'Hello, Dolly!' to open Felten-Start Theatre's 50th season; 'Figaro' will close it.

Dolly, Vanya, Sonia, Masha, Spike and Figaro will be on hand to help Fort Hays State University celebrate Felten-Start Theatre's 50 years of performances.

Auditions to cast the parts will be open to all students, regardless of major, said Tomme Williams, director of FHSU Theatre.

The first night for "Hello, Dolly!" will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 2. This musical is one of the most recognizable performances that has ever been on Broadway, with more than 2,800 performances and 10 Tony Awards including (Best Musical), a record that held for 35 years. Other performances of "Hello, Dolly!" will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3, and Saturday, Oct. 4. A Sunday matinee performance is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Oct. 5.

Recent upgrades brought new lighting, riggings and sound equipment to the theatre, bringing it into the year 2014 and saving money on rentals.

"Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike," the second performance, is a winner of the Tony Award for Best Play and every other major award of the 2013 Broadway season. The story finds Vanya living peacefully with his adopted sister in a quiet life in a Pennsylvania farmhouse where they grew up only to be interrupted by their movie-star sister and her new boy toy.

Performances will be 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, Nov. 13 through Nov. 15, with a Sunday matinee at 2:30 p.m. Nov. 16.

"Figaro" will be the season's final performance, a play freely adapted from Beaumarchais' "Le Marriage de Figaro." Figaro, a servant, barber and shenanigans expert, is to be married in the morning, and he will need all his tricks to get past the many obstacles to the wedding, including the despicable count who employs him and his fiancé.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. April 23 through April 25, Thursday through Saturday, and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, April 26.

An opera, to be determined, is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 7, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 8.

Tickets for individual performances are $15 for the public and $10 for students K-12 and FHSU students and for senior citizens 55 and up. Season passes for all four productions for the general public is $50, for senior citizens will be $30 and for students $25. To ensure the best seating, be sure to have early reservations for the main stage productions.

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