McDaniel College Theatre presents the Tony Award-winning musical “Assassins,” November 20 through November 23 at 7:30 p.m. in WMC Alumni Hall. The musical, which has music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by John Weidman, is directed by McDaniel Theatre Arts department chair Elizabeth van den Berg.
A multiple Tony Award-winning theatrical tour-de-force, “Assassins” combines Stephen Sondheim's signature blend of intelligently stunning lyrics and beautiful music with a panoramic story of our nation's culture of celebrity and the violent means some will use to obtain it, embodied by America's four successful and five would-be presidential assassins. Bold, original, disturbing, and alarmingly funny, “Assassins” is perhaps the most controversial musical ever written.
“Assassins” lays bare the lives of nine individuals who assassinated or tried to assassinate the President of the United States, in a one-act historical "revusical" that explores the dark side of the American experience. From John Wilkes Booth to Lee Harvey Oswald, the writers bend the rules of time and space, taking us on a nightmarish roller coaster ride in which assassins and would-be assassins from different historical periods meet, interact, and inspire each other to harrowing acts in the name of the American Dream.
The cast of “Assassins” consists of McDaniel students P.J. Calhoun, Nick Cloutier, Karly Congero, Nicholle D'Anna, Matt Foley, Emma Goldman, Bryant Gutknecht, Jacob Gorham, Amanda Halcott, Elizabeth Hobbs, Danny Marken, Kobe Morrison, Anna Rozier, Sam Trapp, Emma Walther, and Patsy Zetkulic. Also featured is community member Avery Kellar. Alison E. Shafer serves as musical director.
Director van den Berg thinks the play is particularly timely. “There are events in the history of the United States that have changed who we are as a nation,” she says. Certainly, the Civil War changed us as a nation. But the killing of the man who signed the Emancipation Proclamation also changed us as a nation. People who were around when JFK was assassinated can tell you exactly where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news. And that’s also true for the assassination of Martin Luther King. Both of those events broke us as a nation.”
“Perhaps the closest thing to that for younger folks was 9/11. You remember where you were, what you were doing. It’s a flashpoint in your memory. And it broke us. Columbine broke us. Sandy Hook broke us. Pulse Nightclub broke us. The Las Vegas country music festival broke us. Gun violence keeps on breaking us. We’re broken – why can’t we fix it?”
“As an artist, I like to shine a light on humanity and problems through theatre, and let the audience take away what they will. ‘Assassins’ shows us another side of the stories about these particular people who tried to kill, or succeeded in killing, our Presidents.”
Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for seniors, students, military, and the McDaniel College community. The show contains adult material including mature language, violence, and sexual situations. For more information, call the box office at 410-857-2448.
Wednesday, November 20 at 7:30pm
Thursday, November 21 at 7:30pm
Friday, November 22 at 7:30pm
Saturday, November 23 at 7:30pm
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