Associate Professor of Communication Arts and Theatre Mark Cosdon has chapters titled “Joseph Papp and the Public Theater” and “Making Musicals that Matter: George C. Wolfe and Oskar Eustis at the Public Theatre” forthcoming in the Routledge Handbook of Musical Theatre Producers. This past year Professor Cosdon served on tenure boards at the University of North Carolina and at Knox College. In March, he hosted the sixth annual “Brilliance of the American Theatre” reading series at the Drama Book Shop in New York City, bringing together authors of new works in American theatre history. He serves on the board of the American Theatre and Drama Society and has been appointed to the editorial boards of Theatre History Studies and Southern Illinois University Press’s Theatre in the Americas Series.
April 21st 2016
Directed by Beth Watkins
April 21 and 22 at 7:30 pm
April 23 and 24 at 2:30 pm
In the Gladys Mullenix Theatre, Vukovich Center for Communication Arts
Suitable for all audiences
Box Office 814-332_3414
March 1st 2016
Professor of Environmental Science Richard Bowden and Lauren Deem ’13 presented the poster “Controls on Forest Soil Carbon” at the National Science Foundation Long-Term Ecological Research All-Scientists Meeting in Estes Park, Colorado. The poster described the ability of forest soil to absorb climate change pollution (carbon dioxide) at a suite of forest research sites. Collaborators were from Oregon State, U. Michigan, the College of Nyíregyháza (HU), U. Toronto, U. Copenhagen, and U. Penn. Julia Schock ’15, Professor of Communication Arts Michael Keeley, and Professor Bowden also presented the poster “Hemlock: A Documentary,” which described the cultural and ecological history of the hemlock tree, which is Pennsylvania’s state tree and which is threatened by an invasive, introduced insect. The video produced in the project, which was Julia’s senior thesis, was also shown at the awards banquet of the LTER meeting. Professor Bowden served as co-chair of the triennial conference.
February 16th 2016
Feb. 16, 2016 — The Allegheny College Playshop Theatre presents “Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play” February 25-28, with shows at 8 p.m. on Thursday through Saturday and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday in the Gladys Mullenix Black Theatre in the Vukovich Center for Communication Arts. Tickets can be purchased by calling 814-332-3414.
Anne Washburn’s “Mr. Burns” is an audacious and dark comedy about survival and mythology, set amidst the detritus of popular culture. The play premises that U.S. nuclear power facilities have gone belly-up, unleashing radioactive waste into the environment and decimating the populace. A band of survivors comfort themselves by retelling an episode from “The Simpsons.”
By the second act, as a new society and economy emerge, a traveling theater company performs live-action episodes of “The Simpsons,” including the commercials. By the third act, 75 years after the radioactive disaster and with the electric grid still not replaced, “The Simpsons” has morphed into a musical about good and evil, love and hate, and the continuation of humanity.
The show’s music is composed by Michael Friedman, whose credits include “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” and “Pretty Filthy.” “Mr. Burns” is a mash-up of original music, alongside chart hits by artists including Britney Spears, Gloria Gaynor and Eminem, television theme songs and Gilbert and Sullivan.
The Playshop Theatre production is directed by Mark Cosdon, with music direction by Aimee Reash, scenery by Patrick Rizzotti, costumes by Miriam Patterson and a lighting design by Michael Mehler. The show features Alison Celigoi, Daniel Keitel, Mary Lyon, Bolan Marshall-Hallmark, Karina Mena, Aleäa Rae, Rachael Robertson and Benjamin Thomas. The play is stage managed by Stephanie Engel and choreographed by Leah Kelly.
“‘Mr. Burns’ is a play about the apocalypse, the primacy of storytelling, environmental catastrophe, the immediacy of technology, and the fall of civilization as we know it,” says Cosdon. “And from the ashes of that civilization comes a new form of performance, one which celebrates our determination to survive.”
Critic Ben Brantley, in the New York Times, called the play “downright brilliant” and asked, “When was the last time you met a new play that was so smart it made your head spin?”
Across its remarkable 27-year history, “The Simpsons” has satirized and illuminated basic truths about the United States, the family, popular culture and our institutions. “Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play” builds from a famous Simpsons episode called “Cape Feare,” spoofing Martin Scorsese’s film “Cape Fear,” the original 1962 film, and Gilbert and Sullivan operettas.
First produced in 2012, “Mr. Burns” is one of the 10 most produced plays in the United States this year.
The Playshop Theatre production contains theatrical prop firearms, recorded gunfire, fog effects and some strong language.
Tickets for “Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play” are $10 for adults and $8 for non-Allegheny students, senior citizens and Allegheny employees. Although admission is free for Allegheny students with identification, they are asked to make reservations.
