Ferrie, Anatoly, is a music education and music major.
In this rock opera, music, theatricality, and dance are used
to convey a war of passion between an arrogant American chess champion
and his ambitious Russian opponent as they compete in the game and for
the attention of a clever, cosmopolitan woman who captivates them both.
From Italy to Thailand, the players become lovers, politicians, and spies as they struggle to get the upper hand both on and off the chess board while highlighting the U.S.-Soviet rivalry during the Cold War.
"It's a story about passion," elaborated director Rosemary Bucher. "There are so many different kinds of love, and the show explores everything from unhealthy obsession to patriotism, and even the bitter parts of beginning and ending romances. The characters have to acknowledge their flaws to get anywhere, and it's very difficult for them."
Ferrie, who plays Anatoly Sergievsky, the Russian competitor, spoke of the historical demands of his role.
"I've grown emotionally and academically during this show. I've had to do lots of research about the Cold War, specifically the Russian point of view, to see what the patriotism was like during that time. I've learned a lot because of the diversity of this show, especially when it comes to the way historical points of view are shown."
Featuring pop chart favorites such as "One Night in Bangkok" and "I Know Him So Well," the dynamic score shows off an all-student pit orchestra led by Dominic Baldoni and a cast of 28 student performers coached by vocal director Jenna Parrilla.
"The music has a 1980s influence because it is set in and was written in the early 80s, but its difficulty and sophistication gives it a very elegant feel," Bucher said. "There are so many genres featured in 'Chess,' so there's definitely something for everyone."
Stephanie Behrends is the production's dance captain, and performs in the show's eight-member dance ensemble while assisting the choreographer, Kelley Delaney, in demonstrating choreography. "Dancing gives us a chance to really illustrate the story," Behrends explained. The show includes ballet, hip-hop, modern dance, and a variety of other genres. "It's easy to get lost in the movements because the story of 'Chess' is so powerful. It's been an amazing journey," she added.Evening performances are Friday and Saturday, Oct. 25 and 26 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 27 at 2 p.m.; Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, Oct. 31, Nov. 1, and 2 at 8 p.m.; Sunday, Nov. 3 at 2 p.m. All shows are in Leedy Theater of Mund College Center. Tickets are free to LVC students, $15 for adults; $10 for non-LVC students, alumni, and faculty; $5 for children 10 and under; and $5 for seniors 60 and over.
"Chess" is the first of five productions Wig and Buckle is presenting this year in their "Skeletons in the Closet" season. The company will also present No?l Coward's "Private Lives," presented by the English 204 class in December, the fourth annual "Wig and Buckle Showcase" in January, David Auburn's "Proof," directed by Anthony Hoover '14 in February, and Henrik Ibsen's "A Doll's House," directed by Dee Bogert '14 in April.
For more information or to reserve tickets, visit www.wigandbuckle.com, call 717-867-6162, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.Annville is 15 minutes east of Hershey and 35 minutes east of Harrisburg; Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore are within two hours.