October 10, 2023

Cole Porter’s Classic KISS ME, KATE Heats Up West Chester University October 19 – 22Kiss Me, Kate

West Chester University’s Department of Theatre & Dance presents the Cole Porter classic, KISS ME, KATE from October 19 - 22, 2023. Guest Director Megan Bellwoar helms the show with music and lyrics by Cole Porter, libretto by Sam and Bella Spewack, and choreography by Associate Professor Liz Staruch. KISS ME, KATE runs Thursday - Saturday, October 19 – 21, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, October 22, at 2:00 p.m. in the Madeleine Wing Adler Theatre, Swope Music Building and Performing Arts Center, 817 S. High Street, West Chester. General admission tickets are $15, $12 for students and seniors with valid i.d. at  www.wcupatix.com.  

KISS ME, KATE is a Tony Award-winning musical comedy from Broadway’s Golden Age. Premiering in 1948, KISS ME, KATE’s explosive Cole Porter score showcases some of his most beloved, witty, and catchy songs including, “Another Op’nin’, Another Show,” “Brush Up Your Shakespeare,” and “Too Darn Hot.” A bickering, divorced couple finds themselves working together as the leads in a production of The Taming of the Shrew. Hilariousness ensues as their backstage squabbles mirror what is happening onstage. Amidst the play within a play hijinks there is a larger story that examines love, marriage, gender politics, and the joyful world of theatre people.

Kiss Me, KateDirector Megan Bellwoar says, “Working with West Chester University students on this production has been pure joy. KISS ME, KATE is a big, brassy, classical musical with a 25-person cast, gorgeous dancing, and glorious songs. Cole Porter's genius score is so infectious, and our audiences will certainly recognize many of these glorious songs. I find that my brain chooses a new one to play on loop for my drive home after rehearsal each night."

"It's important to note," Bellwoar adds, "that KISS ME, KATE premiered on Broadway in 1948, when sexual and physical harassment between men and women in the workplace were excused as "business as usual." The cast and artistic team have worked to address the power dynamics in the script in a way that reflects our 21st century sensibilities. Among other changes, we adopt the 2019 Broadway revival approach of changing the lyric of the song "I Am Ashamed That Women Are So Simple” to “I Am Ashamed That People Are So Simple.”

“Overall, working on this production has been a wonderful reminder that one of our jobs as theatre artists is to bring joy. We create theatre to foster connection and reflection, and to experience joy as a community. KISS ME, KATE has theatrical fun and joy in spades."

Isabella Yackanicz plays the role of Kate and adds, “Kiss Me Kate is such a fun show! It has that classic golden age feel with gorgeous music and dancing. The choreography is beautiful and compelling. Audiences will have a great time!”Kiss Me, Kate

KISS ME, KATE showcases a cast of 25 that includes: Daniel Isajiw (Fred/Petruchio), Isabella Yackanicz (Lilli/Katherine), Emily Wiest (Hattie), Raven Burckhalter (Lois/Bianca), Daniel Michel (Harry/Baptista), Nick DeMatteo (Bill/Lucentio), Jack McGinnis (Gremio/Ensemble), Griffin Anderson (Hortensio/Ensemble), David Gold (Howell/Ensemble), James Baker (Gangster 1), Ronnie Hernandez (Gangster 2), Mar’keece Barnett (Paul/Specialty Dancer/Ensemble), Elijah McBride (Pops/Quartet/Ensemble), Anthony Jennings (Ralph), Brenna Pelizzoni (Stagehand 3/Haberdasher/Quartet/Ensemble), JT Hawkes (Stagehand 2/Phillip/Innkeeper/Quartet/Ensemble), Courtney Parker (Dance Captain/Gregory/Ensemble), Connor Sternberg (Stagehand 1/Cab Driver/Nathaniel/Quartet/Ensemble), Grace Halsey (Wardrobe Person/Bianca Quartet/Ensemble), Julia Running (Padua Waitress, Bianca Quartet/Ensemble), Alivia Bentley, Sophia Cox, Emma Curtius, Ashley Baker (Ensemble Dancers/Singers), Padua Priest (Dean Jen Bacon.)

The Department of Theatre and Dance at West Chester University, an accredited institution of the National Association of Schools of Theatre, prepares students for the professional and the academic worlds of Theatre and Dance, while raising student awareness of civility, diversity, creativity, problem solving and social responsibility. The department offers a BA Theatre degree program with elective concentrations in Musical Theatre, Performance, and Design and Production, in addition to a dance minor and theatre minor. 






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