U.Va. Drama Department Opens the 2006-2007 Season with 'Waiting for the Parade'

Sept. 15, 2006 -- To open the 2006-2007 season, the U.Va. Drama Department presents the bittersweet Waiting for the Parade.  A play by John Murrell, Waiting for the Parade takes intimate snapshots of life on the home front during WWII.  The casualties of war extend far beyond combat lines, as five unique women in 1940\'s Canada show us.  Experience first-hand their loves and losses on Sept. 21-23 and 26-30 at 8 p.m. in the Helms Theatre.

Much like American women of the 1940\'s, the women in Waiting for the Parade are united by their efforts to support the boys "over there."  Their wartime friendship deepens as they learn to smile, and sing, in the face of loss and loneliness.  As the women experience highs and lows, confronting themselves as well as each other, the war at home becomes as real as the one in Europe.  Waiting for the Parade is a play about humanity and camaraderie, as well as world war.

The cast features four undergraduate students side by side with professional actress Jude Reagan, Associate Director of U.Va\'s Teaching Resource Center and a Drama Department faculty member, playing Margaret.  Reagan has performed regionally with Heritage Repertory Theatre, Roanoke\'s Mill Mountain Theatre, Theatre Virginia in Richmond, and most recently at St. Michael\'s Playhouse in Vermont.  Keenan Caldwell, Molly Coyle, Katie McDaniel, and Caroline Pugliese, all Drama majors (and double majors in English, Economics, or Foreign Affairs) form the rest of the ensemble cast.

Director Jonathan Green, a fourth year drama major at U.Va., expects the play to resonate with students and community members alike.  Green hopes audiences will take away a sense of "true connection among people."  He says, "This play is so very timely. It helps us examine the true costs of war -- not just in lives lost, but in lives torn apart. However, it also speaks of the humanity in each of us, the way we band together and support one another in times of crisis… Murrell\'s play is bittersweet, very funny and very sad.  I hope it helps us commemorate difficult times past and prepare for difficult times ahead."

Tickets for Waiting for the Parade are for adults, for seniors and for students; full-time U.Va. students can use their ART$ Dollars to purchase tickets. For more information visit the Drama Department Web site at http://www.virginia.edu/drama, or call the Drama Department Box Office at 434-924-3376. The box office is open from 1 p.m. to 6p.m. Monday through Friday.