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Theater theme: 'A Season that Sparkles'

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Woodbury Community Theatre has always been a shimmering beacon of entertainment in the community, and 2016 is no different.

WCT’s 2015-2016 theater season, “A Season That Sparkles” will have a variety of theater offerings throughout the year – “Lend Me A Tenor,” “Stars On Broadway: Stars 3,” “A Little Night Music,” “Tony and Tina’s Wedding,” a surprise musical and a holiday show.

Audiences will have their laughter sparked this February at the Black Box Theatre with “Lend Me a Tenor,” a farce set in 1934 New York City about a mishap riddled opera.

Audiences will be “dazzled” at the Loft Stage by the music of Disney this March with “Stars on Broadway: Stars 3,” a revue style performance featuring songs from some of the best Disney musicals.

In April, “A Little Night Music” will “illuminate” the Black Box Theatre with Stephen Sondheim’s 19th Century romantic musical.

WCT will also be presenting a shimmering Disney blockbuster musical this June at the Loft Stage, however the name of the musical will remain a surprise until February due to embargoed rights.

“It’s going to be a big family-friendly blockbuster though,” said Michelle Witte, executive director of the Merrill Community Arts Center.

In September, WCT will be presenting “Tony and Tina’s Wedding” at the Merrill Community Arts Center’s Rivertown campus.

The interactive play, which allows audiences to be guests at the wedding, will serve as a fundraiser for Merrill Community Arts Center.

Rounding out the 2016 season will be a holiday show in December, however a show is still yet to be determined.

Visit merrillartscenter.org for more information on the 2016 season.

Theater for all ages

Theater can bridge generations. and that’s exactly what the Merrill Community Arts Center is hoping to do in 2016.

A big focus of 2016, Witte said, will be to provide increased opportunities for Woodbury’s youth and seniors.

This summer Merrill Community Arts Center will be offering at least one, possible two, theater workshops for youth.

“We know we have the demand,” Witte said, “now it’s trying to keep up the supply.”

To help with its youth offerings, Merrill Community Arts Center recently received a $5,000 from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council.

Offering more opportunities for seniors will also be a priority in 2016, Witte said, especially in terms of volunteers.

“We have a lot of retired people helping with shows,” she said. “It’s an opportunity for people to explore other interests whether that’s sewing, building sets, props, organization, bookwork – we have a lot of opportunities for people to find their place and be busy.”

Merrill Community Arts Center will also be improving its customer service for seniors in the new year, Witte said.

Witte said they are hoping to provide more “concierge” service to seniors, such as helping them find their seats or helping push wheelchairs, in addition to keeping their box office open more for those seniors who don’t have computers or telephones.

Additionally, Witte said, they would like to attract groups of seniors, whether that’s church groups or nursing home groups.

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

(651) 702-0976
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