Productions

General Information

Every year, the West Valley Theater department produces two mainstage and two studio productions where students are given opportunities to apply their in-class learning and knowledge in a practical experience whether it be onstage, backstage, or in the shop.

Fall 2020

Studio Show

Monologues written by students about their pandemic survival experiences.

First Viewing: October 16, 2020

Directed by Amy Zsadanyi-Yale

Main Stage Show

A collaboratively devised performance based on the ideas and stories of the cast, exploring themes and issues of most interest to the group.

First Viewing: November 15, 2020

Directed by Robin Aronson

Spring 2021

Classical European Farce

Directed by Virginia Drake

Show launches on Thursday, March 18, 2021.

Tickets: Students and Seniors $10, General $15

Scapino, a freewheeling, monkeyshine farce is inspired by Moliere. The story is set in present-day Naples; beginning with a song from the menu of an Italian restaurant and it only gets wackier! Scapino is a lovable wise guy, surrounded by favorite, larger-than-life characters from Commedia dell arte. Scapino promises to help two young men who have fallen in love with penniless beauties. Both men need money to solve their dilemmas. Scapino’s goal is to deceive the family patriarchs into parting with lots of money! Ruses, chases, dancing, singing and clowning abound in this madcap romp towards a very happy ending.

Musical Fantasy

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine

Directed by Amy Zsadanyi Yale

Dates: April 23, 24, 29, 30, May 1 at 7:30 PM ad April 25, May 2 at 2:00 PM

Tickets: Students and Seniors $15, General $20

James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim take everyone's favorite storybook characters and bring them together for a timeless, yet relevant, piece... and a rare modern classic. The Tony Award-winning book and score are both enchanting and touching. The story follows a Baker and his wife, who wish to have a child; Cinderella, who wishes to attend the King's Festival; and Jack, who wishes his cow would give milk. When the Baker and his wife learn that they cannot have a child because of a Witch's curse, the two set off on a journey to break the curse. Everyone's wish is granted, but the consequences of their actions return to haunt them later with disastrous results. One of Sondheim's most popular works, Into the Woods is a musically sophisticated show with the opportunity to feature actors adept at dark comedy, highlighting the fantastical elements of this magical word.

Past Productions

2019-2020

Contemporary Drama

Play by Lanford Wilson

Studio Play Directed by Carol Fischer

Dates: October 18, 19, 24, 25, 26 at 8:00 PM, October 20 and 27 at 2:00 PM

Tickets: Students and Seniors $10, General $15

Originally produced in 1998, Book of Days is set in a Missouri town dominated by a cheese plant, a fundamentalist church, and a community theater. After the owner of the cheese plant dies mysteriously in a hunting accident, Ruth, his bookkeeper, begins to suspect murder as she contemplates the details. Being cast as Joan of Arc in a local production of George Bernard Shaw's play, Saint Joan, Ruth is motivated by her character study to aggressively seek the truth. The quest embroils her in the jealousies, religion, greed, and lies of the small community, and the edges of “Ruth” and “Joan” become blurry for both herself and those around her. Wilson is here at his best uncovering the shadowy side of humanity.

Classic Expressionism

Play by by Sophie Treadwell

Mainstage Play Directed by Robin Aronson

Dates: November 15, 16, 21, 22, 23 at 8:00 PM, November 17 and 24 at 2:00 PM

Tickets: Students and Seniors $10, General $15

First performed on Broadway in 1928 and inspired by the scandalous newspaper story of a woman who murders her husband and is executed for the crime, MACHINAL by Sophie Treadwell is a rare treasure of American Expressionism by a female playwright that tells the electrifying story of a Young Woman who, trapped by society’s stifling expectations in an unfeeling world, performs an act of desperation to free herself, only to pay the ultimate price. The play has lots of great ensemble roles that revolve around the Young Woman protagonist. Some actors may play more than one role.

