Worcester Magazine Profiles WPI VOX Theatre Group’s South Pacific

Media Contact
September 25, 2009

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Worcester Magazine has featured Worcester Polytechnic Institute's (WPI) rich and rewarding theatre department in the Sept. 23, 2009 edition. Writer Tim O'Keefe reviews the WPI VOX theatre company's Sept. 24-26 performance of the Broadway hit South Pacific, saying WPI "may be better known for producing engineers and mathematicians, but … you may begin to see the school in a whole new light."

WPI Choral Music Director John Delorey is quoted in the article. He says that one of the most rewarding aspects of doing theatre at WPI is talking to the audience after a show. "Most are dumb-struck when they realize that these students on stage and backstage are all engineers. It’s a great feeling to watch these students realize such potential in areas far afield from their courses of study at the university."

The university's Department of Humanities and Arts music division and VOX are presenting Rodgers and Hammerstein's Tony Award-winning Broadway musical theatre production South Pacific. Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Tales of the South Pacific by James A. Michener, it is considered by most critics to be the greatest musical of the 20th century, and was initially made into a Broadway musical in 1949. The play takes place on a South Pacific island during World War II, where love blooms between a young nurse and a secretive Frenchman who has been courted for a dangerous military mission.

Kristy Chambrelli is returning to direct this, her fifth production at WPI. Her past theatrical direction at the university includes The Mikado, Sweeney Todd, Threepenny Opera, and Witchwife, which was written by Delorey, who is also this production's music director. Thomas L. Collins III '01 is the producer. South Pacific will be fully staged and costumed, and will feature the WPI Men's Glee Club and Alden Voices under the direction of James Haupt. Professor Douglas Weeks, administrator of applied music, is the conductor of the WPI Festival Orchestra.

Remaining show times are Friday, Sept. 25, at 8 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 26, at 2 and 8 p.m. The production will be presented in Alden Memorial's Great Hall.

Tickets are $15 for general admission, and $10 for students with ID and senior citizens, and are available at the door. To reserve tickets, call 508-831-5051 or email at vox-info@wpi.edu. Doors open 30 minutes prior to the show.