06272017
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The girls take the lead: Hale Center Theater Orem announces 2018 season

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The Hale Center Theater Orem released its seven shows for the 2018 season on Wednesday.

The Hale Center Theater Orem announced its 2018 lineup on Wednesday and it looks like the season is going to the girls.

With seven shows planned in the 2018 lineup, all except “A Christmas Carol” have a female as the leading character.

“We look for a variety of plays and musicals that our patrons will enjoy,” said Anne Swenson, managing director and executive producer for HCTO. “One of the final tests we put every show through is: Will the audience feel better when they leave? It’s important that the audience feel uplifted.”

Even though there is still the second half of the 2017 season remaining, here is a first look at the HCTO’s 2018 season with the first show starting in January 2018:

“Dear Ruth”

Ironically, Swenson says that many people think her grandmother wrote this comedy. “Grandma Hale always said, “I did not write ‘Dear Ruth’ I wish I had. I’d be a very wealthy woman.”

“Dear Ruth” tells the story about a outspoken 14-year-old girl who wants to raise the morale of soldiers serving across the sea. She decides to write letters to the soldiers, but signs her older sister’s name, Ruth, to the letters. When one soldier shows up looking for his loving correspondent, the already engaged Ruth has to play along with her younger sister’s game.

“The Little Mermaid”

HCTO will dive “under the sea” for its second show of the season with Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.” Joining the “hot crustacean band,” Ariel will take the audience on a musical journey both on land and under the sea as she seeks to gain the love of Prince Eric.

“Sense and Sensibility”

It’s the Jane Austen’s literary masterpiece brought to the stage with a little bit of a twist. Following sisters Elinor and Marianne, the musical explores love and heartache as the sisters fall for two different types of men.

“It’s a comedy that we saw in New York,” Swenson said. “The script was delightful. It was so creatively staged that we were charmed from the minute it began. We sent Chris Clark to New York to see it. It was the first show that I obtained the rights to and the first show that I hired a director for.”

Clark, who is directing the current show, “Betty Blue Eyes,” will direct “Sense and Sensibility” in 2018.

“Annie”

It’s been a a hard-knock life for the HCTO, which has hundreds of kids audition for its shows but only has limited spots for young performers. For “Annie” — a show about a young orphan who gets a chance to live with the wealthiest man in town — the show requires a lot of young actors.

“I’m excited to give the youth in the area the opportunity to do Annie,” Swenson said. “We often don’t have the ability to cast a lot of children because the stage is too small.”

“Daddy Long Legs”

Just recently ending its time on Off-Broadway, “Daddy Long Legs” is from the same composer who wrote “Jane Eyre,” which HCTO performed in 2015.

“We’re the first ones to do it definitely in the western states and definitely in Utah,” Swenson said.

“Daddy Long Legs” follows Jerusha, an orphan girl with a mysterious benefactor, as she tries to uncover who her benefactor is paying for her education. She nicknames said benefactor “Daddy Long Legs.”

“Anything Goes”

Taking to a ship departed from New York and sailing on to England, a comical cast of characters get into mischief and finds love.

“Some of the things that I’m excited about is we haven’t had a tap musical in many, many years and ‘Anything Goes’ will have that,” Swenson said.

“A Christmas Carol”

Keeping up the bah humbug tradition, Bob Marley, Ebenezer Scrooge and the ghosts of Christmas shows past returns to the future with “A Christmas Carol.”

Tickets for the 2018 season at HCTO go on sale for current season-ticket holds on July 14 and for everyone else on Aug. 1.


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