The University of Lynchburg’s fall theater season opens Thursday, Sept. 16, with “Dead Man’s Cell Phone,” performed on the Dillard Fine Arts Center main stage. Additional performances will be held Saturday, Sept. 18, and Sunday, Sept. 19.
“Dead Man’s Cell Phone” asks the questions, “Has technology united us or unfastened us?” and “In the midst of our daily lives, particularly in this pandemic, how do we continue to ‘be there’ for our families, friends, and communities?” Jeff Wittman, director and theatre professor, said.
“The play is a compassionate tale of one woman’s journey to connect with others and help iron out life’s messes.”
On Friday, Sept. 17, Lynchburg will present “Honoring Our President: Sounds and Songs of Scotland” in Sydnor Performance Hall. The concert, part of Parents and Family Weekend, will feature the Wind Symphony and Orchestra; the musical theater ensemble Curtain Call; and the student dance troupe Dance Works.
The concert pays homage to Lynchburg’s president, Dr. Alison Morrison-Shetlar, a native of Scotland, and will include music by John Philip Sousa, Clare Grundman, James Horner, Lloyd Conley, Malcolm Arnold, and others.
In keeping with the theme, Curtain Call will perform a jazz version of “Almost Like Being in Love,” from the musical “Brigadoon,” and Dance Works will perform a Scottish dance.
Over three weeks in October, Curtain Call members, along with University staff, faculty, and alumni, will participate in Old City Cemetery’s Candlelight Tours. The popular, annual event brings to life stories of people buried in the cemetery. Ticket sales begin Thursday, Sept. 16.
In addition to portraying some of the cemetery’s “residents,” at the beginning of each tour Curtain Call will perform “When I Go,” an original song written by New York City composer and lyricist James Ballard. Ballard is the artistic director for the Curtains Up! Songwriters Workshop, an annual event at Lynchburg.
“The song conveys the importance of sharing stories of the past to stay connected to the future,” Loretta Wittman, associate professor of theatre and the tours’ artistic director, said.
“The stories represent the local history of individuals from all walks of life — differing backgrounds, ages, races, religions, and abilities. This year, our theatre faculty, staff, students, and alumni will be working together with members of the community to bring these stories to life.”
The theatre department’s collaboration with Old City Cemetery is part of Lynchburg Tomorrow, a collaborative project launched this year that connects the city’s nonprofits, government organizations, and other groups with University resources.
At 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 27, Dance Works will perform its Fall Dance Showcase on the Dillard main stage.
Rounding out the fall theatre lineup is “Festival of Five Plays,” a series of unique or original plays directed by senior-level theatre students. The event will be held Wednesday through Sunday, Nov. 10-14, on the Dillard main stage.
Time and ticket information for all fall theatre events will be posted on the theatre department’s website as it becomes available.
All events are subject to change pending acquisition of rights and evolving CDC, state, and University policies regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Please visit the University’s website and the theatre department’s Facebook page and Twitter account for up-to-date information.