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Eastern to Present Freshman Showcase

Written by Kate Harner

Willimantic, CT - Eastern Connecticut State University's Performing Arts Department and Drama Society will present the Freshman Showcase at 5 p.m. on Dec. 4 in the Harry Hope Theatre, located in Shafer Hall at the corner of High and Valley Streets. The public is invited. Admission is free.

The showcase will represent work done by freshman and sophomore theatre majors. First-year students will perform 10-minute scenes, and sophomores will join them in a special movement piece titled "Revolutions," directed by movement consultant Alicia Bright Holland. Scenes are directed by Theatre Professors J.J. Cobb, Jerry Winters and Leigh Cremin.

Cobb will direct a play called "Traces of Memory" by Ann Wuehler. The play focuses on two women who meet on the side of a road in Nevada. Both are running from the law.

Cremin directs a piece titled "Lift and Bang," which was originally produced at the Actors Theatre of the Louisville Humana Festival of New American Plays. "A short play, 'Lift and Bang' demonstrates well the complexities of loving after a misstep divides a couple," said Cremin. "The playwright, Julie Marie Myatt, cleverly uses the making of bread as a metaphor throughout the 10-minute play.  The two freshmen actors, Olivia Beaullan and David Thomson, do a terrific job of capturing the emotional roller coaster ride of the characters' circumstances."

Winters directs "Beauty" by Jane Martin. "In this piece, a young woman discovers a magic lamp and is granted three wishes by the genie inside," said Winters. "By the time she arrives at her friend's apartment, two of the wishes are gone. The last wish provokes an intriguing conversation about the meaning and relativism of beauty."

The showcase will feature the talents of first-year students Olivia Beaullan, David Thomson, Melissa DiPasquale, Amanda Conkey and Kelsey Guggenheim. Janaya Barnes '12, Sarah Paprocki '13 and Paul Lietz '13 will also perform. Jason Wadecki '11 will head the technical aspects of the performance.

The showcase is a result of a Title III grant awarded to Cobb and David Pellegrini, chair of the Performing Arts Department, through the U.S. Department of Education. Maggie Martin, professor of social work, facilitated the grant. Its purpose is to encourage retention and graduation rates within the major programs.

For more information, contact Lana Raymond at (860) 465-5325 or raymondla@easternct.edu.  

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