WFU Announces 1998-99 Theater Season

The Wake Forest University Theater season will open Sept. 25 with “The Matchmaker,” a farce by Pulitzer Prize-winner Thornton Wilder.

Set in the 1880s, the play was the basis for the hit musical “Hello, Dolly!” Complete with asides, soliloquies and a broad style of dialogue and acting, the play uses the techniques of 19th century slapstick. A matchmaker widow in Yonkers agrees to find a bride for a wealthy merchant. When the merchant takes off to see a prospective bride in New York, his clerk and apprentice, his niece and her sweetheart all decide to take advantage of his absence and seek adventure in New York. Donald Wolfe, chair of Wake Forest’s theater department, directs the play. It will run Sept. 25-26 and Sept. 30- Oct. 4.

“Mad Forest,” Caryl Churchill’s play about the 1989 Romanian revolution that overthrew Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, opens Nov. 6 and will continue Nov. 7 and Nov. 11-15. Directed by Assistant Professor Sharon Andrews, the play chronicles the revolution through the eyes of two Bucharest families, one working class, one upper class-about to be united through marriage.

In February, the Wake Forest University Theatre season continues with Henrik Ibsen’s “Hedda Gabler.” Described by New York Times critic Clive Barnes as “one of the most flawless plays ever written,” the play tells the story of a discontented daughter of a general who maliciously destroys the people around her. Director of University Theater John Friedenberg will direct the play, which runs February 12-13 and 17-21.

“Closer than Ever,” a musical review by Richard Maltby and David Shires, will conclude the University Theater season. A compilation of songs about contemporary urban life by the duo famous for the Broadway hit “Baby,” the musical will open at Wake Forest April 9. Performances will continue April 10 and 14-18. Cynthia Gendrich, assistant professor of theater, will direct the show.

Season tickets are available by mail (P.O. Box 7264, Winston-Salem, N.C. 27109) or at the University Box Office in the theater lobby of Scales Fine Arts Center. Adult season tickets are $30; senior citizen season tickets are $20, students $15. Tickets for individual performances are $10 and $5 for students. For information or to order tickets by phone, call 758-5295. Information is also available from the theater department Web site at

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