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Civic Theatre 2023-24 season goes green, purple

Cinema Center celebrates Black History; Prentis Moore to direct 1st play; Museum of Art recognized

Fort Wayne Civic Theatre recently released their 2023-24 season schedule.

Jen Poiry Prough

Whatzup Features Writer

Published February 15, 2023

The Fort Wayne Civic Theatre held an announcement party for their 96th anniversary season Saturday, Feb. 4, at Arts United Center, unveiling six productions, beginning with Something Rotten!.

While the current season continues with Hello, Dolly! (Feb. 18-26), The Complete Works of William Shakespeare: Abridged (March 17-April 2), and Into the Woods (May 6-14), it never hurts to look ahead. 

With no further adieu, here’s a glance at what the 2023-24 season has in store.

Something Rotten! (July 21-30): Rated PG-13. Directed by Christopher J. Murphy, this large-scale musical farce set in the 1590s has been hailed “the funniest musical comedy in at least 400 years.”

I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (Sept. 9-17,): Rated PG-13. Directed and choreographed by Doug King, the classic musical revue about relationships has been revised for the 21st century.

Shrek the Musical (Nov. 4-19): Rated G. Directed by Gavin Thomas Drew, the Tony-winning musical about an unlikely green hero finding love and the real meaning of beauty returns to the Civic stage.

The Color Purple (Feb. 9-18, 2024): Rated PG. Directed by Dianne Shaw, the inspiring musical based on Alice Walker’s Pulitzer-winning novel and the 1985 Steven Spielberg film tells the story of Celie, who over the course of 40 years learns the healing power of hope and love and the celebration of life.

Six Degrees of Separation (March 15-24, 2024): Rated R. Directed by Joel Grillo, the inspired-by-a-true-story play follows the trail of a young Black con man who insinuates himself into the lives of a wealthy New York couple, claiming to be the son of Sidney Poitier and to know their son from college.

Jersey Boys (May 4-19, 2024): Rated R. Directed by Leslie Beauchamp, this “jukebox musical” tells the true story of the evolution of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons from blue-collar poverty to becoming one of the greatest successes in pop music history.

Cinema Center marks Black History Month

On Friday, Feb. 17, Cinema Center will present a screening of Paris Is Burning, a 1990 documentary that focuses on drag queens living in New York City and their “house” culture. 

The screening will be preceded by a short documentary by Cinema Center crew called Black Joy: Niomi Onassis Knight. The film is about Niomi, a trans performer who got her start in Fort Wayne.

On Saturday, Feb. 18, the movie theater at 437 E. Berry St. will screen Paris Is Burning again at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Also on Feb. 18, the 2016 film Kiki, a modern-day version of Paris Is Burning, will be shown at 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Starring Gia Love, who will be available for a question-and-answer, Kiki is about New York’s “ballroom” community, a subculture of Black and Latino drag pageants that were formed to counter the racism they encountered within the existing drag community.

Prentis Moore to direct Clybourne Park

First Presbyterian Theater has announced Prentis Moore, in his directorial debut, will take on the Pulitzer- and Tony-winning play Clybourne Park, a razor-sharp satire about the politics of race and gentrification. Two acts, set 50 years apart, are set in the same modest bungalow on Chicago’s northwest side. In both instances, a community showdown takes place, pitting race against real estate with this home as the battleground.

Moore won Anthony Awards (Leading Male Performance in a Musical) for Donkey in Shrek and Lonny in Rock of Ages and is a regular with Summit City Music Theatre, including Little Shop of Horrors as The Voice of Audrey 2 and The Addams Family as Mal Beineke. 

Clybourne Park opens Friday, May 12, at First Presbyterian Theater. Auditions will be Sunday, Feb. 26, and Monday, Feb. 27, from 5-9 p.m. at First Pres, 300 W. Wayne St.

Fort Wayne Museum of Art recognized

Fort Wayne Museum of Art has again achieved accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums, the highest national recognition afforded the nation’s museums. 

Accreditation signifies excellence to the museum community, governments, funders, outside agencies, and the museum-going public. Fort Wayne Museum of Art was initially accredited in 1996 and reaccredited in 2008 and 2022. All museums must undergo reviews to maintain accredited status. 

Alliance accreditation brings national recognition to a museum for its commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards, and continued institutional improvement. Of the nation’s estimated 33,000 museums, only 1,080 are accredited. 

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