The Bexley City School District launched its 2013-14 theater season last week with auditions for its first show, Anchors Aweigh.

The Bexley City School District launched its 2013-14 theater season last week with auditions for its first show, Anchors Aweigh.

The season looks to be a busy one, with nine shows planned throughout the year at all grade levels.

Since 2011, the district has stepped up the number of shows it produces, including some for students as young as third grade.

The Jr. Thespians will start the season Oct. 10-12 with Anchors Aweigh, featuring colorful seagoing costumes and backgrounds. In the show, Captain Creeg is a little appreh-ensive about his next cruise on the S.S. Flounder, as it's sink or swim for the old schooner with the mysterious owners of the line aboard ship to decide her fate. As if that weren't enough pressure, the cruise falls on a day the suspicious old sea salt has always dreaded.

Passengers on board are set for a singles' cruise, and the travelers include a famous romance novelist looking for inspiration for her next novel, her chronically depressed secretary still longing for a lost love, and a pair of stowaways hoping to escape a big-time bad-guy, Big Eddie, who is seeking a little romance of his own.

Laughter builds as the cast gets swept away with mistaken identities, lively chase scenes and a storm that almost sends the entire cruise aground.

In December, Bexley High School's theater department will present Around the World in 80 Days. This comedy is based on the Jules Verne novel, which was also adapted to film. It features the fearless adventurer Phileas Fogg and his faithful manservant as they race to beat the clock and set out to circle the globe in an unheard-of 80 days.

January will bring 13 Ways to Screw Up your College Interview, a high school student-directed one-act play.

In February, the production will be All Shook Up, a Jr. Thespian musical.

Late February brings with it a Theatre Ensemble Play that has yet to be named, and March will feature the debut of How to Succeed in High School Without Really Trying, a Jr. Thespian student-directed one-act play.

The high school theater department returns to the stage in April with the musical, Urinetown.

Through a satirical line-up of characters, subtle and outright humor, and its musical score, the work tells the story of a small town struck by a drought.

As the townspeople try to find clean water, one greedy entrepreneur takes advantage of the predicament and charges the townspeople for one of humanity's most basic needs, having to urinate.

Through humorous satire and social commentary, Urinetown offers the audience some deep lessons.

The district's theater department will wrap up the season in May with Once Upon a High School, a third- through fifth-grade play, and another Theater Ensemble production that has yet to be named.

For a complete listing of all events and productions, along with student and parent information, visit bexleytheatrearts. com.