Department of Performing Arts

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  About the Show

Sophisticated Nuts and Dried Fruit, written by Hollywood playwright Maggie Brown, is presented as the last fun offering of the Harry Hope Spring 2001 season and as the Final Group Project for the Advanced Directing students. Sophisticated Nuts and Dried Fruit was directed collaboratively by Renata Almeida, Adam Brandt, Ryan Cassell, Phil Dias, Ole Hermanson and Dan Whelton. Jesse Gumpert acted as a teaching assistant to Director of Theatre Ellen Brodie and liaison director for this show.

Playwright Maggie Brown and Susan and Kent McCray, Hollywood Casting Director/Producers, have come to Eastern from California to attend this student-directed production. Two years ago, Susan McCray established a special Eastern Theatre fund. In addition to financial support, Susan McCray has helped connect the Eastern Theatre program with professionals in the field. In fact, she facilitated the guest residency of Henry Darrow at Eastern in March and has made this production possible by introducing Maggie Brown's play to the Eastern Theatre faculty and students.

It has been an exciting collaboration in which the student directors have truly experienced the process of script analysis and revision. The playwright has been truly generous and allowed for creative input from the directors and their casts throughout the rehearsal process. It isn't often that student directors have such a real-world learning experience. As Maggie Brown has stated, "I'm very impressed with your process, and can't wait to see the results. Can one voice be formed from so many? Exciting, yet scary. I hope your students take full advantage of working with each other equally as directors. After graduation, I can say it will probably never happen again. The theatre is much too saturated with ego." Let's hope this positive experience encourages the student directors to affect change in future!

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