The FAMU Essential Theatre is bringing another successful semester to a close with its final production, “Blue,” a jocular musical. This season’s closer ushers in even more exciting change for the Department of Visual Arts, Humanities, and Theatre.
The Charles Winter Wood Theatre has been a cornerstone for notable thespians like T’Keyah Crystal Kemah, and Anika Noni Rose, and will undergo extensive renovations beginning Summer 2009. This state of the art renewal will include a new playhouse and numerous technical upgrades.
“We are excited about the renovations because it will provide a state of the art facility for our theatre students to work and learn,” said Dr. Valencia Matthews, Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
This restoration comes in the midst of budget cuts across the state, and as other entities prepare for university-wide facelifts.
“From an audience’s perspective, I believe the renovations will contribute to keeping our loyal patrons and encouraging a new audience to patronize us,” said Kimberly Harding, the Director of Marketing for the Essential Theatre.
Dr. Luther Wells, the director of “Blue” said, “The last production in this space as we know it is bittersweet.” Wells, an Essential Theatre alumni, and Chair of the Department of Visual Arts, Humanities, and Theatre, has awaited this moment since his arrival on campus many years ago.
Wells said he is excited about the upgrades because they would better help facilitate with the training of more theatre professionals.
The thespians that make up this department are anticipating this final production in the Winter Wood Theatre. Antwaun Roper, a graduating Theatre student from Avon Park is about to complete his last scheduled performance.
“It feels great, to be a part of the last production in the original Charles Winter Wood Theatre,” Roper said. “Lots of alumni will be there to help us celebrate this historic event.”
Younger members of the department are excited to be a part of this new era in the Theatres’ history.
“I am pleased to be a part of this milestone in our history. I actually didn’t know I was going to be a part of this production,” said Chelsea Williams, a freshman theatre performance student from Miami.
The play is centered on the zest of a fictional rural African American family set in the South. “Expect to laugh and be in shock, at this production,” says Roper.
“Although the play is a comedy, it is very family oriented,” Williams said.
Blue runs from March 25 -29, at the Charles Winter Wood Theatre in Tucker Hall. Performances Wednesday through Saturday will be at 8p.m. On Saturday and Sunday there will be 2 p.m. matinee performances. FAMU students are admitted free with identification.
For more information and prices, contact the Essential Theatre Box Office at 850.561.2425.