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WCSU theatre arts department to stage ‘The Wild Party’

inamge of Kelsey Lepesko, of Stratford, in a scene from “The Wild Party” at WCSU
Kelsey Lepesko, of Stratford, in a scene from “The Wild Party” at WCSU

DANBURY, CONN. — Based on Joseph Moncure March’s 1928 poem, the musical “The Wild Party” will come to the stage at Western Connecticut State University for the first two weekends of November. Presented by the WCSU Department of Theatre Arts, the first round of performances will be at 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 9; at 2 and 8 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10; and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018. The following weekend, performances will be at 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 16; at 2 and 8 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 17; and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018.

“The Wild Party” will take place on the MainStage Theatre of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the university’s Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury. General admission is $25. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit or call (203) 837-8732.

“The Wild Party” tells a jazz-age tale of Queenie, a vaudeville dancer, and Burrs, a vaudeville clown, in the wild days of prohibition. Partying through lust and angst in a show charged by a jazz-influenced score, Queenie has to decide what is next for her in this compelling story of the roaring 1920s. According to one critic, “The band is blowing, the hooch is flowing and the guests are lit!”

Tim Howard, coordinator of the university’s Musical Theatre program, will direct “The Wild Party.”

“It’s exhilarating, it’s really rhythmic, it captures the 1920s, it’s dangerous and it’s compelling,” Howard said. “It’s a wild party. I’m thrilled to introduce our Connecticut audiences to this lesser-known, but thrilling musical. It has an exhilarating and extremely tuneful score.”

Howard described his casting process as something that hinged on who would bring the most truth to the show, which represents the peak of the 1920s: living life on the edge, love triangles and unraveling surprises.

“This is one of the most theatrical and thought-provoking pieces I’ve directed in my career,” he said. “The artistic team is first rate and the cast is superb. The singing, dancing and acting will knock you out! This is not to be missed.”

The cast includes Kelsey Lepesko, of Stratford, as Queenie; Sergio Francisco Mandujano, of Norwalk, as Burrs; Isiah Bostic, of Hamden, as Black; Sasha Renae Brown, of Middletown, as Kate; Alaina Mueller, of Windsor, as Madelaine True; Mark Sumner, of Middletown, as Eddie; Brandon Richardi, of Boston, Massachusetts, as Jackie; Thomas Bergamo, of Wolcott, as Oscar; Mike Katz, of Monroe, as Phil/Dance Captain; Kayla Hansen, of West Haven, as Dolores; Joelle Tshudy, of Belvidere, New Jersey, as Mae; and Grace McGovern, of North Haven, as Nadine.

The crew includes Director Howard, Choreographer Elizabeth Parkinson, Music Director David Baranowski, Producer Pam McDaniel, Production Manager Tom Swetz, Lighting Designer Scott Cally, Costume Designer Sharon Sobel and Scenic Designer Elizabeth Popiel.

In recent years, Howard’s direction and reimagining of “Evita” received 10 National Awards from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) and in 2016 Howard’s production of “Parade” received 14 national KCACTF awards followed by 11 national awards for his production of “The Drowsy Chaperone” in 2017All three musicals received outstanding production of a musical and Outstanding Director of a musical.

For more information, contact the Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486.



Western Connecticut State University changes lives by providing all students with a high-quality education that fosters their growth as individuals, scholars, professionals and leaders in a global society. Our vision: To be widely recognized as a premier public university with outstanding teachers and scholars who prepare students to contribute to the world in a meaningful way.