PROSSER Each year the Valley Theater Company breaks new ground for upcoming seasons.
The 2017-18 season will follow that tradition, offering three new types of productions for the first time, Company Artistic Director Candace Andrews said.
“I am excited to shake things up a bit in VTC’s 2017-18 season,” Andrews said. “We have three ‘firsts’ in our upcoming year; a murder mystery, two one-act plays with an intermission between them and a partnership with Prosser High School’s Hole-in-the-Wall Theatre.
“These, plus one of Neil Simon’s best comedies, add up to a lot of entertainment for our patrons,” Andrews said.
VTC’s first murder mystery, “Speaking of Murder,” will kick off the new slate of shows on Sept. 8.
Audition dates are set for June 11-12 at the Princess Theatre, 1228 Meade Ave., with veteran director Bill Campbell staging the suspenseful who-done-it.
The story involves a man who remarries after his first wife’s mysterious death, unaware of his jealous secretary’s role in her death and her similar plans for his second wife.
The secretary uses the man’s young son as a foil as she establishes a motive.
This year’s holiday offering will be packed with family entertainment, presenting for the first time two one-act Christmas plays, each 35-40 minutes long.
The plays are “Christmas Every Day,” directed by Amy Householder, and “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” directed by Rick James. They will open Dec. 1.
In the first, as Christmas Day approaches, a young girl asks her father for a story. He spins a delightful tale about a little girl named Betsy who makes a wish to have Christmas every day of the year.
Her wish comes true, and it’s all very exciting at first, but soon the daily repetition wears thin.
“A Charlie Brown Christmas” is the well-loved animated television special brought to the stage.
When Charlie Brown complains about the overwhelming materialism he sees during the Christmas season, Lucy suggests that he become director of the school Christmas pageant.
Charlie Brown accepts. With the help of Linus, Charlie and the entire Peanuts gang rediscover the real meaning of Christmas.
One of Neil Simon’s classic comedies, “Last of the Red-Hot Lovers,” will start the new year, opening on Feb. 16 and directed by SueEllen Davis.
In the show, Barney Cashman wants to join the sexual revolution before it’s too late and arranges three afternoon rendezvous in his mother’s apartment, while she is at work.
His first attempt is with Elaine, who proves to be a bundle of neuroses; kooky Bobbi, a 20-ish actress, is his second attempt; and last is Jeanette, a depressed housewife who happens to be married to Barney’s best friend.
In April 2018, the company will wrap up its season with the musical comedy “Bye Bye Birdie,” in a first-ever partnership with Prosser High School’s Drama Club. Kimberly Starr will direct.
Set in 1960, this is the story of Conrad Birdie, an Elvis Presley-style rock and roll singer who is about to be inducted into the army.
For a final publicity stunt, his agent’s secretary decides that Conrad should bid a typical American teen-age girl goodbye with an all-American kiss.
Kim MacAfee in Sweet Apple, Ohio wins the honor. The MacAfee household and the small town are turned upside down by all the attention. The show opens April 27.
As with the just-completed season, all shows for the new season will offer a Sunday matinee as the third of five performances.
Season tickets are available now and give the purchaser a $10 savings on the price of five tickets, which may be used in any combination throughout the season. They are available online at ThePrincessTheatre.net and at the Princess Theatre during regular office hours.
They may also be purchased by calling the theatre at 509-786-2180.