Classical European Farce

Directed by Virginia Drake

Dates: March 20, 21, 26, 27, 28 at 8:00 PM, March 22 and 29 at 2:00 PM

Tickets: Students and Seniors $10, General $15

Scapino, a freewheeling, monkeyshine farce is inspired by Moliere. The story is set in present-day Naples; beginning with a song from the menu of an Italian restaurant and it only gets wackier! Scapino is a lovable wise guy, surrounded by favorite, larger-than-life characters from Commedia dell arte. Scapino promises to help two young men who have fallen in love with penniless beauties. Both men need money to solve their dilemmas. Scapino’s goal is to deceive the family patriarchs into parting with lots of money! Ruses, chases, dancing, singing and clowning abound in this madcap romp towards a very happy ending.

Musical Fantasy

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine

Directed by Amy Zsadanyi Yale

Dates: April 17, 18, 23, 24, 25 at 8:00 PM, April 19 and 26 at 2:00 PM

Tickets: Students and Seniors $15, General $20

James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim take everyone's favorite storybook characters and bring them together for a timeless, yet relevant, piece... and a rare modern classic. The Tony Award-winning book and score are both enchanting and touching. The story follows a Baker and his wife, who wish to have a child; Cinderella, who wishes to attend the King's Festival; and Jack, who wishes his cow would give milk. When the Baker and his wife learn that they cannot have a child because of a Witch's curse, the two set off on a journey to break the curse. Everyone's wish is granted, but the consequences of their actions return to haunt them later with disastrous results. One of Sondheim's most popular works, Into the Woods is a musically sophisticated show with the opportunity to feature actors adept at dark comedy, highlighting the fantastical elements of this magical word.

2018-2019

Classic Comedy

Directed by Amy Zsadanyi Yale

Dates: October 19–28, 2018

Arsenic and Old Lace is a black comedy written in 1939. Debuting on Broadway in 1941, it ran for three years and over fourteen hundred performances. The plot centers on the Brewster family, a once elite American bloodline that has now descended into homicidal insanity. Mortimer Brewster, a drama critic and the most ostensibly normal of his clan, is forced to cover up for his sadistic kin while being torn between family loyalty and his desire to marry the woman he loves. Exploring themes including family loyalty, nature versus nurture, and whether we can ever truly break away from our family’s influence, Arsenic and Old Lace was praised for its dark, screwball comedy tone with The New York Times theater critic declaring it one of the funniest plays he’d ever seen.

Sci-Fi/Action

Co-Directed by W. Clay and Bruce W. De Les Dernier

Dates: November 16–25, 2018

Richard Mayhew commits an act of kindness on the streets of London and finds himself trapped in a shadow world beneath the city. Lady Door returns home one day to find her family slain and her life upended. Drawn together by fate – and forces more powerful than they can guess – these two must brave countless trials, uncover the truth behind a dark conspiracy, and face the indomitable Great Beast before they can set things right again. Journey to London Below with a rogues’ gallery of liars, outcasts, and assassins, on a treacherous quest to awaken the hero within, in a new production of Lifeline’s hit adaptation of the 1996 novel by Neil Gaiman.

Classic Drama

Directed by Bruce De Les Dernier

Dates: March 15–24, 2019

Written in 1957, this American dramatic play is about a young married man with a secret morphine addiction. It is a medically and sociologically accurate account of the destructive effects of morphine on an addict and his family.

Classic Musical

Directed by Carol Fischer

Dates: April 19–28, 2019

With a variety of styles in the musical numbers, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is a Webber/Rice tour de force. This story of Joseph and his eleven brothers adapted from the book of Genesis races from family betrayal, lies, escape, lust, imprisonment, and starvation to dream interpretations, community salvation, and relationship restoration. Beginning and ending with “Any Dream Will Do,” the large ensemble cast narrates and entertains through constant song and dance. From the first performance as a 20-minute pop cantata in 1968, through a Fringe performance in Edinburgh in 1972, and then long Broadway/West End runs and tours, Joseph and his coat of many colors continue to please audiences with unbounded energy and stage presence.

2017-2018

Drama

Dates: October 20–29, 2017 at the Studio

The Children's Hour was written in 1934. It is a drama set in an all-girls boarding school run by two women, Karen Wright and Martha Dobie. An angry student, Mary Tilford, runs away from the school and to avoid being sent back she tells her grandmother that the two headmistresses are having a lesbian affair. The accusation proceeds to destroy the women's careers, relationships and lives.

