Possibilities Program.indd - Muhlenberg College

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					                                           THE
                                        POSSIBILITIES
                                             TEN SHORT PLAYS BY HOWARD BARKER




USE IT          for the drama

 The Morning Call is proud to support
Muhlenberg College Theatre and Dance.

                                        February 18-22, 2009
                                          Studio Theatre
                                        MUHLENBERG COLLEGE,
                                          A L L E N T O W N PA
                                                                                                                   Muhlenberg College
                                                                                                      Department of Theatre & Dance
                                                                                                 THEATRE FACULTY                                DANCE FACULTY
                                                                                                 Timothy Averill -- Associate Professor:        Charles O. Anderson – Associate
                                                                                                 Scenic & Lighting Design                       Professor: African Dance & Culture,
                                                                                                 Constance Case -- Lecturer: Costume            Modern, and Composition
                                                                                                 Design, Stage Makeup                           Kathleen Bibalo -- Instructor: Ballet
                                                                                                 Holly Cate -- Visiting Assistant Professor:    and Jazz
                                                                                                 Acting                                         Pattie Bostick -- Instructor: Jazz, Ballet
                                                                                                 Michael Chin -- Lecturer: Acting, Stage        Sarah Carlson -- Assistant Professor:
The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival                                         ™   Combat                                         Modern, Dance & Society, Composition
                                                                                                 Karen Connell -- Instructor: Speech            Corrie Franz Cowart -- Lecturer:
                       41                                                                        Curtis Dretsch -- Professor: Scenic,           Modern, Composition, Dance On Camara
                                                                                                 Costume, and Lighting Design, Director         Susan Creitz -- Instructor: Improvisation,
                                 sponsored in part by                                            of Design/Technical Theatre                    Movement for Actors
                                                                                                 Troy Dwyer -- Assistant Professor:             Karen Dearborn -- Professor: Ballet,
                                                                                                 Acting, Voice and Speech                       Composition, Dance History, Director
                  Stephen and Christine Schwarzman                                               Bill Mutimer – Instructor: Acting, Musi-       of Dance
                 The Kennedy Center Corporate Fund                                               cal Theatre                                    Gayanne Grossman -- Instructor:
                                                                                                 Leslie Pasternack -- Visiting Assistant        Anatomy and Kinesiology for Dancers
                    U.S. Department of Education
                                                                                                 Professor: Acting                              Ellen Troy Mulcahy -- Instructor: Jazz,
            The National Committee for the Performing Arts                                       James Peck -- Associate Professor:             Ballet
             Dr. Gerald and Paula McNichols Foundation                                           Directing, Theatre History, Performance        Shelley Oliver -- Instructor: Tap,
                                                                                                 Studies, Department Chair                      Director of Muhlenberg Tap Ensemble
                                                                                                 Charles Richter – Professor: Directing,        Tara Repsher -- Instructor: Jazz,
          This production is entered in the Kennedy Center American College Theater
                                                                                                 Theatre History, Director of Theatre           Director MCDC
Festival (KCACTF). The aims of this national theater education program are to
                                                                                                 Francine Roussel -- Associate                  Lynn Wiener -- Instructor: Dance
identify and promote quality in college-level theater production. To this end, each
                                                                                                 Professor: Acting                              Dance Musicians -- Jeff Arnal,
production entered is eligible for a response by a regional KCACTF representative,
                                                                                                 Beth Schachter -- Associate Professor:         Vincent Trovato, Jon Verbalis
and selected students and faculty are invited to participate in KCACTF programs
                                                                                                 Acting, Directing, History & Theory
involving scholarships, internships, grants and awards for actors, directors, dramaturgs,
playwrights, designers, stage managers and critics at both the regional and national levels.
                                                                                                                             ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF
          Productions entered on the Participating level are eligible for inclusion at the                                 Jessica Bien -- General Manager
KCACTF regional festival and can also be considered for invitation to the KCACTF                                      Eric Covell -- Assistant Technical Director
national festival at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington,                                    Damon Gelb -- Technical Director
DC in the spring of 2009.                                                                                                    Tracy C. Kline – Secretary
                                                                                                                    Caroline LaRoche -- Costume Shop Manager
         Last year more than 1,300 productions were entered in the KCACTF involving                          Marilyn J. Roberts -- Director of Marketing and Development
more than 200,000 students nationwide. By entering this production, our theater                                       Paul E. Theisen, Jr. -- Theatre Technician
department is sharing in the KCACTF goals to recognize, reward, and celebrate the                           Brendon Votipka -- Presidential Assistant: Development Associate
exemplary work produced in college and university theaters across the nation.
                                                                                                        Theatre & Dance Department Offices : 484-664-3335
                                                                                                                          Box Office: 484-664-3333
                                                                                                                         www.muhlenberg.edu/tickets

                                            2                                                                                                  27
       MUHLENBERG THEATRE ASSOCIATION



                     THE
        POSSIBILITIES
                   DIRECTORS
                   James Peck
                 Aaron Lawson
               Shannon Fitzsimons


            COMPOSER Douglas Ovens
      SET AND LIGHTING DESIGNER Tim Averill
          COSTUME DESIGNER Lex Gurst
       FIGHT CHOREOGRAPHER Michael Chin
         DRAMATURG Allison Brzezinski
     PRODUCTION STAGE MANAGER Rael Linder



