The McDowell
Center for
erforming Arts

McDowell High School
Erie, PA
Current Season

2015-2016 Season
(Artwork by Kelly Craig)

Into the Woods
Book by James Lapine
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
“Be careful what you wish for” seems to be the ongoing theme in Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Brothers Grimm inspired musical, Into the Woods. The story follows The Baker and his wife who wish to have a child, Cinderella who wishes to go the King’s Festival, and Jack who wishes his cow would give some milk. When the Baker and his wife are visited by the neighborhood witch, who reveals to them that she placed a curse on their family, the two set off on a journey into the woods to reverse the curse. Also in the woods, we meet Little Red, who is trying to visit her grandmother, the Wolf who loves tasty little girls, the Witch’s daughter Rapunzel, and the Princes chasing after their loves. By the end of Act I, everyone has gotten their wish and will seemingly live happily ever after. But in Act II, when Jack’s beanstalk brings them a visit from an angry Giant, we see how the consequences of their actions haunt them in disastrous ways. The community must come together to save each other and their kingdom, but sacrifices must be made. 


Little Women
Book by Allan Knee
Music by Jason Howland
Lyrics by Mindi Dickstein

Louisa May Alcott’s beloved story of the adventures of the four March sisters is brought to vivid musical life in Little Women. The Civil War is in full swing, and the March sisters -- Meg, the oldest, a romantic, the spirited and tomboyish Jo, sweet and loving Beth, and irascible, playful Amy -- live in Concord, Massachusetts with their Marmee while their father is on the battlefield. Filled with adventure (both lived and imagined), heartbreak, and a deep sense of hope, the struggle of these “Little Women” to find their own voices mirrors the growing pains of a young America. With buoyant, joyful melodies, memorable characters, and a big-hearted message, Little Women reminds us that “sometimes when you dream, your dreams come true."

Julius Caesar
by William Shakespeare

This drama is one of the great tragedy themed plays by William Shakespeare. Julius Caesar is a highly ambitious political leader in Rome and his aim is to become dictator. Caesar is warned that he must "beware the Ides of March" . The prophecy comes true and Caesar is assassinated due to the plotting of Marcus Brutus and Cassius. The friend of Julius Caesar, Mark Antony, provides the famous funeral oration ("Friends, Romans, and countrymen…") Brutus and Cassius meet their inevitable defeat which plunges the country into civil war.

Book by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty
Music by Stephen Flaherty
Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens

A musical perfect for the whole family, Seussical takes us into the world of Dr. Seuss, where we revisit beloved characters including The Cat in the Hat, Horton the Elephant, Gertrude McFuzz, Lazy Mayzie, and JoJo. The Cat in the Hat guides us into The Jungle of Nool where we see Horton, the kind hearted elephant who discovers a speck of dust containing Whoville. He meets JoJo, a Who child sent to military school for thinking too many “thinks.”Horton decides he must protect the speck of dust on a nearby clover, while at the same time protecting an abandoned egg left to his care by Mayzie la Bird. Horton tries to convince the other animals in The Jungle of the existence of the Whos, but he is ridiculed and put on trial for insanity. Only his loyal neighbor,Gertrude McFuzz, never loses faith in him. Now one of the most widely produced musicals in the country, Seussical weaves a story of friendship, loyalty and love. Charming Seussical teaches us the power of being unique, and the importance of fighting for your beliefs.

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