Wednesday, November 6, 2019

The Springfield Municipal Opera Announces 2020 Season


The Springfield Municipal Opera Announces 2020 Season

 The Springfield Municipal Opera (The Muni) 2020 Season will feature families of all kinds in four shows, three of which have never before been seen on The Muni stage. “The Muni Board of Directors has put quite a season together for the summer of 2020,” said Muni President Greg Donathan. “This year, The Muni focuses on family. These four shows all have families at the core of their stories, but the compositions and journeys of those families are all incredibly different.  These four contrasting shows will make for a compelling summer of theatre under The Muni stars.”

The Muni will present The Addams Family, directed by Anna Maisenbacher, and sponsored by Edward Jones, from May 29-31, June 3-7; Ragtime directed by Reggie Guyton and sponsored by Sikich LLP from June 19-21 and June 24-28; Mamma Mia, directed by Jacob Deters and sponsored by UCB from July 10-12 and 15-19; and Matilda, directed by Laurie Barnes and sponsored by Springfield Clinic from July 31-August 2, August 5-9. All the shows will start at 8:30 p.m.

The Addams Family makes its debut on The Muni Stage in 2020. The Addams Family embraces the wackiness in every family, and features a story featuring a father’s nightmare when his daughter, Wednesday Addams, falls in love with a man her parents have never met. “I’m excited to return to directing on The Muni stage, a venue that’s provided so many opportunities in years past,” said Director Anna Maisenbacher, who last directed Legally Blonde on The Muni stage in 2018. “The Addams Family should be a change of pace for both myself and The Muni and gives the opportunity for tons of creativity on stage and the audience experience.”  The Addams Family is a musical comedy with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa and based on the book written by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice.

It’s been fifteen years since Ragtime has been done on The Muni stage. Ragtime is a Tony Award winning musical that features three families pursuing the American Dream. Set at the turn of the twentieth century, it deals with discrimination and social inequality in the United States, some of the same issues we are dealing with today. “It is a very poignant story at a very necessary time,” said Reggie Guyton, who will be directing for the first time at The Muni. “My hope is that people will fall in love with these characters and the beautiful music, but also reflect on the ways that America can take steps forward to not only listening, but understanding each other better.”  Ragtime’s music is written by Stephen Flaherty, with lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, and a book by Terrence McNally. It is based on the 1975 novel of the same name by E.L. Doctorow.

Jacob Deters has been seen many times on The Muni stage, most recently as Jimmy Smith in Thoroughly Modern Millie last season, but this season he will be making his directorial debut with Mamma Mia. This musical uses the musical group ABBA’s hits to tell the story of a young woman’s search for her birth father, resulting in her trying to discover her father’s identity by inviting three men from her mother’s past to her own wedding. “I am honored to be taking on a new role at The Muni, leading a talented staff to bring this mega hit to The Muni stage,” said Deters, who will bring Mamma Mia to life on The Muni stage for the first time. “There is something so infectious about this music that brings audiences from any age to their feet dancing in the aisles; I couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to share this joy with our Muni audiences.”  British playwright Catherine Johnson, wrote the musical based on the songs of ABBA by Benny Andersson and Bj√∂rn Ulvaeus, former members of the band. The musical features ABBA songs including "Mamma Mia," "Super Trouper, "Lay All Your Love on Me,""Dancing Queen" and "Knowing Me, Knowing You."

Matilda comes to The Muni stage for the first time this summer. Matilda is based on the novel by Roald Dahl and features a little girl who takes a stand to shape her own destiny. Matilda will be directed by Laurie Barnes, who last directed Little Shop of Horrors for The Muni in 2018.  “Matilda is a little girl who finds strength to ‘change her story’ even though her family doesn’t support her,” said Barnes. “Along the way she is able to empower the children and adults around her.”  Matilda was adapted by Dennis Kelly, with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin.

Those interested in auditioning are encouraged to attend the 2019 Audition Workshop on Feb. 15 at the Hoogland Center for the Arts; the children’s session will begin at 10:00 a.m. and the adults’ at 1:00 p.m. Directors and staff from all four shows will be on hand to discuss casting requirements and answer questions.

Adult auditions for the 2019 season will take place March 7, 8 and 14, with callbacks on March 15. Children’s auditions will take place March 21, with callbacks to be determined by the directors. More information will be available on The Muni website prior to auditions.

Starting Thanksgiving weekend, The Muni’s 2020 Season Passes will be on sale for pickup at various locations throughout the Springfield area. Patrons may also purchase season passes by calling (217) 793-MUNI for mail delivery. For a full list of season pass retailers, please visit The Muni’s website at www.TheMuni.org.

About The Muni
The Springfield Municipal Opera (The Muni) is a not-for-profit theatrical organization that has become a Springfield summer tradition, providing the best of Broadway to enthusiastic audiences for more than 50 years. Located at 815 East Lake Shore Drive in an outdoor amphitheater, The Muni is one of the largest all-volunteer community theatre organizations in the nation. For more information on The Muni, please visit www.TheMuni.org.