Wilkes University Theatre presents “Violet,”a heartwarming and uplifting musical by Jeanine Tesori and Brian Crawley. Performances will be held at 8 p.m. on Nov. 18, 19, 20 and 21, and 2 p.m. on Nov. 20 and 21, at the Dorothy Dickson Darte Center for the Performing Arts, 239 South River Street, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
Featuring a predominantly student cast under the direction of Jon Liebetrau, chairperson of the division of performing arts and associate professor of theatre, “Violet” is based on the short story “The Ugliest Pilgrim” by Doris Betts. It follows the journey of a young disfigured woman who embarks on a long bus ride through the segregated American South in 1964 from her farm in Spruce Pine, North Carolina to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to visit a televangelist she believes will heal her. On the way, she learns the real meaning of love, courage, and inner beauty.
Using country, folk, bluegrass, blues, honky-tonk rock and gospel styles, Tesori (the composer of Fun Home, Thoroughly Modern Millie and Caroline) has composed a score faithful to Violet’s rural roots and simple faith. Winner of the Drama Critics’ Circle Award, the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Musical and nominated for a Tony award, this redemptive story will warm your spirit. Note that the show includes adult language and subject matter.
The cast includes Raven Wesley as Violet, Jahel Duran-Diaz as Flick, Jack Flynn as Monty and Angel D’andria as Young Vi . Guest artist and Wilkes alumnus, Carlos Candelario, will play the role as Father.
Kayleigh Evans, Rachel Kern, Jalani Williams, Aariyana Gould, Jay’na Johnson, Olivia Scarborough, Evan Miner, Sean Robinson, Olivia Schanbacher and Melodi Wheeler round out the cast. Kasey Karoll, Sami Uggla and Melodi Wheeler serve as stage managers.
Tickets are $15 general admission, $10 for students and senior citizens and free for Wilkes students, faculty and staff. Parking, including handicapped-accessible options, are available behind the Henry Student Center located at 84 West South Street, Wilkes-Barre.
Audience tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at (570) 408-4540. Live-stream access can be purchased by visiting www.wilkes.edu/theatre.
About Wilkes University
Wilkes University is a private, independent, non-sectarian institution of higher education dedicated to academic and intellectual excellence through mentoring in the liberal arts, sciences and professional programs. Founded in 1933, Wilkes is on a mission to create one of the nation’s finest doctoral universities, offering all of the programs, activities and opportunities of a large university in the intimate, caring and mentoring environment of a small college, open to all who show promise. The Brookings Institution ranked Wilkes 14th in the nation for middle-class mobility. In addition to 45 majors, Wilkes offers 24 master’s degree programs and five doctoral/terminal degree programs, including the doctor of philosophy in nursing, doctor of nursing practice, doctor of education, doctor of pharmacy, and master of fine arts in creative writing. Learn more at www.wilkes.edu.