26                      3
                                                                                                                                   Muhlenberg Theatre Association
                                            CAST                                                                                                             - Executive Board -
                                                                                                              President ....................................................................................................... Ryan Brown
                                                                                                              Vice President ...............................................................................................Becky Nitka
                                                                                                              Executive Secretary..........................................................................................Tim Popp
                                                                                                              Business Manager.................................................................. Nathan Renner-Johnson
THE WEAVER’S ECSTASY AT THE DISCOVERY OF NEW COLOUR                                                           Historian ..........................................................................................................Amy Bauer
              DIRECTED BY JAMES PECK                                                                          Community Outreach............................................................................. Rachel Berger
The Woman ..............................................................Christa Wroblewski
The Man ............................................................................. Robert Grimm            Publicity ................................................................................................... Robert Grimm
The Girl ................................................................................. Danielle Zito      Studio Productions Coordinator ...............................................Matthew J. Franzetti
The Boy...............................................................................Chris Amirault          Third Tier Coordinator .............................................................................. Steve Balliet
First Soldier ................................................................. Michael Jaret Kite            Concessions ...................................................................Shannon Leigh Wittenberger
Second Soldier .................................................................... Patrick Scheid            Student Master Carpenter....................................................................... Ole Pederson
                                                                                                              Student Master Electrician ......................................................................Kate Franklin
                              KISS MY HANDS                                                                   Fundraising...................................................................................................Mike Bloom
                     DIRECTED BY SHANNON FITZSIMONS                                                           Social Chair ......................................................................................................Phil Lakin
Woman ................................................................................... Jenny Lerner
First Terrorist ................................................................... Robert Grimm                                    Muhlenberg Theatre Association is supported by funds
Second Terrorist ..................................................................... Josh Tewell                          provided by Student Council and the Department of Theatre and Dance.
Third Terrorist .................................................................Chris Amirault
Husband ............................................................................... Patrick Scheid
Child ......................................................................................Andrew Clark
                                                                                                                                     Muhlenberg Dance Association
  THE NECESSITY FOR PROSTITUTION IN ADVANCED SOCIETIES                                                                                                     - Executive Board -
              DIRECTED BY AARON LAWSON                                                                        President ......................................................................................................... Janel Sipala
The Old Woman ...................................................................Natalie West                 Vice President ........................................................................................... Melissa Smith
The Young Woman ........................................................Jessica Lea Alex                      Secretaries...................................................................... Michele Sasso, Olivia Alvarez
The Young Man .......................................................... Michael Jaret Kite                   Treasurer ..........................................................................................Carin Fenstermaker
                                                                                                              Public Relations.................................................................................. Dana Harrington
                    REASONS FOR THE FALL OF EMPERORS                                                          Community Service............................................................................. Gina Schumann
                       DIRECTED BY AARON LAWSON                                                               Class Representative ‘10 .....................................................................Dana McGowan
Alexander of Russia ......................................................... Patrick Scheid                  Class Representative ‘11 ........................................................................... Ariel Lackoff
Officer ....................................................................................... Teddy Lytle   Class Representative ‘12 .............................................................................Laura Baehr
Peasant ...................................................................................... Josh Tewell
                                                                                                                                         Muhlenberg Dance Association is supported by funds
                      ONLY SOME CAN TAKE THE STRAIN                                                                                      provided by the Department of Theatre and Dance.
                        DIRECTED BY AARON LAWSON
Bookseller ........................................................................... Robert Grimm
The Man ..................................................................................Steve Balliet                              Tickets for Theatre & Dance Events
The Woman ....................................................................Caitlin O’Meally                                 Visit the Box Office in the Trexler Pavilion for Theatre & Dance,
                                                                                                                               call 484.664.3333 (Noon to 6 p.m., Monday - Friday), or visit us
                                                                                                                                          on the web at www.muhlenberg.edu/tickets.

                                                 4                                                                                                                         25
                                        & SCENES

                               THE DUMB WOMAN’S ECSTASY
                                 DIRECTED BY JAMES PECK
     The Torturer ..........................................................................Steve Balliet
     The Woman ............................................................ Kendra Mittermeyer
     The Youth.............................................................................Andrew Clark

                            SHE SEES THE ARGUMENT BUT
                          DIRECTED BY SHANNON FITZSIMONS
     The Official ...............................................................Christa Wroblewski
     Woman ................................................................................... Danielle Zito
     Man ......................................................................................Chris Amirault

            THE UNFORSEEN CONSEQUENCES OF A PATRIOTIC ACT
                       DIRECTED BY JAMES PECK
     Judith .................................................................. Wilma Cespedes-Rivera
     The Servant ....................................................................Cailtin O’Meally
     The Woman .....................................................................Jessica Lea Alex

      THE PHILOSOPHICAL LIEUTENANT AND THE THREE VILLAGE WOMEN
                 DIRECTED BY SHANNON FITZSIMONS
     Officer ............................................................................ Michael Jaret Kite
     First Woman........................................................... Kendra Mittermeyer
     Second Woman......................................................................Natalie West
     Third Woman ................................................... Wilma Cespedes-Rivera
     Corporal ...................................................................................Steve Balliet

                                          NOT HIM
                                   DIRECTED BY JAMES PECK
     A Woman ................................................................................Natalie West
     A Second Woman ................................................................ Jenny Lerner
     The Man .................................................................................. Teddy Lytle

                                       MUSICIANS
                                             Douglas Ovens
                                            James E. Thoma

