The Musical "Quilters" Opens Ashland University Theatre Season

The Musical "Quilters" Opens Ashland University Theatre Season

9/23/15 ASHLAND, Ohio – Ashland University Department of Theatre opens the 2015-2016 season with the musical “Quilters” by Molly Newman and Barbara Damashek. Directed by Associate Professor of Theatre Teresa Durbin-Ames, evening performances begin at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 9, 10, 15, 16, and 17, along with a 2 p.m. matinee on Oct. 11 in Hugo Young Theatre.

Based on the book “The Quilters: Women and Domestic Art” by Patricia Cooper and Norma Bradley Allen, the musical is a heart-warming celebration of American womanhood depicting the courage and spirit of our nation's pioneer women. Music, dance and drama transform the harsh realities of frontier life into a Legacy Quilt containing blocks of familiar patterns like the Lone Star, the Log Cabin and the Double Wedding Ring. The pieces of these women’s lives are stitched together with love, laughter and tenderness to tell a story of survival, fellowship and family values on the road West (somewhat reminiscent of “Little House on the Prairie”).

As a compliment to the live theatre production, there will be a quilt exhibition inside Hugo Young Theatre. Featured quilts from the members of the local Old Uniontown Quilt Guild will be displayed throughout the theatre with additional quilts used on stage in the show. 

The staged musical production will feature junior musical theatre major Eryn Reynolds Tramel (Medina) as the family's matriarch, Sarah, with the remaining cast members portraying Sarah's six daughters along with a variety of other characters. The daughters are played by juniors Ariel McCleary (Stow), Andrea Disch (East Liverpool), and Logan Baker (Reynoldsburg); sophomores Gracie Fumic (Avon) and Hannah Wise (Hartville), and freshman Maya Rickard (Wooster). 

The show's music is grounded in the grassroots of old-time Americana including guitar, banjo and fiddle. Led by musical director and pianist Rowland Blackley, the orchestra includes Nate McFadden, keyboard; Jane Reed, violin; and Jeremey Poparad on guitar and banjo. Katie Zarecki is the choreographer and Eryn Reynolds Tramel serves as dance captain.

The production's set and sound designs are created by Technical Director J. Michael Desper, while costumes are designed by junior theatre major Elizabeth Davis Newhouse (Solon); and lighting design is by Patty Lanious. Sophomore Jessica  Dupee (Wellington) and freshman Shelby Teets are the show's stage manager and assistant stage manager, respectively.

A pre-show talk with director Teresa Durbin-Ames will be held Friday, October 16, 6:45 p.m. in Hugo Young Theatre. This special pre-show event will giving audience members the inside story as they learn more about the production and its creators. 

Season tickets for theatre productions are still available and include admission to the three main stage productions at a reduced price compared to single tickets.  Season tickets are: $28 for adults; $24 for senior citizens, Ashland University faculty, staff and alumni; and $12 for non-AU students. Single tickets are: $12 for adult; $10 for senior citizens, AU faculty, staff and alumni; $8 for groups of 10 or more, $5 for non-AU students, and $2 for Ashland University students with ID.  

To purchase tickets, call the Ashland University Box Office at 419-289-5125, Monday through Friday, 12 to 6 p.m.; or purchase online 24/7 at www.ashland.edu/tickets. For more information about the department of theatre, visit www.ashland.edu/theatre, find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AshlandUniversityTheatre or contact Tricia Applegate, coordinator of performing arts publicity and events, at 419-289-5950 or tapplega@ashland.edu.

Ashland University, ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2016, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.                                                                  ###