Discover All Things Regional in Central PA’s art and culture scene. Join hosts Cary Burkett and Joe Ulrich as they make artistic discoveries throughout the midstate. From music and visual arts to theatre, museums, literature and more! Listen every Wednesday and Friday on witf 89.5 and 93.3 for features highlighting the best and brightest cultural happenings in the region.
It sounds like the plot of a 1940’s movie musical starring Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney. Managed by two friends who met in high school, Orangemite Studios in Dover, PA produces Shakespeare plays in a barn, has established a community orchestra, and since 2008 has produced four original musicals. Their fifth new musical opens August 3, presented at the Dover High School. The musical is called Adventures of the Mysterious Tigerman.
The collaborators, William Wolfgang and Jesse Rupp, both of whom graduated from Dover High School, feel that their work has gotten consistently better and that the Tigerman musical is their best piece yet. It was inspired by hand-drawn comic books created by William at the age of five.
“What this show has is that inspiration –that childlike inspiration,” says Wolfgang. “The original stories didn’t all quite make sense. So we took out the stuff that didn’t make sense and we really expanded on it and I think we have created our best plot yet.” Both collaborators are eager to point out that while there are a lot of fun elements in the show, Tigerman is not just “your typical campy super-hero musical” as Rupp says. Within the context of their world, the characters, they say, are very real people, with real problems and real emotions.
Wolfgang and Rupp share in the creative duties of developing the musicals. While Rupp writes most of the songs, Wolfgang does all the arrangements for the orchestra which accompanies the performances. Their previous musical, Starcross’d, was an adaptation of Romeo & Juliet, which set Shakespeare’s original dialogue to music, and included music from Mozart’s Requiem played during Juliet’s death.
The two friends project a contagious aura of energy and creativity. Their original works give Orangemite Studios a strong identity, setting it apart from other theatres in the area. In an economic environment that is not friendly to any arts group, Orangemite seems to be a testament that the creative urge in the human spirit will somehow always find a way to express itself.
Adventures of the Mysterious Tigerman will be performed August 3-5 and August 10-12. Fridays and Saturdays are at 7 pm, Sundays at 2, at the Dover Area High School, 46 West Canal Street, Dover, PA. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students, ( but on Saturdays tickets are half off for those who come dressed as superheroes.)
Below you can hear our interview with William Wolfgang and Jesse Rupp.
Published in Center Stageback to top
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