News Release: Valdosta State University
VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University’s Theatre and Dance Program will kick off a seven-performance run of “Evita” at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 27, in the Sawyer Theatre.
“I have always been intrigued by the story of Eva Perón and her effect on the people of Argentina,” noted Jacque Wheeler, director, professor of theatre, and chairwoman of VSU’s Theatre and Dance Program. “I am also always intrigued by a love story and the intricacies of human relationships. ‘Evita’ satisfied my interest in all levels.”
“Evita” tells the story of Argentine political leader Eva Perón, the second wife of Juan Perón, president of Argentina. It opens with an announcement that she has died and then travels back in time to her early life of poverty, rise to power, and charity work, making a full circle back to her eventual death.
“‘Eva Perón was a saint.’ ‘Eva Perón was a whore.’ Ask anyone who knew Eva Perón what she was like,” explained Deborah Morgan, musical dramaturge, “and you’ll get either one of those two responses … and that is where I began my research. After months of reading articles and books and watching countless YouTube videos, most of them in Spanish, I have concluded there are two facts about Eva Perón’s life no one refutes: She was born in 1919, and she died in 1952. It’s everything in between that’s up for debate.”
Featuring music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, “Evita” began as a rock opera concept album, with plans for eventual staging, released in 1976. Its first success as a stage production was in 1978 at the Prince Edward Theatre in London’s West End. It opened at the Broadway Theatre in New York City roughly a year later.
Wheeler shared, “The recent revival of the piece on Broadway in 2012 spoke to the continuing interest of others in this complex interpretation of the life of a historical figure.” That revival led to a national tour that began in September 2013.
Sponsored by Jerry and Kay Jennett, “Evita” opens at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 27, in the Sawyer Theatre on the first floor of the VSU Fine Arts Building, located at the intersection of Brookwood Drive and Oak Street. Additional performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 28, through Saturday, March 29; 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 30; and 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 31, through Wednesday, April 2. The show is performed with one 15-minute intermission.
Individual tickets for “Evita” are $15 plus tax for adults, $12 plus tax for senior citizens, $10 plus tax for children and non-VSU students, $10 plus tax for groups of 10 or more at a single performance, and free for all VSU students with a valid university identification card. All tickets will incur a 25-cent processing fee.
Tickets may be purchased by calling the VSU Theatre and Dance Box Office at (229) 333-5973 between the hours of 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Please note that this production contains mature themes and is not recommended for young audiences.