Ohio Wesleyan Departments Present ‘Mame’

Legendary story co-written by OWU alumnus Robert E. Lee ’39

Cast members for Ohio Wesleyan’s production of Mame include (standing) Laurel Elliott ’11 of Phoenix, Arizona; Andrew Rossi ’13 of Euclid, Ohio; Joe Lugosh ’13 of Round Pond, Maine; Anne Flowers ’12 of Choteau, Montana; Brian Brockman ’13 of Chagrin Falls, Ohio; Charlie Waldo ’13 of Allison Park, Pennsylvania (front left); and Emily Yaksic ’11 of Marion, Ohio (seated). (Photo courtesy of OWU’s Department of Theatre & Dance)

OWU’s past joins the present in November when the Departments of Theatre & Dance and Music join to produce the legendary musical comedy Mame at 8 p.m. November 5, 6, and 12, and 2 p.m. November 7 and 14 on the Main Stage of Chappelear Drama Center.

Robert E. Lee ’39 co-author of book and musical ‘Mame.’ (Photo courtesy of the OWU Historical Collection)

The late Robert E. Lee, OWU Class of 1939, co-wrote the musical with Jerome Lawrence, based on their stage play, Auntie Mame. This fast-paced comedy includes an irresistible musical score by award-winning composer Jerry Herman. Mame opened on Broadway in 1966 and ran for more than 1,500 performances.

This musical chronicles the adventures of an unconventional woman with a big heart and big dreams. Surrounded by outrageous, yet sophisticated friends in New York City, she inspires the world to celebrate life.

“This musical is fast-paced, exciting, and great fun,” says Elane Denny-Todd, Mame director, and a professor in the Department of Theatre & Dance. “Approximately 80 students are participating in every aspect of the production—from performance to lighting, set construction, management, publicity, and many other essential areas. This has been a true collaboration with the students, and the energy is electric.”

Lead actors include Emily Yaksic (Mame), a senior from Marion, Ohio; Laurel Elliott (Vera Charles), a senior from Phoenix, Arizona; Chris Sponseller (Babcock), a senior from Berea, Ohio; and Andrew Rossi (Patrick), a sophomore from Euclid, Ohio. The stage manager is Samantha Owen, a senior from Westerly, Rhode Island. The assistant to the director is Andrea Kraus, a sophomore from Kissimmee, Florida.

The production is music directed by assistant professor Jason Hiester of the Music Department. Choreography is by Tim Veach, scenic design by guest artist Robert Johnson, lighting design by Chad Knutson, and costume design by Jacqueline Shelley.

Tickets may be reserved by calling the Theatre & Dance Department box office at (740) 368-3855 weekdays between 9 a.m. and noon or between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Tickets are $10 for general admission. OWU students with a valid ID may attend free of charge thanks to a grant from the Wesleyan Council on Student Affairs (WCSA). Group discounts are available.

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