24                                                       5
                                                                                                            PRODUCTION STAFF
                  HOWARD BARKER                                                 General Manager ................................................................................... Jessica Bien
                                                                                Marketing Director .................................................................. Marilyn J. Roberts
         Howard Barker was born in South London in 1946. He was a               Technical Director ................................................................................Damon Gelb
member of the working class at a time when working class playwrights            Assistant Technical Director ................................................................Eric Covell
were letting their voices be heard. He started as a satirical playwright        Master Electrician .................................................................... Paul E. Theisen, Jr.
but was not fulfilled by this work. He found artistic satisfaction when          Costume Shop Manager........................................................... Caroline LaRoche
he began to write tragedies. Most of these plays were considered highly         Properties Coordinator .............................................Cheryl Soper Christensen
political and challenged conventional morality and politics.                    Assistant Director ......................................................................... Natalie Cutcher
         Barker’s plays started at The Royal Court Theatre. However, the        Assistant to the Lighting Designer ...................................................Louis DiLeo
Royal Court Theatre was not the best venue for his work due to the              Stage Managers .................................................Jeff Brancato, Shari Goldenberg
theatre’s propensity for naturalistic dramas and its doctrinaire support        Assistant Stage Managers ........Stephanie Bell, Emma Pressman, Katie Rie
                                                                                Light Board Operator .......................................................................Doug Dulaney
of socialist politics. Socialists criticized Barker’s works for their lack of
                                                                                Staff Stitchers .......................................................... Sara Garber, Marilyn Masza
accuracy and understanding of British society; Barker countered that an
                                                                                Student Stichers.................................................Chris Amirault, Rachel Brown,
artist’s first obligation is to his imagination, and that art should upend
                                                                                 Shannen Curran, Angela DeAngelo, Louisa deButts, Kelsey Gamble, Nina
rather than confirm established worldviews.
                                                                                 Giacobbe, Casey Gill, Karissa Harris, Allison Hollows, Samantha Jonson,
         Barker also worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company for a period
                                                                                 Stephanie Katz, Lynn Lisella, Jill Moody, Sarah Ochocki, Angela Palaggi,
of time, but was not satisfied with their approach to his work either. In
                                                                                     Alyssa Pezzella, Abbey Rabinovich, Katie Rie, Rebecca Schlauch, Eric
an effort to support his artistic vision and create conditions in which it
                                                                                                                Stephenson, Emily Stockton-Brown, Ashley Taylor,
could flourish, Barker developed his own company, The Wrestling School,
                                                                                          Imani Nia Williams, Danielle Yavorski, Gina Zelko, Danielle Zito
which still exists today. The mission of The Wrestling School is to examine
                                                                                Student Master Carpenter ............................................................... Adam Bishop
the connection between language and communication and the interaction
                                                                                Carpenters ...................................Ann Barkin, Adam Bishop, Justine Brannon,
between the actors and the audience.                                                 Andrew Clark, Cathatine Davidson, Louis DiLeo, Nelle Ed, Jen Gross,
         A few common themes are present throughout a majority of                         Cory Hackmyer, Deacon Harris, Taylor Johnson, Stephanie Katz,
Barker’s works. One is the presence of historical figures, such as Judith               Rachel Kitch, Alayna Golden Martin, Jeramie Mayes, Alex Mazepa,
and Alexander II in The Possibilities. Barker also tends to explore the                Julie McCoy, James McMaster, Harry Merck Steven Motschwiller,
complexity of the human psyche, placing his characters in dire situations                      Kelsey O’Keefe, Denise Ozer, Ethan Parkinson, Ole Pedersen,
and forcing them to make split-second decisions. His characters walk a                               Nathan Renner-Johnson, Jason Schachner, Patrick Scheid
narrow line amoung the moral, the immoral, and the amoral.                                      Hannah Schneider, Sam Swan, Anna Treichler, Jason Turner
         Howard Barker is alive today and continues to write for The            Student Master Electrician .................................................Christina Wendlek
Wrestling School in London. He has become one of the major writers on           Electricians ...........Douglas Bucci, Kathleen Franklin, Ryan Killeen, Aubrey
the modern European theatre scene, opening audiences’ minds with a                  Kupstas, Kristen Marchese, Christopher Szczerbienski, Andrew Zepp
challenging theatrical experience.                                              Wardrobe Crew .................................................................................Leah Holleran
                                                                                Program Manager ........................................................................ Anna Hill-Moses
By Allison Brezezinski, Dramaturg                                               Poster Design ......................................................................................Joshua Tewell
                                                                                Box Office Managers ........................................Louisa Balch, David Bass-Clark,
                                                                                         Anna Gothard, Scott Parkinson, Becky Balaguer, Sarah Messbauer
                                                                                House Manager ................................................................................ Dahlia Walton

                                                                                                                                       23
                                    6
                                  THEATRE OF CATASTROPHE
                                    Howard Barker calls his distinct playwriting style catastrophic
                           theatre. It differs from naturalistic theatre, a style which attempts to
                           recreate real life on stage, for various reasons. Naturalistic theatre lays
                           out clear objectives in order to convey a specific message to the audience.
                           Barker’s catastrophic theatre thrives on ambiguity. The mission of
                           catastrophic theatre is to push the audience to make the decisions rather
                           than to delineate clearly between right and wrong.
                                    Catastrophic theatre aims for each audience member to have an
                           individual experience while watching the piece, not a unified experience
Photo by Kenneth Ek




                           and understanding. Where the naturalistic theatre yearns for its audience
                           to grasp a higher meaning and understand the intent behind the piece,
                           catastrophic theatre enables the members of the audience to discover their
                           own, personal meanings within the text. This concept of the work most
                           likely varies from audience member to audience member, which Barker
                           hopes will spark a discussion.
                                    Catastrophic theatre does not work with a sense of clarity and
                           blanket understanding, as does naturalist theatre. Along with this, in
                           catastrophic theatre there is no universal idea of what is moral, immoral
                           or amoral. Morality becomes an individualized notion for the various
                           characters and audience members. Catastrophic theatre exposes human
                           dilemmas, exposes people to ideas of risk, and reveals a darker side of
                           human nature.
                                    “There is a theatre which abolishes debate, to notions of
                           entertainment or enlightenment, neither ‘delightful’ nor instructive, it
                           resolves nothing- on the contrary, resolution is anathema: it is tragedy in
                           which the audience is implicated in the acts of the cruelty it witnesses, and
                           from which there is no relief or refuge in the reiteration of the utilitarian
                           concept of the public good. It is, consequently, a theatre of silence and
                           contemplation” (Howard Barker, “The Idea of Promiscuity in the Theatre
                           of Catastrophe”).

