The Franklin Performing Arts Company (FPAC) presents the 2012 Whatever Theater Festival, running from today, July 31 to Saturday, August 4 at the Franklin School for the Performing Arts (FSPA) and Franklin Town Common. The 5th annual festival features productions of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance, Shakespeare's The Tempest and One Acts. All performances are free of charge, with donations to FPAC gratefully accepted.
The Whatever Theater Festival brings together professional artists, FPAC alumni, students and community performers in a collaborative theatrical experience that showcases an exciting range of dramatic and comedic works. Festival Music Director Hallie Wetzell noted, "The uniting of old friends, student alumni, community participants and young people is a source of great pride for all of us at FPAC. To belong to an organization that brings together people from many different walks of life to promote theater in our backyard is extremely fulfilling. I hope our community will join us in celebrating the arts this summer!"
The festival opens with a collection of One Acts, an eclectic presentation of eight short plays. One Acts will be performed tonight, July 31 at 8:00 p.m. and again on Saturday, August 4 at 3:00 p.m. at FSPA, 38 Main Street.
The Whatever Theater Festival presents Shakespeare on The Common, with performances of The Tempest on Wednesday, August 1 and Friday, August 3 at 8:00 p.m. on the Franklin Town Common (High Street). Friday's performance of The Tempest will be followed by the Whatever Theater Festival Soireé, a fun and informal presentation of unusual talents, on August 3 at 10:30 p.m. at FSPA, 38 Main Street.
Gilbert and Sullivan's acclaimed comic opera The Pirates of Penzance will be performed on Thursday, August 2 and Saturday, August 4 at 8:00 p.m. on the Franklin Town Common (Gazebo Stage). The outdoor venues for FPAC's full-length productions of The Pirates of Penzance and The Tempest lend a magical quality to the performances. Bring your blankets and lawn chairs and enjoy a special evening of entertainment under the stars!
Lead cast members featured in The Pirates of Penzance and/or The Tempest include Greg Dutton, Pat Dutton, Charley Eastman, Giovanna Ferri, Graham Hancock, Ed Jones, Wendy Jones, Lucas Melfi, Shauna Martin, Nick Paone, Chuck Peters, Kellie Stamp, Hallie Wetzell and Julie Wiles of Franklin; Devon Davies, Sean Neary and Lindsey White of Mansfield; Ann Williams and John Williams of Medway; Katie Ryan of Millville; Max Mettler of Westborough; and Lindsay Tomas of Wrentham. Viveca Chow, winner of FSPA's Hong Kong Broadway Star Competition held this past January in Hong Kong, will perform the role of Kate in The Pirates of Penzance and will perform in The Tempest ensemble. The One Acts feature performances by thirty-five cast members, including many FPAC alumni.
The Whatever Theatre Festival is conceived and directed by Nick Paone, with music direction by Hallie Wetzell, who is assisted by Shauna Martin. Piano accompaniment is by Jenny Tang, costume design by Tracy Lane and sound engineering by Derek Pisano.
For more information, call the Franklin Performing Arts Company at (508) 528-8668 or visit www.fpaconline.com. The Whatever Theater Festival is sponsored by Middlesex Savings Bank, Pediatric Dental Group and, in part, by grants from the Franklin, Norfolk, Plainville and Wrentham Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.