Notre Dame College Presents Mercury Theatre's 20th Season with Five Summer Shows

Notre Dame College’s in-residence Mercury Theatre Company is celebrating 20 years in 2018 with two double bills during its seventh summer professional season at the College.

Mercury presents a total of five shows for the first time this summer, four in repetition—two each at a time—plus its teen production, all at the College’s Regina Auditorium. Performances for 2018 are: Disney’s “My Son Pinocchio” and Stiles and Drewe’s “SoHo Cinders: A New Musical” in June, with “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and “Caroline, or Change” during July and August, plus the My Mercury! teen production of Dreamworks’ “Shrek: The Musical” in June. Mercury usually offers only one show each month during summer in addition to its two-day teen performance.

Double Bill

Shows running in repetition this summer also allow Mercury to build on its tradition of offering a variety of musical theatre. This season features traditional Broadway selections and family favorite characters, like with Joseph, Pinocchio and Shrek, all rated G, but also showcases diverse messaging and attracts adult audiences. “Caroline, or Change,” rated PG, is about an African-American working as a maid in the 1960s, and “SoHo Cinders” is a rated-R, British humor twist on a classic Cinderella tale.

With the double bill, theatregoers have the opportunity to enjoy more than one musical each month, and even more than one show during the same week at times—all without leaving their community. According to Pierre-Jacques Brault, co-founder and artistic director of Mercury Theatre Company and artistic director of theatre at the College, the range of stage talent also is rising.

“Mercury has always been family friendly, but we like to offer some adult material. With productions running in repetition, it gives audiences a little more variety to choose, and we draw even more actors to our stage and keep them on their toes,” Brault said.

Wishes, Dreams and Wants

To celebrate its 20 years, the musical theatre selections Mercury stages this summer at Notre Dame are all about “wishes, wants and dreams,” according to Brault.

“People saw our wish and still are making it part of their summer plans,” he said.

This is the seventh season Mercury has been in residence at Notre Dame, the theatre company’s longest tenure at any one of its five venues in Northeast Ohio over its two decades. Mercury has entertained a total audience of 65,000 on campus since locating at Notre Dame in 2012, one year after the College purchased the former Regina High School building, now home to its campus Regina Hall, Regina Gym and Regina Auditorium.

Auditorium to Life

Mercury now produces two to four student shows during each school year at Notre Dame in addition to its professional series every summer and multiple teen productions, youth education and related arts events throughout the year. The company assumed direction of the College’s theatre performing arts programs in 2015.

“We have helped bring the Regina Auditorium to life since Notre Dame first purchased the building. To be at Notre Dame these past seven seasons, we have treated it like our home,” Brault said.

Mercury started in 1998 at the Ensemble Theatre in Cleveland Heights under the name Courage Love Innocence Theatre. It changed its title to Mercury Summer Stock and then to Mercury Theatre Company as it moved from Heskett Auditorium in Bedford Heights from 2003-2006; to Parma Little Theatre until 2009; then the Cleveland Playhouse in 2010, where it was the last company to perform in the  historic Brooks Theater; and to Notre Dame in 2012.

“The fact that 20 years later people still come to see Mercury productions is, what we have to say as artists, is flattering and humble,” said Brian Marshall, M.A., co-founder and managing director of Mercury Theatre Company, who also is managing director and theatre performance head at the College.

Show Dates

Mercury kicks off its 20th season with the Ohio premiere of the new live-theatre adaptation of the 1940 Walt Disney classic. “My Son Pinocchio” performances are June 1, 2, 3, 10, 13, 14, 15, 21, 22 and 24.

The second show of the double bill in June is “Soho Cinders: A New Musical,” an edgy version of a Cinderella story by the creators of Mary Poppins and HONK!, June 8, 9, 16, 17, 20 and 23. With this production, Mercury Theatre Company continues its tradition of being among the first in the U.S. to present the works of the award-winning British team, Stiles and Drewe.

Mercury’s performances of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” which is celebrating its 50th year in 2018, are July 20, 21, 22 and 29 and August 1, 2, 3, 9, 10 and 12. This production is revised and remounted from the company’s award-winning staging in 2010.

In repetition on July 27 and 28 and August 4, 5 and 11, Mercury presents “Caroline, or Change, ” an Olivier Award-winning musical, inspired by Pulitzer-prize winner author Tony Kushner’s boyhood, mixes blues, soul, Motown, classical music and Jewish folk songs.

The My Mercury! teen production of “Shrek: The Musical,” a re-telling of the Dreamworks animated film, is July 7 and 8.

Show Times and Tickets

All Mercury summer show times are 7 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. The auditorium opens 30 minutes prior to each performance. Seating is by general admission.

Season subscriptions at deep discounts for three or four shows, as well as individual show tickets, are available for purchase online.

Single tickets to each of the Broadway musical theatre productions by professional performers at the College are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors 60 years and older and $16 for students under 25 years old with a valid school identification. My Mercury single tickets are $12 or can be added to season subscriptions for $6 each.

Details of each production’s credits and storyline are on the Mercury Theatre Company website.

May 2018

About Notre Dame College

For almost a century, Notre Dame College has educated a diverse population in the liberal arts for personal, professional and global responsibility. Founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1922, the College has grown strategically to keep pace with the rapidly changing needs of students and the dramatic changes in higher education. But it has never lost sight of its emphasis on teaching students not only how to make a good living but also how to live a good life.

Today, the College offers bachelor’s degrees in 30 disciplines plus a variety of master's degrees, certification programs and continuing and professional development programs for adult learners on campus and online. Notre Dame College offers NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletic programs for men and women and is located in a picturesque residential neighborhood just 25 minutes from the heart of Cleveland. Hallmarks of the Notre Dame experience include stimulating academics, personalized attention of dedicated faculty and staff, and small class sizes.

Notre Dame College is located at 4545 College Road in South Euclid. For further information contact Brian Johnston, chief communications officer, at 216.373.5252 or bjohnston@ndc.edu.

Events

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Saturday June 23, 4:30pm
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E.g., 06/23/18
E.g., 06/23/18