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George Mason University's Schools of Theater and Music Present The Mason Fall Musical: The Threepenny Opera

September 7, 2016
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-9808)

For general information about tickets, seating, parking, etc., for performances and events happening at the Hylton Performing Arts Center, please contact the ticket office directly at 703-993-7759.

George Mason University’s Center for the Arts: Oct. 27-30 

Hylton Performing Arts Center: Nov. 3-5 

FAIRFAX and MANASSAS, VA, September 7, 2016 - George Mason University’s School of Theater and School of Music are pleased to announce the performances of the Mason Fall Musical – The Threepenny Opera – on October 27, 28, and 29 at 8 p.m., October 29 at 2 p.m., and October 30 at 4 p.m. at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts in Fairfax, and on November 3, 4, 5 at 8 p.m. and November 5 at 2 p.m. at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas 

Who can get ahead? Those with money do in Brecht and Weill’s innovative social satire, The Threepenny Opera. Echoing with the spirits of the German Music Hall style, this landmark twentieth century musical offers so much more than popular show tunes like “Mack the Knife” or “Pirate Jenny”. The camaraderie and the sacrifices of war provide context for this humorous examination of class warfare and sexual politics. 

Set on the eve of a New York City Mayoral election in the gritty 1920’s, when prohibition is in effect but speakeasies are open and corruption abounds, the story follows the charismatic anti-hero Macheath, who has been shaped by the foibles of war and is addicted to thrills, power, money and women. He has met his match in Polly, who, like him, seeks power and wealth and is skillful at dominating through the tactics of wit and fear. Protected by his former comrade-in-arms and current police chief, Macheath is a model for the way society’s values have degenerated toward an adoration of money, status, and success over character and contribution. 

Bertolt Brecht made famous a groundbreaking style of theatrical storytelling that valued intellectual thought over emotional attachment, and the director, Ken Elston, and student assistants will work with the cast to explore this style physically. An ensemble of twenty-two actors will create the world, transitions, and a sense of place. Actors will play multiple roles, sexes, and may even be called on to play inanimate objects like a chair, bed, or perhaps, the city itself. The choreography will be created by the cast during the rehearsal process, and the results will be dynamic, bold, sexy and comedic. 

The George Mason University’s School of Theater and School of Music production of The Threepenny Opera is directed by Ken Elston with musical direction by Stanley Engebretson. Senior Jessica Dubish is assistant director, and junior Stephanie Risch is assistant choreographer. A Talk Back/Q&A with the cast will take place after the first Friday performance of each production. 

This performance is funded in part by the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, Inc., New York, New York. 


Tickets for The Threepenny Opera are $30 for adults and $15 for students, seniors and youth up to grade 12. Tickets are available online at cfa.gmu.edu or hyltoncenter.org, by phone at 888-945-2468 or in person at the Center for the Arts or the Hylton Performing Arts Center ticket office. One free student ticket will be available with Mason ID beginning on October 18, 2016. This performance presents mature subject matter, including language, violence, and sexual content. 

The Hylton Performing Arts Center Ticket Office 

The Hylton Performing Arts Center is located on George Mason University’s Prince William Campus at 10960 George Mason Circle, Manassas, VA, 20110. Tickets are available at the Hylton Performing Arts Center ticket office, by phone at 888-945-2468, or online at HyltonCenter.org. Ticket office hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Free parking is available in the lot next to the Hylton Center. 

George Mason University’s Center for the Arts Ticket Office 

The Center for the Arts complex is located on George Mason University’s Fairfax Campus at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Tickets can be purchased in person at the ticket office, by phone at 888-945-2468, or online at cfa.gmu.edu. Paid parking is located in the Mason Pond Parking Deck adjacent to the Concert Hall and free parking is located in university Lot K. 

About the Hylton Performing Arts Center 

Dedicated to bringing a world-class performing arts venue to the Prince William region, the Hylton Performing Arts Center was born out of a partnership among Prince William County, George Mason University, the City of Manassas, the Commonwealth of Virginia and individuals and businesses in the private sector. Soaring more than nine stories and boasting a stunning mix of copper, glass and masonry, the 85,000-square foot center is home to two unparalleled performance venues for local arts groups and performers from around the world, as well as university-related activities. Modeled after the intimate European opera houses of the 19th century, Merchant Hall is a 1,123-seat multipurpose proscenium theater, which is encircled by 27 private boxes that rise three levels. The Gregory Family Theater is a flexible, 4,400-square foot space that can be configured for many different types of performances and events. In addition, the Didlake Grand Foyer, with its sweeping staircase, provides an ideal setting for community, corporate and social events. The Hylton Performing Arts Center, the only building of its kind in the area, has quickly become the cultural hub of Prince William County and the surrounding communities and is a shining example of civic collaboration and commitment to the arts. 


The College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) is dedicated to advancing the study, creation, performance and exhibition of the arts acting on the strong belief in their transformative influence on individuals and societies. The College honors the value of the great traditions in the arts while actively engaging in the creation of new works and ideas. This distinctive fusion of the academic and professional, the campus and the community, the past and the present defines the 

college as it engages new art forms, communities and ways of working to meet the needs of a rapidly changing world. Understanding that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the Center for the Arts and the Hylton Performing Arts Center, the professional presentation and production arms of the college, welcome a variety of professional and world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to their stages. The college is home to the Schools of Music, Dance, Art and Theater, as well as the Computer Game Design, Arts Management and Film and Video Studies programs. 


George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls more than 33,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the past half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity and commitment to accessibility. Mason is also one of the best values in higher education, producing graduates who lead all Virginia schools with the highest annual salaries.