Prequel to Peter Pan

Directed by Carol Fischer

Dates: November 17–26, 2017

Adapted from the similarly named novel, Peter and the Starcatcher is an adventure worthy of pirates' gold! In this story we learn how Peter comes to fly, how Hook (formerly known as "Black Stache") loses his hand, Tinker Bell's birth, and a few things about the mysterious "star stuff," mermaids, pirates, and Wendy's mother. We experience ship wrecks, sea chest switcheroos, kidnappings, and a language spoken by dodo birds! This is not a play for the faint of heart, with its narrow escapes, near drownings, and one wonder after another.

A Dark re-telling of Beauty and the Beast (Not Appropriate for young children)

Written and Directed by Bruce W. De Les Dernier

Dates: March 16–25, 2018

Britain: 500 A.D. A merciless Saxon warlord is cursed for his brutality. He must remain a beast until he can become deserving of true love. He is tempted by the Spirits of the Forest to give up the quest to regain his humanity and become a true Beast of the Wild...where hunting and killing are the accepted way of life. This dark and magical retelling of a time-honored fable explores the difference between who we really are and who we wish to be.

Directed by Amy Zsadanyi Yale

Dates: April 20–29, 2018

In Berlin 1931, American cabaret singer Sally Bowles meets academic Cliff Bradshaw Despite Cliff’s confusion over his sexuality, the pair become lovers, until the arrival of the wealthy, decadent playboy Maximilian von Heune complicates matters. The love triangle plays out against the rise of the Nazi party. A second plot involves the romance between German boarding house owner Fräulein Schneider and her suitor Herr Schultz, a Jewish fruit vendor. Overseeing the action is the Master of Ceremonies at the Kit Kat Klub, a place that serves as a delicious metaphor for ominous political developments in late Weimar Germany.

2016-2017

Contemporary Experimental

Conceived and Directed by Susan Pfeffer

Dates: October 21-30, 2016

Almost There, Nearly is an experimental, multimedia dance-theatre performance that investigates how the struggle for limited resources (food, water, shelter, work) is intertwined with what grows from the ground. Previously presented at Figment-Oakland, the second inception invites student performers to contribute to the script-less creative process by conducting research and devising movement and text in structured improvisations. A contemporary collage of abstract moments, Almost There, Nearly examines the support inherent in community and the natural world (trees!).

A Family Classic

Directed by Amy Zsadanyi Yale

Dates: November 18-27, 2016

Based on the beloved novel, this magical production portrays the adventures of four siblings through the wardrobe and into the land of Narnia. Here they are caught up in a struggle between the mysterious, magical lion Aslan and the White Witch, who wants this astonishing country, its talking animals, and amazing creatures frozen in perpetual winter. C.S. Lewis’s classic of love, faith, courage, and giving, with its triumph of good over evil, is one of the most-enjoyed stories of our time.

A Romantic Comedy

Directed by Laura Lowry

Dates: March 17-26, 2017

This 2003 Tony Award Nominee for Best Play is set in the 1920s. Two frustrated London housewives decide to rent a villa in Italy for a holiday away from their bleak marriages, they recruit two very different English women to share the cost and the experience. There, among the wisteria blossoms and Mediterranean sunshine, all four bloom again—rediscovering themselves in ways that they—and we—could never have expected.

A Classic Musical Comedy

Directed by Carol Fischer

Dates: April 14-23, 2017

All the hot gamblers are in town, and they're all depending on Nathan Detroit to set up this week's incarnation of "The Oldest Established Permanent Floating Crap Game in New York"; the only problem is, he needs $1000 to get the place. Throw in Sarah Brown, who's short on sinners at the mission she runs; Sky Masterson, who accepts Nathan's $1000 bet that he can't get Sarah Brown to go with him to Havana; Miss Adelaide, who wants Nathan to marry her; Police Lieutenant Brannigan, who always seems to appear at the wrong time; and the music/lyrics of Frank Loesser, and you've got quite a musical. Includes the songs: “Fugue for Tinhorns”, "Luck Be a Lady", "Sit Down, You're Rocking the Boat". This is musical theatre at its best!