                           By Allison Brezezinski, Dramaturg




                      22                                         7
                                                                                                          BAKER ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE
          HISTORICAL REFERENCES




                                                                                   ursula rucker
Judith
The Book of Judith appears in some versions of the Old Testament. It is in
the Greek Catholic, Roman Catholic, and Orthodox versions, not in the
Hebrew or Protestant Bibles. The story begins when Holofernes, general
of the Assyrians, attacks the Israelites while conquering other neighboring
lands. The Israelites refuse to submit to Holofernes, and instead form a plan
to assassinate him. Judith is at the forefront of this plan and is the Israelite
chosen to seduce Holofernes and kill him. Judith goes to Holofernes in
his tent after he has come back from his banquet drunk and happy and
seduces him. Shortly after, Judith takes a sword and beheads Holoferrnes.
She and her servant bring the head back to the Israelites and celebrate
their triumph. Judith is considered one of the greatest heroines of Israel.

Tsar Alexander II
 Alexander was born in Moscow on April 17, 1818. Son of Tsar Nicholas I,                           Ursula Rucker joins the company of the world premiere of Caw,
he witnessed his father’s autocratic principles and their impact on Russia.                        an original dance theatre work created by actor/writer Troy
Alexander was considered to be the “great modernizer of Russia.” He wished                         Dwyer and choreographer/storyteller Charles O. Anderson of the
to open the Russians’ eyes to the influence of Western culture while still                          Department of Theatre & Dance.
allowing Russians to maintain their distinct heritage. Tsar Alexander II
                                                                                                   “Ursula describes herself as a poet, activist, art lover and ruckus
was a liberalizing leader who implemented many great changes to Russia.                            bringer, locally grown and internationally known artist. Ursula
Some of his most notable reforms include the Edict of Emancipation in                              is a poet and performance artist who has enchanted critics and
1861 abolishing serfdom, strengthening Russia’s borders rather than                                fans across the globe with her diverse repertoire, captivating
focusing on overseas expansion, and better organizing the military.                                vocals and accessible poetic verse. Known for her soft spoken
                                                                                                   eloquence and undeterred honesty, she’s transfixed audienc-
                                                                                                   es from Tokyo to Capetown with her poetry, sensuality, and
Khrushchev’s Denunciation of Stalin                                                                poignant social criticism. Ursula Rucker has collaborated with
In an attempt to return Russia to its old Leninist ideals, Nikita S.                               some of music’s most sophisticated -- including King Britt,
Khrushchev made a secret speech to congress on February 25, 1956. He                               Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Josh Wink and The Roots.“ (MacKenzie
wished to denounce the former dictator and destroy the icon of Stalin.                             Wilson, All Music Guide)
In his speech, Khrushchev described Stalin’s abuse of power and cited                              Caw premieres March 26-29 in the Empie Theatre of the Baker
various instances where Stalin’s use of terror and tyranny instilled fear                          Center for the Arts. For tickets, visit www.muhlenberg.edu/
in millions and subverted the original intent of the Communist Party.                              tickets or call 484-664-3333. Tickets are $15.00.
Khrushchev also condemned Stalin for not protecting Russia better
by preparing the Russian borders for Germany’s invasion of June 1941.                              Ursula Rucker will also present her solo performance, RUCKUS,
Although quite well known, this speech was never officially made public.                            on Tuesday, March 31 in the Empie Theatre. Campus tickets are
                                                                                                   free, but tickets are required. Tickets for off-campus guests are
                                                                                                   $10 and advanced reservations are advised.


                                      8                                                                                     21
Solo Flights
                                                                                               DIRECTORS
    Clean                                                           James Peck holds a B.A. in Religion from Carleton College, an M.F.A. in
                                                                    Theatre (Directing) from the University of California at San Diego, and a

