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Friday, December 11, 2009

Schechner's Coming!

On Tuesday, January 12, 2010, Villanova's Theatre Department will be holding its 4th annual Philadelphia Theatre Research Symposium. Much to our delight, this year's keynote speaker will be performance studies legend Richard Schechner. Stay tuned for more information on the schedule for the day -- planned panels include an emerging scholars' panel and, of course, papers on performance studies -- and in the meantime, save the date on your calendar. Richard Schechner is a fellow you don't want to miss when he's in town!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

An "Annie Get Your Gun" cast - Yeehaw!

And whaddya know? We now have a cast list for ANNIE GET YOUR GUN, too! I've already got "Anything you can do, I can do better ..." on a loop in my head, and I'm sure it'll only get more entrenched as the rootin', tootin' rehearsal period gets a-movin'.

ANNIE OAKLEY -- Kathryn M. Lyles
FRANK BUTLER -- Tim Rinehart
WINNIE TATE -- Mary Lamb
TOMMY KEELER -- Michael Libonati
DOLLY TATE -- Jennifer Huth

Jessica Bedford
Amanda Curry
Lizzy Dalton-Negron
Danielle DeStefano
Valerie Eichelberger
Will Erwin
Alex Frangoulis
Jaqueline Kelliher
Cassie Lovering
Seth Martin
Emily Poworoznek
Andy Shaw
Tom Saporito

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

We have a Medea cast!

Medea auditions took place last week, to a flurry of excitement, and we now have a cast!

Nurse -- Danielle DeStefano (1st-year in the M.A. program)
Tutor -- Tom Saporito (1st-year)
Medea -- Kim Fairbanks (1st-year)
Older Son -- Alex Barnett (son of a VU faculty member)
Younger Son -- Gabriela Petrone (the youngest newcomer to Villanova)
Jessica Bedford (2nd-year)
Lizzy Dalton-Negron (2nd-year)
Stephanie King (1st-year)
Gigi McGraw (2nd-year)
Kathleen Mulhearn (2nd-year)
Creon -- TBA
Creon's Herald -- Nelson Barre (2nd-year)
Jason -- Chris Serpentine (2nd-year)
Aegeus -- Tim Horner (faculty member at VU)
Messenger -- Will Erwin (2nd-year)

Rehearsals started yesterday. We'll post some in-progress shots as soon as we can!

-Meg Devine Maxwell

Friday, November 20, 2009

And the Brian Morgan Award Goes to ...

...Jessica Bedford!

Congratulations to the luminous Jessica Bedford, the 2009-2010 winner of the Brian G. Morgan '67 '70 Award. You've already made us proud, and we can't wait to follow your future achievements!

On Saturday, November 14, following the 8pm performance of As You Like It, the Villanova Theatre Department held our annual Brian Morgan Award reception. After Fr. Richard welcomed the roomful of guests, we all watched the video about Brian that the department produced last year (you can watch it online here). Tears were shed. Next, Mary Anne Carlson Morgan - Brian's widow and the woman whose considerable efforts keep the award growing - spoke briefly about Brian and the history of the award. Then, finally it was time! Fr. Richard began with, "This year's award winner is ..." but he became too overwhelmed and simply gestured toward Jessica. Applause! After the cheering died down (it took a while), Harriet Power, who directed Jessica in Le Dindon last season and in As You Like It this year, shared her thoughts about Jessica's meaningful contributions to the department on- and off-stage. Hugs, photos, and the consumption of wine and cheese ensued.

Many thanks to everyone who attended the event, and to all the donors who have contributed so generously to the Brian G. Morgan '67 '70 Award Fund. We could not be more grateful for your thoughtfulness and your excitement.

Here are a few more photos from the evening:

Mary Anne Carlson Morgan and Harriet Power talk at the award reception.

Mary Anne congratulates Jessica as Fr. Richard stands by.

Harriet offers her congratulations to Jessica.

Last year's winners, Luke Moyer and Kristen O'Rourke congratulate Jessica in their own way.

Luke, Kristen, Mary Anne, and Jessica

Friday, October 16, 2009

Exploring the Everyday Miracles

posted by Meg Devine Maxwell, Director of Marketing & PR

It's fall break at Villanova, which means that the rest of campus is quiet. Here in the theatre department, though, we just keep on chugging. We've got props to create (ex., a small deer that looks real), a set to build (with a black floor so shiny you could fix your hair in the reflection), and costumes to create (i.e., more doublets than you can shake a stick at).

What, you ask, are we getting ready for? Why, the run of Shakespeare's As You Like It, of course! It runs November 10-22, 2009, which -- in theatre time -- is right around the corner. It features girls dressing as boys; a nasty, usurping Duke; a jester in the forest; and one of the strongest female characters in Shakespeare's work. All the good things you expect from the Bard, and then some. But director Harriet Power is quick to point out that it's not all fluff and fun. There's an emotional core to As You Like It that has the potential to move audiences deeply.

According to Prof. Power: "We often think of Shakespeare’s comedies as delightful romps peopled by infatuated innocents, testy elders, and zany fools – but Shakespeare’s more mature comedies, including As You Like It, also explore complex, profound ideas. In As You Like It, Shakespeare brings together an astonishing range of characters: old men and young lovers, courtiers and shepherds, thinkers and doers, the educated and uneducated, the happy and the melancholy. And underneath each character’s particular pursuit – of love, certainly; of comfort, perhaps, or power, or accolades, or enlightenment– is that essential question 'How is life best lived?' Shakespeare seems to have recognized that there are no easy answers to this largest of human questions, instead presenting a range of actions and choices that invite us, as audience members, to contemplate what we value most dearly (and, also, what might obstruct our happiness or fulfillment or capacity for selflessness). For all the ambiguities that help make his plays timeless, Shakespeare, in As You Like It, reminds us that generosity, friendship, risk, and especially, forgiveness, are the everyday miracles that enrich our existence, as
'...from hour to hour we ripe and ripe,
And then from hour to hour we rot and rot ...' (Jacques, Act II scene 7)"

Something to ponder, no?