University News

Toyland

December 03, 2015
Category: Arts

ToylandThis year whether you have been naughty or nice the place to be holiday family entertainment is SUU’s Department of Theatre Arts and Dance when it presents Toyland, The Holiday Family Musical Treat. Directed and created by Peter and Kirsten Sham, SUU educator and long-time actor and director/choreographer (respectively) with the Utah Shakespeare Festival, the production is a delightful musical adventure ideal for the entire family. The show is scheduled for performances on December 3, 4, 5, 7, 10, 11, 12 at 7:30pm with Saturday matinees on December 5 and 12 at 2pm. The show will be performed at SUU’s Randall L. Jones Theatre.

Written by husband and wife team, Peter and Kirsten Sham, Toyland tells the story of three squabbling sisters on the night before Christmas. Together, they take a magical journey encountering nearly every myth of childhood including, nasty bedbugs, “things” that go bump in the night and a dance-happy “Boogie” Man! The three sisters are abducted to Toyland, and soon find out it’s not such a nice place. Toyland, they quickly discover, is the place where toys go that are lost or mistreated and where bad children are taken to be the “toys” of the evil Toy Master, a mad jack-in-the-box!  But this musical fairytale has many more surprises up its sleeve and a very happy ending indeed. Toyland shows how knowledge, friendship and compassion are the keys to growing up.  Featuring many of the world’s most beloved Christmas songs and carols adapted with a rock and roll twist, Toyland is a holiday musical treat for the whole family! 

Says Peter Sham, co-author, “Toyland is really the brainchild of my wife, Kirsten. A celebrated dancer in New York and abroad, she always found herself stuck doing the same ole Nutcracker for the holidays in every dance company she would guest at. So one day we decided to throw all of our favorite Christmas songs, stories, gags and beloved fairytales into a blender and see what would happen. We wanted to create a Christmas song and dance show that kids would enjoy, but adults would love even more. Soon Toyland was born.”

Toyland was hailed when it first premiered as "AN INSTANT CLASSIC!  Lovingly embraces nearly every childhood fairytale...from the Wizard of Oz to Peter Pan to the Grinch.” and “An all new Christmas gift for the whole family...the show moves at a great pace and packs enough fun to entertain a wide range of age groups.” And the show has been enjoying successful runs in community and student groups throughout the country ever since. This production marks the second time it has been seen in Cedar City, having made its western premiere at Cedar City’s Heritage Center Theatre in 2004. 

With vocal arrangements and orchestrations by SUU student Brandon Scott Grayson, the score features a variety of popular holiday songs including music by Ernst Anschütz, Frederic Austin, Georges Bizet, William Chatterton Dix,  Benjamin Hanby, John Henry Hopkins, Jr., Mykola Leontovych, Felix Mendelssohn, James Lord Pierpont, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Richard Storrs Willis.  

Toyland is directed by Peter Sham and features choreography by Kirsten Sham with additional numbers choreographed by Megan Brunsvold, Patricia Meredith and Denise Purvis with music direction by Brandon Scott Grayson. The musical’s magical world features scenic design by Brian Jude Beacom, costume design by Wendy A. Sanders, lighting and sound design by J.D. Sargent, hair and make-up design by Sara Shearer and properties created by Alana Pichot. Kayla Beth Jensen serves as stage manager assisted by Lindsay Nicole and Demaree Sarnowski.    

This holiday musical spectacular showcases the talents of nearly forty SUU students and young performers from Iron County including Isabella Abel, Katie Andersen, Devin Anderson, Henry Ballesteros, Andrew Barrick, Ellie Barrick, Lauren Barrick, Bini Brockbank, Tammi Colombo, Isabella Daniel, Joshua Durfey, Hannah MacKenzie Fontes, Kailey Gilbert, Ella Grondahl, Joshua Leigh Hopkins, LayCee Houghton, Erin Hulse, Keaton Johns, Danikka Johnson, Savannah Jones, Lelia Karmeli, Kaitlyn Katter, Kamryn Krause, Courtney McMullin, Talise Mosley, Abigail Myers, Emily O’Donnell, Mekinzey Parks, Orlando Sham, Jacob Stathis, Alec TerBerg; and featuring students from Cedar City’s ON STAGE Dance Studio: Aleesha Adams, Brielle Hugh, Josie Jenkins, Tanley McGurdy, Brooklyn Petersen and Jessica Sahagun.    

Ticket prices for Toyland tickets are $15 for Adults, $12 for Alumni with card and $7 for Youth. SUU Faculty, Staff and students are admitted free with a valid ID. Faculty and staff are entitled to bring one guest. The CPVA Flex Pass offers six admissions to any theatre, dance or music event and can be used for a single entrance to a production or can be used to admit six people to one event. The pass can be used in any multiples for CPVA ticketed events. The cost of the Flex Pass is $40 per pass (a $65 value). For tickets or the Flex Pass, call the SUU Ticket Office at (435) 586-7872, Monday-Friday, 8am-4:30pm, or purchase in person at the Centrum Arena box office. Single tickets may be purchased online at www.suu.edu/pva/arts.

The 2015-2016 Theatre Arts & Dance Series includes the all-American classic romantic comedy You Can’t Take It With You, the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical RENT and Elevated Movements: the Faculty-Choreographed Dance Concert.



Contact Information:
Michael French
435-865-8667
michaelfrench@suu.edu