Lilly Battista as Jo is unimpressed by Jack Meadows as LaurieLilly Battista as Jo is unimpressed by Jack Meadows as Laurie in the University Players production of Little Women, continuing this weekend in the Essex Hall Theatre. Photo by Jen Gurniak Photography.

Players season a balance of drama, comedy, and literature

Ripples of excitement echo through the halls and studios of the Jackman Dramatic Art Centre this week as University Players announced the shows for its 66th season, promising entertainment for audiences of all ages.

The season will be presented in the Essex Hall Theatre and includes four engaging productions, says David Court, director of the School of Dramatic Art: “We have an exciting lineup of shows that promise to captivate, inspire, and entertain.”

Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Oct. 25 to Nov. 3, 2024 - Adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher from the novella by Robert Louis Stevenson, this modern interpretation of the classic tale is perfect for the Halloween season. Experience the mystery and romance of Dr. Jekyll’s dark research and his alter ego, Mr. Hyde. Recommended for ages 14 and up due to violence.

Charlotte’s Web, Nov. 22 to Dec. 1, 2024 - Adapted from the book by E. B. White by Joseph Robinette. Audiences of all ages will enjoy reliving the story of Wilbur, a pig nervous of what his future holds, and Charlotte, an eight-legged friend who sets out to make Wilbur a local celebrity with her magical spiderweb messages. Come see a childhood favourite of many generations come to life as it explores the themes of innocence and change. A great opportunity to introduce University Players to friends and family members from age 5 to 105.

Real Estate, Jan. 31 to Feb. 9, 2025 - Written by Allana Harkin, this romantic farce combines the pressures of real estate and romance. The story follows Joel, a mystery novelist with writer’s block, and Emma, a bubbly realtor who bursts unexpectedly into his life. When his soon-to-be ex-wife Estelle turns up with divorce papers and her new beau Ted, a nervous man with a purse full of hand cream, the whole place turns upside down! Recommended for ages 12 and up.

The Wedding Party, March 28 to April 6, 2025, - Kristen Thompson’s rollicking farce comes to life in a new adaptation for the University Players stage. Join a cast of wild characters as they navigate an over-the-top wedding reception that will send audiences into side-splitting fits of laughter. A powerfully funny season closer! Recommended for ages 14 and up.

This season balances drama, comedy, and classic literature, Court says: “Don’t miss out on these exciting performances by the talented students of the School of Dramatic Art.”

Season subscription renewals are available now, with single tickets and new subscriptions available June 1.

The final production of the 2023-24 season, Little Women continues in the Essex Hall Theatre through March 24. Performances Thursday, Friday, and Saturday begin at 7:30 p.m., with a Sunday matinée at 2 p.m. Student tickets are just $10; get more details and visit the box office on the University Players website.