox who last directed “Keely and Du” at Syracuse University Drama with Laura Austin Allyn and Carolyn Fitzgerald in the title roles. Auditions are 2-5 p.m. Nov. 9 for “Keely and Du” which will run Jan. 10-12 and 17-19.

“Ghost the Musical” kicks off the mainstage 2020 season as a Valentine offering Feb. 14-16 and 21-23. The cult movie of the same name has an endearing musical score that carries the theme of partner love and loss and starting over no matter how tragic the loss. The production is co-directed by Adam Schmidtmann and Liz Walton. Audition dates are Nov. 5, 6 and 9. Visit the website for specific times.

“Children of Eden” ushers in the Easter season March 27-29 and April 3-5 and delivers a powerful musical score with lessons for parents on letting go to allow for new beginnings as children become adults. The production will feature a cast of children as animals in both the creation and in the Ark story alongside a strong ensemble and team of principle actors and musicians. The production is under the direction of Fox and Dan Williams with auditions scheduled for 2-5 p.m. Oct. 26 and 6-9 p.m. Oct. 27. Music rehearsals will start in late December.

The New Beginnings theme continues with the annual Jr. production chosen this year, “Disney’s Frozen Jr.” where siblings learn to embrace challenges while facing fears. The production for child actors ages 7-18 who are still in school is under the direction of Adam Schmidtmann and runs May 8-10 and 15-17. Auditions TBA.

June or July will see a weekend of one act plays yet to be chosen in the new lower level Black Box theateer followed by the mystery thriller “Sorry, Wrong Number” in late October, dates and times TBA.

The summer family production this year takes a turn away from music to a classic drama, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” with a large cast of adults and children. The beloved story demonstrates how some new beginnings take us out of our comfort zones and expand our worlds. The production under the direction of Nancy Fox will run Aug. 7-9 and 14-16.

Fall 2020 will bring the classic Shakespearean tale of “The Tragedy of Macbeth” directed by Chad Lewis, confronting the evils and demons that forced Macbeth to a new beginning, beyond his control. The production will feature live action and combat with swords and knives, authentic period costumes and set, running Sept. 25-27 and Oct. 2-4.

The season rounds out with “Elf,” the beloved Christmas musical and Buddy’s search for his real beginnings. The movie turned stage musical is in limited release to local theaters only through December 2020 before it will be restricted to professional and touring companies again. The production directed by Don Crowe will run Dec. 11-13 and 18-20 and features a mixed cast of adults and children.

 “We are excited to offer this new year of live entertainment for the region. As an anchor for downtown entertainment and family attractions, we have chosen strong theatrical pieces that will make the best use of our unique space,” said Fox, executive director. “And we’ve given children more opportunities to be onstage learning from adults or sharing the stage with parents even. We encourage families to audition and get involved in backstage as well as onstage activities associated with each production.

“We have a brand new LED light system with unlimited potential for creative design for each production and some challenging costume designs to create in this season coming up. We are recruiting artistic personnel, designers, stage managers, and deck crew as well. There is something for everyone and it is a time of new beginnings in many ways.”

For more information about the organization, visit CNYArtsCenter.com or call 315-598-2787.

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