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Summer of Love

Do six plays in seven weeks sound hectic to you?

Heritage Repertory Theatre, the professional company-in-residence at the University's Drama Department during the summer months, helps keep theater alive in Charlottesville by adopting a repertory mode of production.

With irregular, sporadic summer schedules, vacations interrupting things and with friends and family around for shorter chunks of time, many theaters adapt by turning to this model. Repertory involves producing a rotating collection of shows performed by a single company. HRT, which has been the summer company at the University since 1974, will perform six shows from June 20 to August 3 in the Culbreth and Helms theaters.

This season's lineup will include a range of genres - musical, comedy, drama - all bound by the common theme of love.

"The most exciting part of the season is the diversity of shows included in our season lineup," HRT Publicity Director Katie Dalton said. "Each show is very different, from the American favorite 'Anything Goes,' a musical comedy, to the current Broadway hit 'Proof,' a more serious play."

The season begins tonight with "Anything Goes,"

a 1930s Cole Porter musical comedy about romantic mishaps aboard a cruise ship. Next week, singer Jack Donahue - who directed April's Drama Department production of the musical "Cabaret" - will perform "Summer Songs," a musical performance that puts a new spin on the songs of Mary Chapin Carpenter, Burt Bacharach, Joni Mitchell and other popular artists.

In July, HRT turns toward the serious side of love with "Proof," David Auburn's Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning play about insanity, genius and relationships in the context of the family life of a brilliant mathematics professor. "Proof" is currently running on Broadway.

"The opportunity to work on 'Proof' was a big appeal. It made my decision to come here pretty easy," said Ginna Hoben, a Master of Fine Arts student at Penn State University who will play Claire, the professor's manipulative daughter, in the production of "Proof."

Three more shows will open mid-July to complete the repertory. "Comic Potential," is a biting farce that takes a look at what love and relationships might look like in a technologically dominated future, while "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change," illustrates the perils of romance in a contemporary comedy. "Smokey Joe's Caf