Updated: Sep 20
Belmont’s thespians will take the stage at long last in the first full, in-person theater and dance program since the onset of COVID-19.
Unlike last year, Belmont’s performing arts programs will be able to commence once again with live performances and full audiences.
The full program includes historical dramas, satirical musicals, community theater collaboration and original productions written by students.
To kick start the season, Kate Hamill’s “Little Women” will open in Belmont’s Troutt Theatre on Oct. 1.
Adapted from Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel of the same name, the story follows sisters Jo, Amy, Beth and Meg March in a post-Civil War America, and explores the adversity faced by the four brave and imaginative young women in a world defined by gender roles, status and tragedy.
Belmont’s production of “Little Women ” is directed by theatre department associate dean Dr. Jane Duncan, and will run through Oct. 9.
A Prohibition-era drama is in store next at the Black Box Theatre from Nov. 12-20 — “The Diviners” by Jim Leonard Jr., which follows the trauma of a disturbed, water-fearing young man and his friendship with a jaded preacher in southern Indiana.
“It deals with religion and the idea of seeing miracles that aren’t really there, just people seeing what they want to see,” says Robbie Matlock, a senior theatre major involved in the production.
Also plan for a plethora of student work to play across Belmont’s stages.
Two theater department seniors will showcase original pieces written for younger audiences: “Lorna Bea and Her ADHD” and “The Bedtime Chronicles.”
Liz Gresser’s “Lorna Bea” follows a group of forest critters exploring and understanding neurodivergency, with the intention of introducing mental health topics to children.
Gresser’s production will run Oct. 22-24 in the Troutt Theatre.
Annie Wolfzorn’s “The Bedtime Chronicles” tells the story of a mother putting her children to bed using bedtime stories, embracing childlike imagination.
“Little kids are welcome, adults are welcome and everything in between,” said stage manager and movement coordinator Deven Ferrer. “The audience is even invited to wear their PJs.”
Wolfzorn’s show will run in the Belmont Little Theatre from Oct. 29-31.
Student work will continue to flourish Nov. 19-21 at the Senior Capstone Festival, a new addition to the Department of Theatre and Dance due to the growth of the program.
Seniors create and star in original work at this event, encapsulating their learning and experience at Belmont into a fully-realized production showcased in the Little Theatre.
“I do see it as a really great opportunity because I’m getting to use original material,” said senior Lucy Buchanan, a theater performance major. “It’s really just a big conglomeration of everything I’ve learned for the past four years.”
The musical theater department at Belmont will also bring their talent to two shows this semester, both on campus and elsewhere in the neighborhood.
For their first production of the season, the department will collaborate with the Nashville Children’s Theatre in“The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical.”
“The cast is entirely Belmont musical theater students, but the production team is all made up of NCT’s staff,” said sophomore Henry Beddoe, who stars in the title role.
The Nashville premiere of the hit musical, adapted for the stage from Rick Riordan’s popular fantasy series, tells the action-packed story of a teenager who learns he is the son of Poseidon and becomes entangled in chaos and catastrophe of godly proportions.
The production will run at NCT in Nashville’s Rutledge Hill from Oct. 22-31.
Following “The Lightning Thief,” Belmont’s musical theater program will stage the Tony Award-winning musical “Urinetown,” a satirical comedy that shows the consequences of depleting the world’s natural resources.
“Urinetown” will run Nov. 10-14 in the Troutt Theatre.
The dance program’s annual student recital will round out the semester, a performance choreographed by and starring student dancers. This year’s show is titled, “Moving Stories,” and tickets are free and the Dec. 4 show, which will be open to the public in the Troutt Theatre.
Further ticketing information for Belmont’s full program as well as NCT’s “The Lightning Thief,” can be found online.
PHOTO: Belmont’s theater students rehearse for “Little Women,” which opens Oct. 1. Photo courtesy of Anna Johnson.
This article was written by Walker Dixon. Contributory reporting by Olivia Patterson.