Archive of Past Productions (1963-2015)

43 Plays For 43 Presidents, Drake 2008

Action, Weisberg 2008

The Actor’s Nightmare, Zsadanyi-Yale

Alice In Wonderland, Zsadanyi-Yale 2011

All Ants Are Evil, De Les Dernier 1991

All in the Timing, De Les Dernier 1999

All in the Timing, Weisberg / Clay 2006

All in the Timing, Weisberg, Zsadanyi-Yale 2012

All’s Well That Ends Well, Drake 2003

Almost, Maine, Fischer, De Les Dernier 2015

Amadeus, Weisberg 2009

American Plan, The, Edwards 1993

American Welcome, 1982

Antigone (early years)

Antigone, Drake 2000

Anything Goes, Senteney 1985

Arsenic and Old Lace (early years)

Arsenic and Old Lace, Zsadanyi-Yale 2018

Asleep on the Wind, De Les Dernier 1990

As You Like It, Drake 1982

Attack of the Moral Fuzzies, Drake 2001

Babes in Toyland, Drake 1997

Bad Habits, Weisberg/Fritsch 200)

Barefoot in the Park (early years)

The Battle of Bull Run, Buckley (student) 2001

The Beaux Stratagem, De Les Dernier 1990

The Beggar’s Opera, Held 1979

A Betrothal, Blakley 1991

Beyond Therapy, Taylor (student) 1986

The Big Breakup, De les Dernier 1982

Birds, The, Drake 1985

The Blade of Zorro, (Premier), De les Dernier 1984

Book of Days, Fischer 2019

The Book of Leviticus Show, Grijalva (student) 2001

Boor, The, Hoard (student) 1991

Broadway, De Les Dernier 1986

Broadcast Murder, De Les Dernier 1997

Bullshot Crummond, Callner 1982

Butterflies Are Free (early years)

Bye Bye, Birdie, Zsadanyi-Yale 2001

Cabaret, Zsadanyi-Yale 2018

Camera Obscura, Drake 1984

Cave Dwellers (early years)

Chamber Music, Drake 2005

Cheaper by the Dozen, Bengford 2002

The Children’s Hour, Zsadanyi-Yale 2017

Chicago, (one act by Sheppard) Uimari (student) 1991

A Christmas Carol: Marley and Scrooge, Drake 1982

A Christmas Carol (Premier), De Les Dernier 1983

A Christmas Carol, De les Dernier 1984

A Christmas Carol, De Les Dernier 1985

A Christmas Carol, Senteney 1986

A Christmas Carol, De Les Dernier 1987

A Christmas Carol, De Les Dernier 1993

A Christmas Carol, De les Dernier 1994

A Christmas Carol, the Musical, Zsadanyi-Yale 2005

Comedy Company (Premier), Callner 1993

The Comedy of Errors, Bengford 1999

Comedy Review (Premier), Callner 1977

Comedy Review (Premier), Callner 1978

Comedy Review (Premier), Callner 1979

Comedy Review (Premier), Callner 1980

The Crucible, Senteney 1982

The Crucible, Zsadanyi-Yale 2008

A Cry of Players, Smith 1976

The Curse, (Premier), De Les Dernier 2018

Dandelion Wine, Held 1987

Dark Lady of the Sonnets, Haney 1991

Dark of the Moon (early years)

David and Lisa, Drake 1981

The Days of Wine and Roses, Smith 1983

The Deadly Game, (early years)

Dead Man’s Cell Phone, Dale 2011

Dearly Departed, Bengford 2000

Diary of Anne Frank (early years)

The Dining Room, De Les Dernier 1988

The Dining Room, Drake 2004

Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde (Premier), De Les Dernier 1996

Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde, De les Dernier 2013

Don’t Drink the Water (early years)

Dracula (Premier), Bengford 1995

Dracula, Zsadanyi-Yale 2010

Ducks and Lovers, Drake 1986

Edgar Allan Poe adaptations:

