Gilbert & Sullivan Coming to Life on Stage

Charlotte Wenger and Todd Hooley
Charlotte Wenger (fairy queen) sings to Todd Hooley (Willis) as he tries to not show interest.

Love and politics cross paths in a most unlikely way in W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan’s popular comic operetta, “Iolante,” the major spring theater production at EMU.

EMU Theater will present the two-act, two-hour musical 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Saturday, Mar. 26 & 28, and Apr. 2-4, with a matinee performance at 2 p.m. Sunday, Apr. 5, in the Mainstage Theater in the University Commons.

Twenty years ago, the fairy Iolanthe was exiled for marrying a mortal. Unknown to the rest of her kind, Iolanthe bore a son, Strephon, before her banishment. Now a young shepherd, Strephon falls madly in love with Phyllis, a ward of the Court of Chancery. But the entire House of Lords also want Phyllis, and a chaotic struggle ensues between the fairies and Britain’s men of power.

EMU Theater students
Costume designer Becca Snyder (l.) makes adjustments to Todd Hooley’s tie as fairy queen Charlotte Wenger looks on.

Heidi Winters Vogel, associate professor of theater, is directing the 24-member cast. Stage managers are Sarah Harder, Mountain Lake, Minn.; Emily Hertzler, New Holland, Pa.; and Jamie Hiner, Culpeper, Va.

Other major players are Phil Grayson, set designer; David Vogel, technical director; Sara Prince, choreographer; James Richardson, vocal instructor; Kenneth Nafziger, orchestra director; Heidi Winters Vogel, costume design coordinator; and Grant Sprunger, Kidron, Ohio, and Mark Fenton, lighting designers.

Advance tickets are $12/$14 at the door for adults, non-EMU students and seniors, $10/$12 at the door. Tickets are available at the EMU box office, 540-432-4582 or on line at www.emu/edu/boxoffice.

Information regarding age appropriateness for EMU events is available through the box office.