UCLA TFT and Reprise 2.0 form partnership

Students from UCLA TFT will be involved in showcasing three classic American musicals in 2018

The UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television’s Department of Theater, led by Chair Brian Kite, is partnering with the new performing arts organization Reprise 2.0 to present a season of three classic American musicals at UCLA TFT’s Freud Playhouse.

This initiative allows the school to expand activities for its theater students — in performance, lighting, sound and set design, and includes internships with Reprise 2.0 personnel in directing, stage management, casting, producing, musical direction, costuming and choreography. Students also appear in the productions on stage as part of the ensemble, as appropriate.

The inaugural 2018 season of Reprise 2.0, helmed by founder and producing artistic director Marcia Seligson, includes Sweet Charity, directed by three-time Tony winner Kathleen Marshall (June 20-July 1); Victor/Victoria, directed by Richard Israel and choreographed by UCLA TFT Adjunct Professor Peggy Hickey (Sept. 5-16); and Grand Hotel – The Musical (Oct. 24-Nov. 4), directed by Arthur Allan Seidelman and choreographed by Kay Cole.

Seligson previously founded Reprise! Broadway’s Best, which presented nearly 50 productions of classic musicals between 1997 and 2012 including Promises, Promises; Finian’s Rainbow; Wonderful Town; The Pajama Game; Sweeney Todd; Bells Are Ringing; Call Me Madam; Hair; 1776; The Most Happy Fella; Follies; Anything Goes; Kismet; Company; Brigadoon; Pippin, On the Town, Carousel, How to Succeed, and the final show, Cabaret. These productions starred some of the finest musical theater talent in the country, including Christine Baranski, Kelsey Grammer, Maureen McGovern, Jean Smart, Rachel York, Tony Danza, Jane Krakowski, Donna McKechnie, Christopher Sieber, Davis Gaines, Steven Weber, Lucie Arnaz, Christine Ebersole, Orson Bean and Judith Light. Reprise 2.0 will continue to collaborate with many of these stellar performers.

“The original Reprise! provided an unusually rich environment for our students, who often seamlessly joined the ensembles and could observe the assembling of a professional production during a compact period of time,” Kite says. “With the kind of residency we are envisioning with the new Reprise 2.0, we will be able to allow an even wider variety of experiences for students to both observe and participate in the process. We are thrilled to partner with Marcia and such incredible artists to bring these special musical experiences to L.A. audiences.”

The new Reprise 2.0 will be faithful to the original concept, combining simple sets and costumes with outstanding directors and choreographers; a band on stage; and stellar performances that let the material shine, allowing audiences to experience musicals they have never seen before, or have not been performed in the area for many years.

The inaugural season of Reprise 2.0 is funded in part by a generous gift from Charles B. Hensley, chairman and CEO of Desilu Studios.

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Posted: March 15, 2018