FEBRUARY 24-26
               Ro om                                                Ph.D. in Performance Studies from New York University. He is a director
                                                                    and a theatre historian. He is the current Chair of the Department of
     8PM IN THE STUDIO THEATRE                                      Theatre and Dance. Jim has directed over 50 plays and operas at theatres
                                                                    throughout the United States. Most recently he directed The Who’s Tommy
“Clean Room” is a commedia dell’arte-based performance              for the Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre and Love’s Labor’s Lost for the
piece that explores the lives of two original characters that       Department of Theatre and Dance. He has published articles and reviews
Pasternack has created to reveal a common humanity. As writer and   in many leading academic theatre journals, and is the incoming co-editor of
performance artist, Pasternack engages in a process of physical     Theatre Topics. He is the co-editor of the book Performing Magic on the Western
improvisation as well as story-telling to discover “a grotesque     Stage published by Palgrave. He has also taught at the Yale School of Drama,
                   manity
frailty” in the humanity of these two characters, Brighina and      the New York University Tisch School of the Arts, and the Playwrights
                     k
Stupino. Pasternack has affectionately revealed the compassionate   Horizons Theatre School.
                    nd
lives of Brighina and Stupino through
                                                                    Shannon Fitzsimons, a senior, Theatre and Music double major, also
                    ovisation,
performance, improvisation, and
                                                                    directed the special production of Evening Primrose, assistant stage managed
                    e
workshops for more than                                             SMT’s Carousel, and stage managed Evita. During the summer of 2008 she
                     iginal
ten years. These original                                           was a teaching artist of creative vocal expression for SMT’s Camp Imagine.
                    a
creations, Brighina (who is                                         Some acting credits include special productions of An Afternoon at the Beach,
                     ted”)
“cheerfully disoriented”) and                                       How do I love thee? and Perceptions. Other directing and acting credits include
                     himself
Stupino (who puts “himself                                          Aida, West Side Story, Oklahoma, Bye Bye Birdie, and Titanic the Musical. For three
                    ple
out there to let people judge                                       years she worked as a teacher and director for Little Kids on Stage Summer
him”) will be more real and
                   e                                                Camp in Rhinebeck, New York. On campus, she is active in the Disciple
                   ost
humane than most to ever                                            Makers Christian Fellowship and sings with Noteworthy.
grace the stage!
                                                                    Aaron Lawson, a senior, Sociology and Theatre double major with
Free to members                                                     concentrations in stage management and directing, last acted in Monkey
of the College                                                      in the Middle. He previously stage managed the Fall ’06 studio production
Community,                                                          The Actor’s Nightmare and worked as a carpenter in the Muhlenberg Scene
                                                                    Shop during Fall ’05 to Spring ’06. Aaron stage managed several off-
Tickets Required.
                                                                    Broadway productions, including Interaction, Luceafarul, and ADHDU: Ed on
                                                                    Meds, for which he was also lead writer. ADHDU…originated at Edinburgh
Off-Campus                                                          Fringe 2005, and was nominated for an Amnesty International Freedom
Guests - $10                                                        of Expression Award. Aaron performs with the comedy group Fun with
                                                                    Eggs.
484-664-3333


                              20                                                                             9
    FACULTY AND STAFF PROFILES
Tim Averill (Scenic Designer and Lighting) is associate professor of sce-
nography in the Muhlenberg College Department of Theatre & Dance. He
has been scenographer for MTA productions of Orpheus Descending, Life’s a
Dream, Tartuffe, Juliet and her Romeo, Pentecost, Cloud Nine, The Mikado, and Dido
and Aeneas, among others. He has been awarded the Kennedy Center/Ameri-
can College Theatre Festival Medallion for his service to the mid-Atlantic
region states. His professional experience includes work for Glimmerglass
Opera, Yale Repertory Theatre, Powerhouse Theatre, Syracuse Stage, Syra-
cuse Opera, Arena Theatre of Buffalo, Theatre of the First Amendment, and
MacHaydn Theatre. His designs for SMT include Anything Goes; The Pirates of
Penzance; Gypsy; 42nd Street; Kiss Me, Kate; Evita; and Godspell; among others.
Michael G. Chin (Fight Choreographer) holds a B.A. in Theatre from
Pace University, NYC. He is a professional actor (AEA, AFTRA, SAG) as
well as a sanctioned Master instructor and choreographer with the Society
of American Fight Directors. He is a member of Screen Actors Guild Stunt
and Safety Committee and serves as fight director in residence for both The
White Horse and Pan Asian Rep in NYC. He has taught/choreographed/
consulted in the New York area on Broadway as well as for The Mint,
Murder-To-Go, Theatreworks USA, La Mama ETC, National Asian
American Thea Co, The Public, The Vineyard, Julliard, NYU, Henry St.
Settlement, The Drama League, Classical Theatre of Harlem, New York
Renaissance Fest, AMDA and Brooklyn College. Nationally he has worked
at The Barter, Celebration Barn, Burt Reynolds Inst for Thea., Univ of Tulsa,
The Crossroads, Cape Cod Community College, The Hangar, Louisiana
Tech, NY State Theatre Inst.,Tennesee Rep, Merrimack Theatre and Yale
School of Drama. Mr. Chin is a student of Northern Style, Shaolin Long
Fist Kung Fu.
Cheryl Soper Christensen (Props Coordinator) has created props for
MTA stage productions since The Crucible in 2001. She has also worked with
the Theatre Outlet and, most recently, for Civic Theatre on The Full Monty.
Cheryl has also propped for Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre for seven
years. Previously, Cheryl was Props Coordinator, then Production Man-
ager, for The Whole Theatre in Montclair, New Jersey, where, alongside
Artistic Director Olympia Dukakis, she worked with renowned talents.
She also served as Production Manager at her alma mater, Upsala College.
The productions Cheryl is most proud of are her sons Kramer, Alex, and
Ethan.

                                      10                                             19
        ARGUMENTS FOR A THEATRE
                   BY   HOWARD BARKER                                   Eric Covell (Assistant Technical Director) holds a Bachelor of Arts in
                                                                        Technical Theatre from Hartwick College. He has worked in various ca-
                                                                        pacities including freelance designer and sound engineer at Fitchburg State
“The liberal theatre wants to give messages. It has always
                                                                        College, Bay Street Theatre, and AmeriCulture Arts Festival. He served as
wanted to give messages; it is its way of handling conscience.          the Scenic and Lighting Designer, the Facility Manager and the Technical
But no one believes these messages even while they applaud              Director at Civic Theatre of Allentown for two years. Most recently, he
them .We are in a profound contradiction when the audience              was the project manager for Great Eastern Seating, restoring and installing
claps at what it no longer honestly believes. A new theatre will        theatre seats in the tri-state area, including work at the Apollo Theatre.
not be ashamed of its complexity or the absence of ideology. It
                                                                        Damon Gelb (Technical Director) holds a B.F.A. from Penn State Univer-
will feel no obligations to lived life or to the journalistic impulse   sity. He spent eight years in the professional lighting industry working
to expose conditions. We need a theatre of Anti-Parable,                with architects, consulting engineers, and theatre consultants on lighting
in which the moral is made by the audience not the actor.”              system designs, including Trinity Church in New York City. He is a former
                                                                        IATSE stage technician and spent five seasons with Muhlenberg Summer
                                                                        Music Theatre before joining the technical staff of the Department of The-
                                                                        atre & Dance.