A Manner of Madness, (Premier) De Les Dernier 1981

A Manner of Madness, De Les Dernier, 1984

A Manner of Madness, De Les Dernier. 1995

A Very Dark Evening With Edgar Allan Poe, Fischer 2013

Eleemonsynary, Edwards 1992

Enchanted April, Lowry 2017

Epic Proportions, De Les Dernier 2005

Epic Proportions, De Les Dernier 2014

Fallen Angels, 1982

Fast Women, Moore 1990)

The Fifteen Minute Hamlet, Drake, 1984

A Flea in Her Ear, Bengford 1998

Footloose, Zsadanyi-Yale 2015

For Whom the Southern Bell Tolls, Drake 2001

Fred and Clare, Drake 2001

French Fries, Drake 1984

Ghosts (early years)

Glass Menagerie (early years)

God’s Favorite, Callner 1989

Golden Boy, De Les Dernier 1989

Golden Boy, De Les Dernier 2013

The Good Doctor, De Les Dernier 1987

The Good Doctor, Weisberg 2003 (page 21)

Good Night Desdemona, Good Morning Juliet, Drake 2006 (page 24)

The Good Woman of Setzuan, The, Drake 1980

The Government Inspector, Drake 1994

Graceland, De Les Dernier, 1990

Great Expectations, Drake 2009

Guys and Dolls, Fischer 2017

Hamlet, Held, 1978

Harold and Maude, Callner 2008

A Hatful of Rain, De Les Dernier 2019

The Haunted House, De les Dernier 1992

Harvey, Drake 2002

Hay Fever, Senteney 1984

The Heidi Chronicles, Dale 2010

Hello, Out There, Moore 1990

The Hitchhiker, Fischer 2014

The Hobbit, Drake 2000

Homes Fires, Drake, 1984

Hot l Baltimore, Drake 1980

The Hundred and First, Drake 1981

Icarus’ Mother, Weisberg 2008

The Imaginary Invalid, Bengford 1995

I’m Herbert, Drake 1984

The Importance of Being Earnest, (early years)

Improvisation, Venuti 1981

Improvisational shows:

Almost There, Nearly, (Premier) Pfeiffer 2016

Spontaneous Connections, (Premier)De Les Dernier 1982

Inherit the Wind, Weisberg 2004

Intermission, Arias 2001

The Interview, Drake 1984

Into The Woods, Zsadanyi-Yale, 2020

Irregular Verb to Love (early years)

J.B., Drake 1995

Jesus Christ, Superstar, Bengford 2001

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Fischer 2019

Judgement Call, Drake 2001

The Kentucky Cycle, Weisberg 2002

Kind Lady (early years)

The Lady’s Not For Burning, (early years)

The Lady’s Not For Burning, Senteney 1987

The Language of Angels, Fischer 2014

The Laramie Project, Drake 2002

Laughter on the 23th Floor, Callner 1999

Laundry and Bourbon, Senteney 1985

A Lighter Than Air Murder, Pickens 1991

Line, De Les Dernier 1984

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, Bengford 1996

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Zsadanyi-Yale 2016

Little Mary Sunshine (early years)

The Little Shop of Horrors, Fischer 2011

Lone Star, Senteney 1985

Look Homeward, Angel, Drake 1979

Love and Sex, Bengford 1997

The Love Talker, Edwards 1993

Low Road, (Premier film) Clay 2007

Lysistrata (early years)

Lysistrata, Senteney 1981

Lysistrata, Fritsch 2005

Machinal, Aronson 2019

The Madwoman of Chaillot (early years)

The Madwoman of Chaillot, The, Drake 1986

The Maids, Smith 1983

Making the Call, Arias 2001

The Man Who Came To Dinner, Drake 2003

A Marriage Proposal, 1985

Mash, Callner 2004

The Master Builder (early years)

The Matchmaker, Drake 1990

Medea (one act by Durang), Drake 2001

Melodrama Play, Weisberg 2008

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (early years)

