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July 22, 2014

Cowley College announces theatre season

Theatre students at Cowley College will stage four productions for the public over the 2014-2015 school year. The season will begin with the popular musical Little Shop of Horrors, followed by a children’s theatre production of The Velveteen Rabbit. The group will return in the spring with a new adaptation of the classic farce Charley’s Aunt, and will end the season with the comedy Leaving Iowa. All performances will be held in the Robert Brown Theatre, located at Cowley College’s flagship campus in Arkansas City, Kansas.

Little Shop of Horrors, the popular comic sci-fi spoof by famed writing team Ashman and Menkin (Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast), will be presented on October 30, 31, and November 1, and will include several tie-ins with Halloween and Arkalalah celebrations. The musical, which revolves around a nebbish youth and his man-eating plant, will feature puppets designed by Martin Robinson, the artist for the original New York City production.

On December 1 and 2, the troupe will perform Elise Kauzlaric’s 2006 adaptation of the children’s classic, The Velveteen Rabbit. The production will include several school showings and one evening public performance, and will mark the adaptation’s Kansas debut.

In March, Brandon Thomas’ 1892 farce, Charley’s Aunt, will receive a brand new adaptation by Cowley College Humanities Department instructor Deborah Layton and Theatre Director John Sefel. The comedy has been updated from Oxford University in the late Victorian era to a Norman Rockwell-worthy American Midwestern university in 1938, and features mistaken identities, young love, and a football player in a dress.

Finally, following the success of last year’s The Boys Next Door, Tim Clue and Spike Manton’s Leaving Iowa will be presented in an intimate “black box” setting with limited seating.

According to director John Sefel, the play is “a touching comedy about family, the American mid-west, and station wagons,” and is “equal parts heart-warming and hilarious.” Special discounts are available for children, seniors, and military families.

All four shows will feature the work of Cowley students, both onstage and behind the scenes. More information about the season and Cowley’s theatre program may be found via the college’s website, through the theatre program’s social networking pages, or by contacting the programming director at SefelJ@cowley.edu or 620-441-5318. Local businesses interested in advertising or sponsorship opportunities are encouraged to contact John Sefel for further details.

The theatre program at Cowley College is a liberal arts training program designed for students to explore and gain experience in theatre and performance, both on stage and behind the scenes. Students in the major often go on to four-year programs and ultimately work in the arts, entertainment, performance, or event management fields.

The Robert Brown Theatre is an 800-seat premiere performing arts and cultural center which receives nearly 10,000 visits each year.

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