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Acting is Believing

December 1-4, 2022

The Theatre & Performance Media Program at Eastern Connecticut State University is proud to present Acting is Believing, conceived, and devised by David Pellegrini and Brian Day.

Two audiences arrive: one begins at the Proscenium Theater; the other at the Delmonte Bernstein Studio Theater. Both audiences watch the same performance, but through two different mediums: theatre and film, created and transmitted live. Then cut. Intermission. The audiences switch places.

Theatre faculty members Brian Day and David Pellegrini adapted the concepts for Acting is Believing by drawing on a work initially conceived by Brazilian director Christine Jatahy, who brought What if they went to Moscow?, a streamlined and contemporized version of Chekhov’s Three Sisters to the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2018. Jatahy’s What if they went to Moscow? masterfully demonstrated the different ways in which the same story and characters can be constructed and received by audiences through two different mediums.

Following the same basic structure, Acting is Believing does not rely on one particular story, but rather, a collage of elements from a range of backstage dramas: from George Villiers’ Restoration comedy The Rehearsal to Charles Ludlam’s Stage Blood, classic films such as All About Eve and, especially, John Cassavetes’s Opening Night. The performances that unfold on stage and screen follow that collage-like structure, in that audiences need to piece together elements of the story and the motives of the characters during and after viewing both versions. The audience, therefore, becomes central to the task of meaning-making.

For all the differences that are obvious regarding the capabilities of film versus theatre, our aim was to show the many similarities between the two mediums and give students the opportunity to work in both simultaneously. Brian Day, a filmmaker, and David Pellegrini, a theatre historian and adaptor, along with faculty and guest designers Luke Reinwald (Sets), Anya Sokolovskaya (Costumes), Megan O’Brien (Lighting) and Travis Houldcroft (Sound) guided a team of student performers, filmmakers and technicians in creating immersive and interactive storytelling, while developing techniques unique to both mediums.

Acting is Believing will be presented in the Fine Arts Instructional Center's Proscenium Theater and Delmonte Bernstein Studio Theater simultaneous from December 1 through December 4, 2022**; December 1, 2 and 3 at 7:30 p.m. and December 4 at 4:00 p.m.

Tickets are free for Eastern students; $5 for other students and groups of 10 or more; $10 for senior citizens; $12 for Eastern faculty, staff, alumni and $20 for the general public. Seating will be General Admission. You will able to select your starting venue at the point of purchase. Tickets for this production are on sale now at the following link:   

Eastern Students reserve your tickets here:

For reservations, phone the box office at (860) 465-5123 or email

Tickets for this show are also available as part of our 2022-2023 season bundle pricing at a reduced rate. Season bundles are available for sale here:

**Please be aware that the previously announced show on December 3, 2022 at 11:00 p.m. is no longer available

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Tickets & Registration

  • To purchase tickets for this performance, please visit our ticketing website: