A! Magazine for the Arts

ETSU Theatre and Dance plans first season in new Martin Center

August 24, 2021

JOHNSON CITY – The Department of Theatre and Dance at East Tennessee State University presents its 2021-2022 season in the Martin Center for the Arts beginning in November.

The season opens with “Men on Boats,” a comedy by Jaclyn Backhaus. Featuring an all-female cast, “Men on Boats” tells the “true(ish)” story of 10 explorers – a one-armed captain and crew of insane yet loyal volunteers – who set out to chart the course of the Colorado River during an 1869 expedition, writes Dramatists Play Service. The show contains strong language.

The show runs Nov. 18-21 and will be directed by ETSU faculty member Cara Harker. The creative team includes Melissa Shafer (lighting and sound design), Jonathon Taylor (scenic design), Ante Ursic (movement/choreography), Sarah Slagle (costume design), Zach Olsen (technical design), Caroline Daniels (assistant lighting designer) and Emma-Rae Carson (stage management).

“Straight White Men” is performed Feb. 17-20. The show is written by Young Jean Lee, who was the first Asian American to have a play produced on Broadway. “Straight White Men” ran on Broadway in 2018 and features three brothers – Drew, Jake, and Matt – who have gathered at their Midwestern home on Christmas Eve with their widowed father, Ed.

Melissa Shafer directs “Straight White Men” with Ante Ursic (movement/choreography), Zach Olsen (technical design), Jonathon Taylor (scenic design), Caroline Daniels (assistant lighting design), Beth Skinner (costume design) and Ian Shockley (lighting design). “Straight White Men” contains adult themes and strong language.

“Bright Star,” a musical written and composed by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, takes the stage April 1-10. Set in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina during the mid-1940s, “Bright Star” tells the story of literary editor Alice Murphy who meets a young soldier upon his return home following World War II. The show is produced through special arrangement with, and all authorized performance materials are supplied by, Theatrical Rights Worldwide.

The musical is directed by Bobby Funk, with music direction by Brad Fugate. The “Bright Star” design team includes Cara Harker (movement/choreography), Jonathon Taylor (scenic design), Beth Skinner (costume design), Melissa Shafer (lighting design), Zach Olsen (technical design), Emma-Rae Carson (stage management), Kallie Jenkins (assistant scenic design), Lucy McGee (assistant costume design) and Ian Shockley (assistant lighting design).

Tickets will go on sale later in the fall. For more information about the 2021-2022 season, visitwww.etsu.edu/theatre.