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"Laramie Project" Update Opens Napa Valley College Conservatory Theater Fall Season

From true-life drama to "The Sound of Music," Napa Valley Conservatory Theater announces its 2012-13 season at the Napa Valley College Performing Arts Center.

The theater season at  begins with the true-life drama of The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later, followed by the musical revue My Way: A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra, then a show yet to be announced (TBA) and finishes up with Rogers and Hammerstein’s classic musical, The Sound of Music.

In 2002, the Napa Valley Conservatory Theater (NVCT) production of The Laramie Project, directed by NVCT Artistic Director and Napa Valley College professor, Jennifer King, became a theatrical phenomenon, breaking box office records and creating a call to community. 

A decade later, NVCT revisits the subject, opening the 2012/2013 season with The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later. This epilogue focuses on the long-term effects of the murder of Matthew Shepard on the Wyoming town in which he lived—and on the nation as a whole.

The play includes follow-up interviews with many of the show’s original subjects as well as comments from Matthew’s mother, Judy Shepard, and his murderer, Aaron McKinney. 

The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later, was written by Tectonic Theater members Moises Kaufman, Leigh Fondakowski, Greg Pierotti, Andy Paris and Stephen Belber and runs Sept. 21-30, 2012.

Director Jennifer King is looking forward to revisiting the subject:

“I have been closely attached to this play for so many years. I first directed a reading of The Laramie Project ten years ago, followed by the full production of the same play and now, ten years later, I am privileged to have the opportunity to once again plumb the depths of this incomprehensible crime and its effect on the people of Laramie,” King said.

An exhilarating change of pace comes with the second production of the season, My Way: A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra, produced in association with Music Napa Valley, running November 9-18, 2012.

This musical revue, conceived by David Grapes and Todd Olson with a book by Olson, features more than fifty songs from the repertoire of "Ol’ Blue Eyes," including works from such luminaries as Harold Arlen, Sammy Cahn, Jule Styne, Cole Porter, John H. Mercer, Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart and Irving Berlin. My Way is under the directorship of Dr. Eve-Anne Wilkes with choreography by Pam Rogers.

Then, in March, NVCT presents that perennial favorite, To Be Announced! Several new works are being considered, so check the website: www.napavalleytheater.org to see what theatrical wizardry will be playing in the Studio Theater. This TBA show runs from March 8-17, 2013.

Soaring music, a dashing and mysterious sea captain, a charming and high-spirited governess, seven challenging children, a seductive countess, nuns and Nazis, all set against the backdrop of the Swiss Alps and the German invasion of Austria. The Sound of Music represents the American Musical at its best: epic and majestic, sweet and sentimental with a score by the great Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein II.

Produced in association with Music Napa Valley, The Sound of Music is directed by Jennifer King with music direction by Dr. Eve-Anne Wilkes and choreography by Pam Rogers. The Sound of Music runs April 5-21, 2013 in the Main Theater. Be swept up…once more. 

All shows are at the Napa Valley College Performing Arts Center, located at 2277 Napa-Vallejo Hwy., in Napa. Tickets may be purchased by phone: 707-256-7500 (leave a message and you will be called back) or online at www.napavalleytheater.org. Tickets are also on sale in the box office one hour prior to performance. 

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