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Kennedy Center Theater Festival’s Public Performances Announced

KCACTF Type

Indiana University of Pennsylvania will host the Region II Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival on January 12–16, 2010. An IUP production, A Year with Frog and Toad, has been selected for inclusion in the festival.

The festival is expected to draw 800 to 1,000 attendees from colleges and universities across an eight-state region and the District of Columbia.

Frog and Toad is the seventh IUP production in eight years selected for the regional competition, which accepted only nine of about fifty productions entered for consideration. Region II includes more than eighty participating colleges and universities.

The festival honors excellence of overall production and offers student artists individual recognition through awards and scholarships in playwriting, acting, criticism, directing and design.

Performances of five festival productions will be open to the community January 13–16 in Fisher Auditorium. Public performances include the following:

  • January 13, 12:30 p.m.: A Comb and a Prayer Book: A Survivor’s Story, by Pamela Hendrick, produced by Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, Pomona, N.J., and directed by Hendrick. It is based on the memoirs of Elizabeth Blum Goldstein, who, by the age of 19, had survived six concentration camps. After sixty years of silence, she tells her story to her granddaughter Shana.
  • January 14, 8:30 p.m.: Home, by Samm Art-Williams, produced by Arcadia University, Glenside, and directed by Mark Wade. It is an exploration of the meaning of “home” through the story of Cephus Miles, a young farmer in fictitious Cross Roads, N.C., who is content to work the land until his life is turned upside down by his girlfriend’s sudden departure.
  • January 15, 12:30 p.m.: Increased Difficulty of Concentration, by Vaclav Havel, directed by Vanessa Lancellotti, produced by Muhlenberg College. This play is a student-directed, fast-paced comedy about a sex-crazed sociologist who is the subject of a government-sponsored experiment involving artificial intelligence.
  • January 15, 8:30 p.m.: Shot! by Kimmika Williams-Witherspoon, produced by Temple University, directed by Douglas C. Wager. Shot! gauges the effects of violence on residents of Beirut. In this production, “Beirut” refers to the area around Twelfth and Huntingdon streets, the back yard of Temple University’s main campus. Students portray an ensemble of interview subjects including teens, grandmothers, doctors, cops and community organizers.
  • January 16, 12:30 p.m.: Rent, by Jonathan Larson, produced by Robert Morris University, directed by Ken Gargaro. This Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway musical is based loosely on Puccini’s opera, La Bohéme. It follows a year in the lives of seven friends living the Bohemian lifestyle in New York’s East Village.

Tickets are $10 and will be available at the Performing Arts Center Grand Lobby Ticket Office starting two hours before the performance. For more information about tickets, contact the Lively Arts at IUP via e-mail at lively-arts@iup.edu or by calling 724-357-2547. Offices will be closed from December 20 to January 3, 2010, and will reopen January 4, 2010.

Some productions contain language and situations to which some audience members may object. Productions, information, and times are all subject to change, and changes will be posted on the IUP website.

In addition to the public performances, four plays will be presented for festival registrants only, including the IUP production of A Year with Frog and Toad.

This children’s show was originally presented in October at the Indiana Theater in downtown Indiana. It is directed by Rob Gretta, IUP assistant professor of musical theater.

Other productions include Miss Witherspoon, produced by Keuka College, Keuka Park, N.Y.; Love at First Plight, produced by Washington and Jefferson College, Washington, Pa.; and Widows, produced by Alfred University, Alfred, N.Y.