                                                                        Lex Gurst (Costume Design) is an alumna of Moore College of Art and
                    THANK YOU                                           Design in Philadelphia. She graduated in 2003 with her B.F.A. in Fashion
                                                                        Design. Her costume design credits include Zanna, Don’t!, Big Love! and
                                                                        Monkey in the Middle for Muhlenberg College, Psycho Beach Party and Belle Re-
                          Amy Bauer                                     prieve for the Theatre Outlet, and Nunsense! and A Year with Frog and Toad for
                           Amy Frey                                     Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre. Previously, she worked at the Creede
                        Robert Grimm                                    Repertory Theatre in Creede, Colorado. In her off time, Lex enjoys being
                          Anne Kitch                                    a member of the Lehigh Valley’s premiere roller derby league, The Lehigh
                                                                        Valley Roller Girls.
                         Alli Kurland
                         Philip Lalay                                   Caroline LaRoche (Costume Shop Manager) has done professional the-
                          Kate Ponte                                    atre work including seasons with the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey,
                       Christine Sanders                                Long Wharf Theatre, The Colorado Shakespeare Festival, and Goodspeed
                    Advanced Make-up Class                              Musicals. Though her most recent work has been as a draper and costume
                                                                        shop general staff, Caroline has also done design work and carpentry. Out-
                                                                        side of the theatre, her work has graced the cover of Magnet Magazine and
                   Faculty and Staff of the
                                                                        she has been involved in several films, most notably The Assassination of Jesse
                Department of Theatre & Dance                           James, Fur, and The Good Shepard. She is a graduate of Cedar Crest College
                                                                        and earned her M.F.A. in costume design at Carnegie Mellon University in
                                                                        Pittsburgh.
                                                                                                                                          - continues -
                                                                                                              11
                                18
FACULTY AND STAFF PROFILES                          CONT’D
                                                                                Attention Span of a Fly at the Paramount     A Year with Frog and Toad. She was an
Douglas Ovens (Composer and Musician)An active composer and per-                Theatre in Asbury Park, New Jersey.          SMT intern during the 2004 season.
cussionist, Douglas Ovens has performed his own works for solo percussion       On campus, she is part of Hillel.            Her MDA credits include Master
at the Akiyoshidai International Arts Village in Yamaguchi, Japan, at the       Katie Rie (Assistant Stage Manager)          Choreographers 2007 and both 2006
Atlantic Center for the Arts, the Atlanta Arts Festival, the Black Mountain     makes her MTA mainstage debut!               informal dance concerts. Natalie is a
Festival, the Philadelphia Fringe Festival and many others. Ovens has writ-     She started and produced the                 Phi Sigma Sigma sister. Christa
                                                                                performance group Freshmen 15.               Wroblewski (The Woman/The
ten over eighty works in media ranging from orchestral compositions to
                                                                                Other credits include Kiss Me, Kate,         Official) last acted in MTA’s
electronic works for dance and has received commissions from the North/
                                                                                How to Suceed in Business Without Really     Oklahoma!, Three More Sleepless Nights,
South Consonance Ensemble (NYC), the Allentown Symphony and many
                                                                                Trying and The Breakfast Club. Patrick       Monkey in the Middle, Weldon Rising, The
others. Recent performances of his music have taken place in New York           Scheid (Second Soldier/Husband/              Pillow of Kantan and New Voices 2005.
City, Denver, Salt Lake City and Boston. International performances of his      Alexander of Russia) acted in MTA’s          She acted in The Caucasian Chalk Circle
music have taken place in Berlin, at the International Courses for Percus-      Serpentine, and Twelfth Night, the studio    at the Pennsylvania Governor’s
sion in Bydgosczc, Poland, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland and        production of Dog Sees God and the           School of the Arts and Romeo and Juliet
in Hiroshima, Japan. Ovens’ recent CD, Seven Improvisations, music for solo     third tier production Evening Primrose       at the Gaslight Theatre Company.
percussion, was praised in the American Record Guide for his “…formidable       in Ohio. Josh Tewell (Second                 Danielle Zito (The Girl/Woman)
mallet technique…” and “…rich sense of phrasing and line...” The New York       Terrorist/Peasant) appeared in               last acted in MTA’s Ruddigore. She
Times described his piece, Moving Image for piano, as a work “…of spe-          MTA’s Ruddigore, Oklahoma! and the           was also seen in the third tiers
cial appeal…that has an almost conversational shape and pacing and some         studio production of Trojan Women.           Genderswap Cabaret, and Women and
wonderful textural detail.” Dr. Ovens is Professor of Music and Chair of the    He assistant stage managed SMT’s             Wallace. Other credits include Les
Music Department at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA.                        The Who’s Tommy. In high school he           Miserables, You’re a Good Man Charlie
                                                                                acted in The Tempest and My Fair Lady.       Brown, The Sound of Music, The Wizard of
Paul E. Theisen, Jr. (Master Electrician) is the resident master electrician    On campus he is a member of the              Oz, The Diary of Anne Frank, and The
for the Department of Theatre and Dance, now in his ninth year. Paul has        Muhlenberg Improv Association and            Boyfriend. She also performed in New
contributed lighting, sound, or scenic designs to numerous MTA and SMT          is a brother of Phi Kappa Tau. He            York City in Disney and MTIs
productions, including Urinetown, Cabaret, Dancing at Lughnasa, Pentecost and   designs the posters for Muhlenberg           premier school edition of Aladdin and
Wonderful Town. He is the Technical Director and Lighting Designer for Mov-     Theatre Marketing department.                Lark at the Ensemble Studio Theatre.
ing Stories and Dance Emerge, the student choreographed dance concerts. He      Natalie West (The Old Woman/                 She sings with The Girls Next Door
is a Wisconsin native who received his B.A. in Theatre from Viterbo Col-        Second Woman/ A Woman)                       and the college choir. On campus she
lege and his M.F.A. from the University of Delaware’s Professional Theatre      previously acted in MTA’s Twelfth            is a tour guide, a campus delegate, is
Training Program.                                                               Night, Cabaret, Urinetown the Musical,       a part of MTA and works with the
                                                                                the studio production of Trojan Women        Phonathon team.
James E. Thoma (Percussionist) performs with New York City Opera,               and SMT’s productions of Tommy and
American Ballet Theatre, the Radio City Rockettes, Glimmerglass Opera as
well as numerous other orchestras in the region. Mr. Thoma has performed
in the Broadway productions of Mary Poppins, Woman in White, Gypsy and A
Chorus Line. Mr. Thoma received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees as a
scholarship student at The Juilliard School.




