Tuesday, December 5, 2023

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DES MOINES – Drake University Department of Theatre Arts students present the world premiere of WINGS, a new musical, written by Danny K. Bernstein and orchestrated by Nick Wilders. Bernstein spent a week with Drake musical students last spring directing a reading of the show in preparation for this fall’s performance. Now, for the first time, WINGS is being brought to life on stage in Drake’s own William S.E. Coleman Studio Theatre in the Harmon Fine Arts Center.

Loosely adapted from the 1906 Russian novella, WINGS tells the story of 4th year university student Vanya, through his eyes, as he navigates his final year of study in St. Petersburg. With no money, and no status beyond the university, Vanya is desperate to win a prestigious fellowship that will allow him to stay at the university. However, matters complicate when he begins working privately on his application with the Fellowship’s current recipient, and the two begin a relationship that neither are quite prepared for.

A word from the cast:
Being in a new show is awesome, it allows me to be creative and free. There is no reference to anyone else bringing your character to life other than you and the playwright. So you get to create something new. – Harrison Stull, Vanya

Danny has written a beautiful new piece of theatre. He writes melodic pieces with intention behind every note and word which pushes me as an actress to dive further into my character and her journey. – Jude Thurman, Anna Nikolayevna

The most rewarding aspect of being in a Drake Theatre show is the variety of theater that we’re exposed to. WINGS is such a unique show in the way that it is unlike most other pieces of theater that are on Broadway right now. – Griffin Snow, Larion Stroop

The full company includes: Drake faculty members, Erin T. Degner (director/choreographer) and Tristan Miedema (music director), Note Aguilar, Ben Ankarlo, Carly Arguelles, Rhyan Busch, Laura Breyen, Reece Dickerson, Emma Fishman, Chloe Fox, Miclo Gonzalez, Eliana Mascareñas, Griffin Snow, Harrison Stull, and Jude Thurman.
Danny K Bernstein is an award-winning composer-lyricist, writer, pianist and music director based in New York City. He holds a BA in Music from Cornell University, where he was awarded the Ellen Gussman Adelson prize in music, and was named the 2014 Undergraduate Artist of the Year.

Nick Wilders is an NYC-based orchestrator, pianist, and music director. His theatrical credits as orchestrator include orchestrations and arrangements for Notes From Now, Crave (both Off-Broadway), Beauty & the Beast, Once On This Island (both Summer Theatre of New Canaan), and the upcoming national tour of In My Own Little Corner, starring Chryssie Whitehead.

Ticket prices are $8 for students and seniors and $10 for adults. For complete ticket prices and ticket orders, call 515-271-3841 or visit Drake Fine Arts Box Office

Contacts: Jude Thurman / 720-878-2305 / jude.thurman@drake.edu Alyssa Speck / alyssa.speck@drake.edu

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