William Peace Theatre Presents “Kiss Me, Kate” October 20-22 and 28-29

October 18, 2016

William Peace Theatre opens its 2016-17 season with the beloved Broadway musical, Kiss Me, Kate. The show runs two weeks, October 20-22 and 28-29 at Kenan Auditorium on the William Peace University Campus in downtown Raleigh, located at 15 East Peace Street.

This show features a classic musical score and lyrics by the legendary Cole Porter. It was his most popular musical, and it was his first “integrated musical,” in which the songs drive the story as opposed to simply serving up popular songs unrelated to the action of the play.

Kiss Me, Kate was also the most popular work by the husband and wife writing team of Samuel and Bella Spewack. It ran for more than 1,000 nights on Broadway and won the very first Tony Award presented for Best Musical.

The story focuses on a musical production of William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew (and it draws much inspiration in this quasi-retelling). The egotistical director and producer, Fred Graham, plays the leading role of Petruccio with his movie star ex-wife, Lilli Vanessi, co-starring as Katherine. Lilli is now engaged to a Washington insider, while Fred chases after a younger actress, Lois Lane, who plays Bianca. Lois already has a boyfriend, who happens to have racked up $10,000 worth of gambling debts in Fred’s name, and some gangsters have arrived at the theater to collect. The show is a classic battle of the sexes with unforgettable songs and plenty of broad comedy to boot.

William Peace Theatre is proud to work with three guest artists for this production:

Jules Odendahl-James (Assoc. Member, SDC) is a director and dramaturg who has been making theater in the Triangle for more than 15 years. An Associate Artistic Director at Durham’s acclaimed Manbites Dog Theatre, she is on the Theater Studies faculty and serves as Program Director of Arts & Humanities Advising at Duke University. She is the Southeast Region Vice-President for the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas, a member of the Steering Committee for UNC-Chapel Hill’s The Process Series, and the Curator and Research Director for Ladies of the Triangle Theater, a gender parity advocacy group. Her scholarship has appeared in Theater Topics; The Routledge Companion to Dramaturgy; Theatre Survey; Violence in American Popular Culture; Crime Media Culture; Review: A Journal of Dramaturgy and forthcoming in the American Journal of Bioethics and the Routledge collection, Physical Dramaturg. She is also a Kienle Scholar in Medical Humanities at Penn State College of Medicine for the 2016-17 school year.

Denise Cerniglia is a North Carolina native who has been teaching ballet and tap in the triangle for 15 years. Her dance training began at the Goldsboro School of Ballet. In high school she studied ballet at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and from renowned teachers Cindy Mancini and Joe Carow in Greenville, and Maryhelen Mayfield and John Dennis of Greensboro Ballet. As a young adult, she choreographed musicals for Center Stage, the community theater in Goldsboro, Since then she has taught and choreographed all over North Carolina and the Triangle. Denise grew up on Broadway tap, but was introduced to the amazing Gene Medler and rhythm tap in her twenties. Since then she went on to study tap with notable teachers like Michelle Dorrance, Jason Samuels Smith, Derick Grant, Diane Walker and Sam Weber, and to dance professionally with Footnotes Tap Ensemble. For the past 12 years her home has been the Holly Springs School of Dance. She is the creator and director of the Springs Tap Ensemble and the Springs Ballet Company, and is the writer, choreographer and director for Dance Theatre, an annual original production.

Derrick Ivey is a Triangle-based designer, director, and actor. Regional collaborations include Manbites Dog Theater, Deep Dish Theater, Playmakers Repertory Company, Duke University, Cape Fear Regional Theater, The NC Symphony, and the NC Museum of Art.

Tickets for Kiss Me, Kate range from $5-$15.

Buy Tickets for Kiss Me, Kate Here