                                    12                                                                                  17
COMPANY PROFILES                                    CONT’D
                                                                                         FROM DEATH, THE ONE, AND THE ART OF THEATRE
Dream and Tartuffe. Robert Grimm              the special productions of Women and
(The Man/First Terrorist/Bookseller)          Wallace and Reindeer Monologues. Other                         BY   HOWARD BARKER
acted in the MTA production Twelfth           credits include Angel City, The Tempest,
Night, Venus, and A Bird of Prey, the         and Much Ado About Nothing. On              “Nothing knowable is not already known. The problem is to create
studio production Sganarelle, or, The         campus, he is the Vice President of
                                                                                          the conditions under which the knowable might make itself known,
Imaginary Cuckold, and The Weight of          Phi Kappa Tau, a member of the
Feathers. He assistant stage managed          Muhlenberg Improv Association and           should one wish to know it. To know more, we must violate ourselves
the MTA’s Monkey in the Middle and            enjoys playing the guitar. Kendra           more. We must violate our own secret.”
the performance ensemble Spring               Mittermeyer (The Woman/First
Offensive, and designed the set for the       Woman) appeared in the studio
studio production Cowboy Mouth.               productions of The House of Yes and         “The bravery of tragedy- where not even sexual love is sufficient
Michael Jaret Kite (First soldier/            Trojan Women as well as various             to abolish the fascination of death- lies in its refutation of pleasure
The Young Man/Officer) last acted              special productions. She stage              as an organizing principle of existence. Who would deny that this
in MTA’s Al Takes a Bride, Urinetown          managed the studio production Once          contempt for pleasure is also an ecstasy?”
the Musical, Monkey in the Middle, Cabaret    More, with Feeling. During the fall 2007
and Big Love, the studio productions          semester she studied at Carles
of Crave and Mud. Other credits               University in Prague, Czech
include Manuscript and Swimming in the        Republic, where she also performed          “All tragedy entices death into showing itself. It tempts it into doing
Shallows. Jenny Lerner (Woman/A               with The Bear Educational Theatre           its worst. In doing so this worst is discovered to be less bad than we
Second Woman) last appeared in                troop. In May she’ll graduate with a        imagined. The greatest tragedy goes further. It makes of death a
MTA’s Ruddigore, and Oklahoma!, as            double major in History and Theatre.        necessity, even a perfection, and not only for the old, the sick or the
well as the third tier Genderswap             Caitlin O’Meally (The Woman/The             fatigued, but for the agile, the vigorous and the healthy”
Cabaret. Past credits include My Fair         Servant) acted in MTA’s Miss Julie
Lady, Guys and Dolls, Play on!, Little Shop   and the third tier My Name is Rachel
of Horrors, and The Sound of Music. On        Corrie. Other credits include Peter         “It is safe to say of the tragic character, he has a fascination with death.
campus Jenny sings with Noteworthy            Pan, The Mystery of Edwin Drood,            But let us go further and identify death’s fascination with him. Is he not a
a capella and is a double major in            Thoroughly Modern Mille, and A
                                                                                          death-seducer, and is death not flagrant with him?”
Theatre and English. Rael Linder              Midsummer Night’s Dream at Toms
(Production Stage Manager) last               River South High School, Grease and
stage managed Miss Julie and assistant        Godspell at         Brick    Children’s
stage managed MTA’s New Voices 2007           Community Theatre, and The Sound of         “Pain is mesmerizing, let us admit it. The tragic protagonist observes
and Zanna Don’t!. She acted in The            Music at the Strand Theatre. On             her own pain without asking to be saved. Saved for what? For more of
Crucible at Great Neck South High             campus she sings with the Girls Next        this life? But she has already repudiated this life…! This is the secret
School and appeared in many theatre           Door. Emma Pressman (Assistant              intelligence of the tragic experience, that the world is inadequate.
productions at French Woods                   Stage Manager) makes her MTA                Without this recognition, how can she negotiate her own death?”
Festival for the performing arts. On          mainstage debut. Last semester,
campus Rael plays the viola for the           Emma stage managed the studio
chamber group: Forteffect. Teddy              production of Crave. She served as
                                                                                          “Death renders irrelevant all that was relevant. Whilst this injures
Lytle (Officer/The Man) previously             the lighting designer of Joseph and the
appeared in MTA’s Venus, the studio           Amazing... and Forever Plaid for the        the still-living (the still-loving) might this not be one of death’s
production Buffy the Vampire Slayer,          Park Players. Other credits include         generosities?”