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, De Les Dernier 1994

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, De Les Dernier 2006

Mirror Game, Edwards 1992

Monsters and Clowns:The Shakespeare Connection,De Les Dernier 1996

Mr. Toad Rides Again, De Les Dernier 1994

Mud, Anderson 2004

Museum, Drake 1998

Neverwhere, Clay, De Les Dernier 2018

New York Actor, Drake 2001

Night of the Iguana, Fischer 2012

Noises Off, Drake 1996

The Odd Couple, Callner 1990

The Odyssey, (Premier), De Les Dernier 2016

Oedipus Rex, Senteney 1973)

On Baille’s Strand, De Les Dernier 1973

Once in a Lifetime, Drake 1984

Once in a Lifetime, Drake 2007

Once Upon a Mattress, Smith 1984

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Senteney 1976

One Minute Play, Drake 2001

On The Verge, Drake 1993

Our Town, Senteney 1983

Our Town, Holt 2011

Out of the Frying Pan, Drake 1984

The Pedestrian, De Les Dernier 1982

Pericles, Prince of Tyre, De Les Dernier 1994

Pericles, Prince of Tyre, De Les Dernier 2012

Peter and the Starcatcher, Fischer 2017

Peter Pan, Weisberg 2010

The Petrified Forest, Drake 1981

Phillip Glass Buys a Loaf of Bread, Drake 2001

Picnic (early years)

Pippin, Bengford 1998

Pippin, Weisberg 2012

Pirates of Penzance, The, Senteney 1986

Play it Again, Sam, Callner 1988

Plaza Suite, Callner 1996

Prisoner of Second Avenue, Drake 1978

Puppytales, De Les Dernier 1996

Radium Girls, Drake 2007)

The Rainmaker, Drake 1986

Revelation, (Premier)Russell 1977

Revenge of the Falcon (Premier), De Les Dernier 1982

The Rimers of Eldritch, Bengford 2000

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Senteney 1978

Rumors, Drake 1997

Scapino, Drake 1983

Scapino, Drake 2020

The Servant of Two Masters, (early years)

The Servant of Two Masters, Fritsch 2001

The Seven Deadly Sins, Zsadanyi-Yale/Weisberg/De Les Dernier 1998

Shakespeare, Any Way you Like It, De les Dernier 1990

She Kills Monsters, Clay, De Les Dernier 2015

Social Network Me, Dale 2011

Suicide in B Flat, Weisberg 2005

Summer Romance, Uimari 1990

Suppressed Desires, Taylor 1991

Steambath (early years)

Sweet Charity, Zsadanyi-Yale 2013

A Tale of Two Cities (Premier) De Les Dernier 1992

A Tale of Two Cities, De Les Dernier 2006

The Taming of the Shrew, De Les Dernier 1995

Tartuffe, Drake 1985)

The Tavern, Smith 1977

The Tempest, De Les Dernier 1987

The Tempest, De Les Dernier 1995

Ten Little Indians, Drake 1979

Tevya and His Daughters, Hoover 1976

A Three Penny Christmas, De Les Dernier 1995

The Three Sisters, Drake 1983

Through the Looking Glass, Drake 1991

Time Flies, Weisberg, Zsadanyi-Yale, Fritsch, Moore 2003

Time Out for Ginger (early years)

Treasure Island, De Les Dernier 2009

Twelfth Night, De Les Dernier 1989

The Twilight Zone (Premier) De Les Dernier 2014

Two Orphans, Smith 1977

Ubu, The King (early years)

Uncommon Women and Others, Drake 1988

Under Milkwood, Drake 1989

The Uninvited, De Les Dernier 1991

Urinetown, Fischer 2016

A View from the Bridge, Lowry, Zsadanyi-Yale 2015

Visit to a Small Planet, Grijalva 2004

The Wedding, Nielson, 2004

West Side Story, De Les Dernier 1985

West Side Story, Bengford 1999

When You Comin’ Back, Red Ryder? Oleniacz

Where the Weeds Grow High (Premier), Pickens 1990

Wild Oats, Senteney 1986

Wild Oats, Bengford 2002

Winner (Premier), Uimari 1990

The Wizard of Oz, Bengford 1998

You Can’t Take it With You, Weisberg 2007

You Can’t Take it With You, Payne 2014

Zoo Story, Bobby 2004

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Last Updated 12/17/20