Wesleyan University's Theater Department presents "In the Heights" Wednesday, November 12 through Sunday, November 16, 2014

Wesleyan University's Theater Department presents "In the Heights" Wednesday, November 12 through Sunday, November 16, 2014

Wesleyan University’s Theater Department presents
In the Heights
Wednesday, November 12 through Sunday, November 16, 2014
Middletown, Conn. - Wesleyan University’s Theater Department presents the musical "In the Heights," from Wednesday, November 12 through Saturday, November 15, 2014 at 8pm, and Sunday, November 16, 2014 at 2pm and 8pm, in the Center for the Arts Theater, located at 271 Washington Terrace on the Wesleyan campus in Middletown.

Quiara Alegría Hudes, the author of the book for "In the Heights," will take questions from the audience after the performance on Saturday, November 15, 2014 at 8pm. A Pulitzer Prize recipient, Ms. Hudes is Wesleyan’s Shapiro Distinguished Professor of Writing and Theater.

"In the Heights" broke new ground on Broadway in 2008. Featuring the stories of the Latino community, the salsa rhythms, Latin pop sounds, and frequently rapped lyrics of the show were described as "an ear-tickling novelty on Broadway" by The New York Times. "In the Heights" quickly won national recognition: the 2008 Broadway production was nominated for thirteen Tony Awards and the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. "In the Heights" received Tony Awards for “Best Musical,” “Best Original Score” (Lin-Manuel Miranda, Theater ’02), “Best Choreography,” and “Best Orchestrations” (Alex Lacamoire and Bill Sherman, Music ’02), and also won a Grammy Award for "Best Musical Show Album."
Set around Fourth of July celebrations in the primarily Hispanic neighborhood of Washington Heights in New York City, "In the Heights" tells the universal stories of three generations living in this vibrant community. Their neighborhood is on the brink of change, and the characters sing about their hopes and struggles. These songs tell audiences about the dreams of first-generation college student Nina Rosario; Abuela Claudia, who left her home country of Cuba as a child; Usnavi de la Vega and Daniela, who fight to keep their small businesses open as the neighborhood faces gentrification; and many others. Each character negotiates which traditions are important for them to keep and which ones they should leave behind.

Composer/lyricist and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda gave a talk on September 23, 2014—"When You’re Home: A Look Back at the Origins of 'In the Heights'"—about the initial stages of creation of the musical while living in La Casa during his sophomore year at Wesleyan. Mr. Miranda underscored how fitting it is that the production is being staged at Wesleyan following the Broadway production at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, as well as touring the United States, Brazil, Japan, London, the Philippines, and Panama.

Tickets for "In the Heights" are $15 for the general public; $12 for senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff/alumni, and Middletown residents; and $7 for all students. Groups of fifteen or more may receive a discount on tickets as follows: groups of fifteen or more students may purchase discounted $5 tickets; and groups of fifteen or more adults may purchase discounted $12 tickets. Please call the Wesleyan University Box Office at (860) 685-3355 for more details and to take advantage of these special offers.

Tickets are available online at http://www.wesleyan.edu/boxoffice, by phone at (860) 685-3355, or in person at the Wesleyan University Box Office, located in the Usdan University Center, 45 Wyllys Avenue, Middletown.
Tickets may also be purchased at the door beginning one hour prior to the performance, subject to availability. The Center for the Arts accepts cash, checks written to “Wesleyan University”, and all major credit cards. No refunds, cancellations, or exchanges. The running time for the production is two hours and fifteen minutes. The show is appropriate for ages ten and up.
About the Production
The Wesleyan production is a collaboration between the Music and Theater Departments, directed by Cláudia Tatinge Nascimento, with music direction by Nadya Potemkina, and design by Marcela Oteíza (set and videos), Jiyoun Chang (lighting), Leslie Weinberg (costumes), and Mike Skinner (sound). The 28-member student cast reflects and celebrates the diversity of the Wesleyan community. The fourteen-piece band features Wesleyan students, as well as guest musicians from the Middletown community and The Hartt School of Music in West Hartford.  
About "In the Heights"
"When this musical erupts in one of its expressions of collective joy, the energy it gives off could light up the George Washington Bridge for a year or two."
The New York Times
"[The] depth of feeling, together with the wit of Miranda's lyrics, the playful dexterity of his rhymes, his dynamic score and a bunch of truly winning performances, make the show an uncalculated charmer."

About the Theater Department
The Theater Department embraces a broad definition of theater, and considers the critical and creative study of the stage to be essential components of a liberal arts education. Courses and productions reflect the interdisciplinary interests of the faculty and majors. The department's diverse faculty conducts research and creative endeavors in every continent. Recent Visiting Artists include Pulitzer Prize winner Quiara Alegría Hudes, and Doris Duke Performing Artist Award winner Rinde Eckert.

English Professor and pioneer American designer Ralph Pendleton created Wesleyan's Theater program in the mid-1930s. Mr. Pendleton served as the department's first chair until his retirement in 1974, and was an important contributor to the opening of the Center for the Arts complex in 1973. The Center for the Arts Theater and the Patricelli '92 Theater host department productions directed by faculty, visiting artists, and students. Site-specific performances take place across campus.

Wesleyan's Theater Department aims at preparing the next generation of artists and scholars. Their alumni are notably active in the professional metier; they appear on international and national stages, on and off-Broadway, and many are the recipients of prestigious awards, including "Bessie" Award winning designers Chloe Brown '92 and Roderick Murray '88, Emmy Award recipients Dana Delany '78 and Bradley Whitford '81, and Tony Award winners Frank Wood '83 and Lin-Manuel Miranda '02. Several joined renowned American companies, while others are the founding members of cutting-edge collarobative ensembles, acclaimed solo performers, and community activists. Theater alumni hold graduate degrees in acting, arts management, design, directing, performance studies, and theater research from the nation's most reputable programs.
For more information about the Theater Department, please visit http://www.wesleyan.edu/theater.