Photo by Bill Owen. Left to right: Alison Celigoi, Rachael Robertson, Benjamin Thomas and Bolan Marshall-Hallmark
February 8th 2016
Monday, Feb. 15 4:00-6:00 pm in VCCA 107
Tuesday, Feb. 16 7:30-9:30 pm in VCCA 107
Callbacks will be
Wed. Feb. 17 (5-7:30)
and Thurs. Feb. 18 (6:00-8:00)
Scripts are on Reserve in Pelletier Library under Playshop Theatre
Familiarity with the script is recommended
Director Beth Watkins at firstname.lastname@example.org
Performances April 21-24
January 20th 2016
In the fall of 2015, 14 student filmmakers set out to explore the town of Meadville. Join the Year of Meadville organizers and the Communications Arts Department Friday, Jan. 22 at 7 p.m. in the Vukovich Center as they kick off their spring programming with the student-created film “Fourteen Filmmakers in Search of a Town.” A reception with an opportunity to speak with the filmmakers will follow the screening.
November 16th 2015
Nov. 16, 2015 – The Playshop Theatre at Allegheny College continues its 2015-16 season with Bertolt Brecht’s iconic “A Life of Galileo,” in a translation by Mark Ravenhill. Four performances will be given in the Gladys Mullenix Black Theatre in the Vukovich Center for Communication Arts: at 8 p.m. on Thursday through Saturday, November 19-21, and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, November 22.
Professor of Theatre Dan Crozier directs, and Jim Hollerman, who teaches mathematics at Allegheny College, portrays Galileo.
“‘A Life of Galileo’ is a play about revolutions,” Crozier notes, “revolutions in the heavens and on earth. It’s about the orbits of the planets, the paradigm shift in cosmology proved by Galileo and the social revolution that springs from Brecht’s long study of and adherence to Marxist principles. The word revolution is also defined as consideration or reflection. ‘A Life of Galileo’ invites us to reflect on the spirit of critical inquiry as we celebrate Allegheny’s bicentennial.”
Performing in the production, in addition to Hollerman, are Simon Brown, Elizabeth Colarte, Matthias Copeland, David Crozier, Luke Davis, Rachael Ellis, Hayley Johnson, Daniel Keitel, Lee Scandinaro, Mary Lyon, Karina Mena, Christopher J. Schuchert, Nia Shuler, Chloe Spadafora, Kai Van Rosendaal, Daniel Wightkin and Emily Wilson.
Michael Mehler designed the sets and lighting, and Miriam Patterson designed the costumes.
Tickets for “A Life of Galileo” are $10 for adults and $8 for non-Allegheny students, senior citizens and Allegheny employees. Although admission is free for Allegheny students with identification, they are asked to make reservations.
For more information or to order tickets, contact the Playshop Theatre box office at 814-332-3414.
November 4th 2015
Associate Professor of English and Director of Writing Alexis Hart and Assistant Professor of Communication Arts and Director of Speaking Jon Wiebel presented a talk on “‘Thinking Communicatively’: Integrating Writing and Speaking in Faculty Development” at the International Writing Centers Association (IWCA) conference in Pittsburgh. Professor Hart also presented a paper on tutor-researchers in the writing center and helped to launch the new IWCA journal The Peer Review. Hart serves on the editorial board of The Peer Review and co-authored an article in the journal: “Continuing the Conversation: From Conference Presentation to Publication.”
October 28th 2015
A Post-Electric Play
Directed by Mark Cosdon
Musical Direction by Aimee Reash
Choreography by Leah Kelly
7:30 – 10 p.m., Thursday, November 5
4 – 6 p.m., Friday, November 6
Auditioners should prepare to sing 16-20 bars (about 30 seconds) from a POST-2001 pop song. (Think Britney, Fergie, Justin B or T, Kanye, Katy Perry, Fun, and/or Beyoncé.) In addition to singing your song and “Happy Birthday,” you’ll be asked to read from the script.
Do you play an instrument? Bring it!
Callbacks: 1 – 4 p.m., Saturday, November 7
Scripts Are on File at Pelletier Library’s Circulation Desk
Performance dates are February 25-28, 2016
No previous experience necessary.
For further information, please contact Mark Cosdon at email@example.com
October 20th 2015
“COMM-ingling – Getting on board”
Prof. Michael Mehler
11:00 am Vukovich Lobby
Description: An open conversation about the winding path from college graduation to becoming a leading board member with a national non-profit. The discussion will focus on how the path we plan to walk after walking across the stage is not nearly as interesting as the journey. Mehler will talk about finding professional mentors, the personal and professional benefits of volunteer work, and the importance of risk and ethics in leadership. A light lunch will be served after the talk and Q&A session.