                                         16                                                                                  13
                 COMPANY PROFILES                                                     the Middle and The Weight of Feathers.       won 2007 Best Supporting Actor. He
                                                                                      She wrote Casa de Muñecas which was          sings with the college choir. Natalie
Jessica Lea Alex (The Young                  Importance of Being Earnest, A Chorus    featured in New Voices 2007. On              Cutcher        (Assistant     Director)
Woman/The Woman) previously                  Line and Blithe Spirit at Ardsley High   campus she is a member of the                recently returned from a semester at
appeared in SMT’s Tommy, Nunsense            School in New York. She’s actively       Muhlenberg Improv Association, and           Accademia dell’Arte in Arezzo, Italy.
and A Year with Frog and Toad, MTA’s         involved with the MTA. Jeff Brancato     a barista at Java Joe’s. She does            She was last seen in MTA’s Al Takes a
Urinetown the Musical and Miss Julie.        (Stage Manager) recently associate       community service with Casa                  Bride, directed the special production
She was also in the studio production        stage managed Twelfth Night and          Guadalupe and MTA. In Worcester,             of Evening Primrose in Ohio, and
Trojan Women and the special                 assistant stage managed Miss Julie.      Massachusetts she is a cabaret               appeared in Desire, Desire, Desire. On
production Lover’s to Bed. Other             Previously, Jeff stage managed           performer for Club Blu. Andrew               campus, she sings with the
credits include Bloody Poetry (directed      Scapino!, The Laramie Project and many   Clark (Child/The Youth) last acted           Chaimonics and serves on the Arts
by Jim Peck at the Theatre Outlet in         other productions at his high school     in MTA’s Twelfth Night, the special          Week Committee. Shari Goldenberg
Allentown), and Damn Yankees in              and local/regional theatre. He acted     production of Love is Merely A Madness       (Stage Manager) last stage managed
Danbury, Connecticut. She also               in many shows including The Beggar’s     and Marathon Theatre 2008. Other             the studio production of The Audience
danced in the student choreographed          Opera and served as the section leader   experience includes Dracula, Barnum,         Enters and assistant stage managed
showcase for the dance department.           of a national champion show choir        A Christmas Carol, Thirteen Past Midnight    the student choreographed dance
During the fall semester of 2007 she         (Crescendo). He served as the            and Annie at Lawrence High School,           show. She’s served as assistant
studied acting and theatre in London         president, secretary and thespian        Singin’ in the Rain and Oliver! at the       director or stage manager for many
at Goldsmith’s College. Chris                troupe coordinator at Calhoun High       Kelsey Theatre in West Windsor,              Weston High School Company
Amirault (The Boy/Third Terrorist/           School’s International Thespian          New Jersey, and Check, Please! at the        productions such as Noises Off, Witness
Man) was last seen in Twelfth Night.         Society and is the Resident Sound        Bucks County Playhouse where he              for the Prosecution, A Midsummer Night’s
Previous MTA credits include Scooter         Designer at the Stage Theatre in                                                                             - continues -
Thomas Makes…, and Underconstruction.        Merrick. On campus he is the
Other credits from the Pingree School        secretary of and sings with
include The Complete Works of William        Noteworthy, is a campus delegate
Shakespeare Abridged, A Chorus Line, OY!,    and tour guide. Allison Brzezinski                         FROM     DEATH, THE ONE, AND
Noises Off, Chicken Boxes for the Teenage    (Dramaturg) just returned from a
Soup, Chicago and Check Please!. He is a     semester at Accademia d’ell Arte in                               THE ART OF THEATRE
member of the Muhlenberg Improv              Arezzo, Italy. She acted in the MTA
                                                                                                               BY HOWARD BARKER
Association, a Phi Kappa Tau brother         special productions of You’re a Good
and wants to pursue a career in film          Man Charlie Brown, Conference of the
after graduation. Steve Balliet (The         Birds, and Desire, Desire, Desire. On       “It is impossible – now, at this point in the long journey of human
Man/The Torturer/Corporal) last              campus she is a member of Susuan            culture – to avoid the sense that pain is necessity; that it is neither
acted in MTA’s Set and Orpheus               Creitz’s improv ensemble Six Meters         accident, nor malformation, nor malice, nor misunderstanding,
Descending and directed a third tier.        and served as the production                that it is integral to the human character both in its inflicting and
He is a brother of Phi Kappa Tau, a          assistant on A.R. Gurney’s Buffalo Gal      in its suffering, this terrible sense Tragedy alone has articulated,
DJ on WMUH 91.7FM and part of                at the Primary Stages NYC. Last             and will continue to articulate, and in so doing, make beautiful…’
the stand-up comedy group 4 Guys, 1          spring she choreographed Nostalgia
Mic. Stephanie Bell (Assistant Stage         for the informal dance concert.
Manager) also assistant stage                Wilma Cespedes-Rivera (Judith/
managed Twelfth Night. Other credits         Third Woman) was last seen in
                                                                                             Cover Image: Scenic Design Illustration by Tim Averill
include A Funny Thing Happened…, The         MTA’s Twelfth Night, Venus, Monkey in
                                        14                                                                                        15

				
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