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Center Stage Jackson To Present Jekyll & Hyde And Wizard Of Oz In 2019-20 Season

Popular musicals, youth productions, dinner theatre comedy and a cabaret are in the lineup for Center Stage Jackson’s 2019-20 season announced today.

The season will start in the fall with a Main Stage musical, Jekyll & Hyde. An evocative tale of two men – one, a doctor, passionate and romantic; the other, a terrifying madman – and two women – one, beautiful and trusting; the other, beautiful and trusting only herself– both women in love with the same man and both unaware of his dark secret. A devoted man of science, Dr. Henry Jekyll is driven to find a chemical breakthrough that can solve some of mankind’s most challenging medical dilemmas. Rebuffed by the powers that be, he decides to make himself the subject of his own experimental treatments, accidentally unleashing his inner demons along with the man that the world would come to know as Mr. Hyde. Six performances will be held October 25-27, & November 1-3, 2019 at Jackson College’s Potter Center.

Immediately following will be a Youth Theater presentation of Fairy Tale One-Acts: A combination of Trio! by Lucy Williams and Bedtime Stories (As Told By Our Dad) (Who Messed Them Up) by Ed Monk. Trio! is a fast-paced adventure through a trilogy of storybook favorites. Narrated by a triumvirate of ringmasters and giddily guided by a threesome of circus clowns, Trio! races through the three tales of The Three Bears, The Three Pigs, and the Three Billy Goats Gruff, with a twist! In Bedtime Stories (As Told By Our Dad) (Who Messed Them Up), it’s Dad’s turn to tell his three rambunctious kids their bedtime stories, but when he gets fuzzy on the details, the classics get creative: a prince with a snoring problem spices up The Princess and The Pea, The Boy Who Cried Wolf cries dinosaur instead, and Rumpelstiltskin helps turn all that pesky gold into straw. You may think you know your fairy tales, but not the way Dad tells them! This presentation will be held at Jackson’s First Presbyterian Church November 22-24, 2019.

Rolling into the new year, the dinner theatre production will be Making God Laugh (Play by Sean Grennan). Making God Laugh follows one typical American family over the course of thirty years’ worth of holidays. Starting in 1980, Ruthie and Bill’s grown children — a priest, an aspiring actress, and a former football star — all return home, where we learn of their plans and dreams as they embark on their adult lives. The empty-nester parents contend with their own changes, too, as old family rituals are trotted out and ancient tensions flare up. As time passes, the family discovers that, despite what we may have in mind, we often arrive at unexpected destinations. Nine limited-seating dinner theater performances will be held February 21-23, Feb 28-March 1, and March 6-8, 2020 at the Sandhill Crane Vineyards. 

The spring Youth Theater Musical will be No Strings Attached. When teenager Carl wants to run away from home, he applies for a job with the mysterious Professor Pinecone and his traveling magical marionette puppet show. He quickly discovers, however, that the position comes with all kinds of strings attached. In this play-within-a-play, Carl becomes Pinocchio and improvises his way through the story, meeting some familiar characters — including a cricket with an attitude, the devious fox and cat and the memorable Blues Fairy — as well as some new ones. With the help of this eclectic cast, Carl stumbles upon life’s lessons as he’s forced to make important decisions. This Youth Theater Musical will be held March of 2020 at the Middle School at Parkside’s Kiesel Auditorium, dates to be announced.

In April, Center Stage Jackson will present their annual cabaret: an evening of great food, wine, and live music in the third year of cabaret at Sandhill Crane Vineyards. Theme to be announced following director interviews. Five performances will take place April 3-5 and 10-11, 2020.

The summer Main Stage Musical will be The Wizard of Oz. This beloved tale, in which a Kansas farm girl travels over the rainbow to discover the magical power of home, has been entertaining audiences for generations! Six performances will be held June 5-7 and 12-14, 2020 at Jackson College’s Potter Center.

Other season events to look forward to include the 12th Annual Youth Singing Competition in January and various selections from the Reader’s Theatre Series, dates to be announced.

All persons interested in directing any of the above productions are encouraged to contact Susanna Ellis (jacobandsusannaellis@gmail.com or (517) 539-4118)  before July 10, 2019 for more information or to schedule an interview. Experience is not required, and more information on how to prepare for interviews will be provided after inquiry.

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