Join Mercer Players for a season of haunts and hilarity | Arts at Mercer

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Mercer Theatre presented the outdoor spectacle "The Phoenix Project: Renewal" in 2021. Photo by Christopher Ian Smith

Have a craving for the thrills and chills that can only be experienced on a live stage? The 2022-23 Mercer Theatre season will satisfy a flair for the dramatic, whether one dreams of being the star of the stage or just cheering from the sidelines. 

Scot Mann, associate professor and director of theatre, said sticking close to home and empowering the University community is the theme for this season. 

“Since we’re co-curricular and anyone can audition or apply to work backstage, we’re a great place to increase the richness of your resume with new skills,” Mann said. “We have a lot of pre-med and pre-law students because we teach the kind of skills that make them better — there’s nothing like theatre to sharpen communication and collaboration under pressure.”

A Cauldron yearbook from the 1930s shows Mercer Players performers

This year’s performances are driven by Mercer’s students, alumni and rich history. The Mercer Players have been a part of the campus community for decades, so honoring their direct connection to the University is valuable. 

Mann believes a season highlight will be the “Mercer Haunts” show, which will play during the Halloween season and is based off of ghost stories from Mercerians.

“Some of them are well-known campus stories, and some are ones you’ve never heard. We’re basically making a spooky theatre history show that is as experiential as possible,” he said.

The rest of the season includes similarly spirited events to engage any Bear.

The year begins with an evening of original one-act plays written by a student playwrighting class. After “Mercer Haunts” will be the classic drama “Twelve Angry Jurors,” directed by 2013 alumna Sheri Gilbert-Wilson, who returns to Mercer after recently receiving her Master of Fine Arts from the Academy of Classical Acting.

Finally, Mercer Players will cap off the spring with a family-friendly show, “The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical.” This performance was driven by student demand since the musical is based on a popular novel that debuted during their childhood.

All shows will be performed at Tattnall Square Center for the Arts.

To get involved with the Mercer Players, visit their table at Bear Fair, which is 4-6 p.m. Aug. 22 at the University Center, or contact Mann at mann_sj@mercer.edu.

You won’t want to miss out on this season. Mark these shows on your calendar now:

  • Premier Performances — Sept. 22-25: An evening of original one-act plays from the 2021 playwrighting class. These never-before-seen plays promise to be fun, original and crazy. This show will be only $5 to attend, a 50% savings over most Mercer Theatre tickets.
  • “Mercer Haunts” — Oct. 29, Oct. 31 and Nov. 12: Part of Mercer’s Gothic Festival, this show features ghost stories from Mercer and Middle Georgia, interspersed with moments from Gothic authors. 
  • “Twelve Angry Jurors” — Feb. 9-12 and Feb. 16-19: Twelve jurors assume the responsibility of deciding the fate of an 18-year-old boy as he stands trial for murder. Tensions rise and pressure mounts as the trial unfolds, revealing the bias, prejudice and character of each juror. The journey to a final verdict is a suspenseful and timely story that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The show is directed by Mercer alumna Sheri Gilbert-Wilson.
  • “The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical” — April 13-16 and April 20-23: As a son of Poseidon, Percy Jackson has newly discovered powers he can’t control, monsters on his trail, and is on a quest to find Zeus’ lightning bolt to prevent a war between the Greek gods. Featuring a thrilling rock score, “The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical” has fans of all ages “cheering like the ball is being dropped on New Year’s Eve,” according to New York Magazine.

 

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