KWC Theatre Program presenting rock musical ‘Chess the Musical’ next month

February 19, 2023 | 12:07 am

Updated February 19, 2023 | 5:59 pm

The Kentucky Wesleyan College Theatre Program will present Chess the Musical later this month. | Photo from KWC Theatre Arts Program Facebook page

The Kentucky Wesleyan College Theatre Program will present Chess the Musical next month. Organizers said the rock musical, set in the 1980s, uses the ancient game of chess “as a metaphor for romantic rivalries, competitive gamesmanship, super-power politics, and international intrigue.”

Performances are set for 7 p.m. nightly March 23-25, plus a 2 p.m. matinee on March 26, in the Jack Wells Activity Center on campus.

“From Bangkok to Budapest, the players, lovers, politicians and spies manipulate and are manipulated to the pulse of a monumental score that includes One Night in Bangkok, Heaven Help My Heart, and Where I Want to Be with lyrics by Tim Rice and music from the band Abba’s Alvaeus and Anderson,” the theatre program said in a release.

The musical is directed by Director of Theatre Nate Gross with music direction by Dennis Jewett (director of voice and music education) and choreography by Shauna Jones. It combines student talent with select alumni and community members.

“I’m excited about so many aspects of this show,” Gross said. “We have amazing singers and actors, and we’re fully embracing the ’80s. The women in this show will have hair that is much taller than they are, and we’ll be using projections throughout the show to complement the live action on stage, including two montages shot by local filmmaker Shane Devon.”

Meahel Heard-Pitra, a KWC student from Las Vegas, portrays the American chess player named Freddie. He said, “This has been a wonderful challenge. It’s pushed me as a performer, and I can’t wait for people to come see it.”

Brett Vance, of Owensboro, portrays Russian chess player Anatoly. Vance said, “I love this show because of how much it touches on things that go unspoken, and I love this character because often he ends up being conflicted as if every little choice he makes will drastically change everything around him, much like the game chess.”

Melina Carter, a KWC student from Muhlenberg County, plays Florence, the woman in the middle of the love triangle. She said, “It’s difficult but so rewarding to sing these power ballads. These characters are risking everything, and they need to sing about it.” 

Tickets are available here

February 19, 2023 | 12:07 am

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