Cosdon Films Segment for Australian Reality Show

Professor of Theatre Mark Cosdon flew to London to film a segment for Australian television’s “Who Do You Think You Are?,” a reality program tracing a celebrity’s family tree. The program will air later this year.

At the Association for Theatre in Higher Education’s annual conference in Las Vegas, Cosdon chaired a session devoted to the 50th anniversary of the musical Hair and participated in a panel focused on season planning in college and university programs.  For the American Theatre and Drama Society, Cosdon chairs this year’s John W. Frick Award honoring the best best monograph published on theatre and performance of/in the Americas. In May/June 2017, Professors Cosdon and David Miller (Department of English) co-led their sixth experiential learning course to Italy.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Playshop Theatre Opens 88th Season with ‘Sila’ and ‘Forward’

The Playshop Theatre at Allegheny College will open its 88th season with two staged readings of plays from Chantal Bilodeau’s “The Arctic Cycle” on Sept. 8 and 9.  

“Sila,” featuring characters representing competing and intertwined interests about the future of the Canadian Arctic, will be presented Friday, Sept. 8, followed by “Forward,” centered around explorer Fridtjof Nansen’s race to the North Pole, on Saturday, Sept. 9. Performances are at 7 p.m. in the Gladys Mullenix Black Theatre in the Vukovich Center for Communication Arts, followed by an audience discussion with Bilodeau and Allegheny faculty. The productions are directed by Michael Mehler and Aleäa Rae.

Members of the Meadville and Allegheny College communities participate in both productions. Performers for “Sila” are Jess Sakal, Lee Scandinaro, Autumn Vogel, Dan Winston, Nate Youngblood, Dan Crozier, Miriam Patterson, Aleäa Rae. “Forward” features Chris Fettig, Alicia Greathouse, Geoff Hall, Jason Sakal, Sarah Wolford, Alison Celigoi, Mark Shimkets, Kai Van Rosendaal, Ada Zech, and Nia Shuler.

The 2017–18 lineup also features  “Romeo and Juliet,” William Shakespeare’s timeless tale of star-crossed lovers, directed by Beth Watkins, Nov. 16-19; “Love and Information,” directed by Dan Crozier, Feb. 22-25; and “Detroit,” directed by Mark Cosdon, April 12-5.

In “Love and Information,” English playwright Caryl Churchill Snapchats a world awash in data, examining the ways in which our exponentially growing environment of information impacts our interactions, feelings and relationships.

Written by Pulitzer Prize finalist Lisa D’Amour, “Detroit” is a tragicomedy set in Suburbia, U.S.A. that brings together a toxic combination of neighbors, a stagnant economy, unemployment, addiction — and a barbecue.

Tickets for all productions are $10 for adults and $8 for non-Allegheny students, senior citizens and Allegheny employees. Admission is free for Allegheny students with identification, though they are asked to make reservations.

For more information or to order tickets, contact the Playshop Theatre box office at (814) 332-3414.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Mehler Speaks at United States Institute for Theatre Technology Conference

Associate Professor of Communication Arts & Theatre Michael Mehler presented on “Sustainable Strike” at the USITT (United States Institute for Theatre Technology) Conference in March. Convened by the Broadway Green Alliance, the session panel discussed how to minimize waste stream impact when a theatrical production closes.

On April 27, Mehler hosted a conversation with Tony-Award winning designer Santo Loquasto at Drama Book Shop in New York City. The event launched the recent publication, “The Designs of Santo Loquasto,” the 10th in a series of designer histories that Mehler oversees as the vice president for communications for USITT.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Allegheny’s Playshop Theatre Presents ‘Baby With the Bathwater’

Allegheny’s Playshop Theatre will close out its 2016-17 season with “Baby With the Bathwater” from April 20-23 in the Gladys Mullenix Black Theatre in the Vukovich Center for Communication Arts. Performances are at 8 p.m. April 21-22, and at 2:30 p.m. on April 23.

“Baby with the Bathwater” was written by Christopher Durang in 1983 and depicts an extreme and hilarious take of bad parenting. In a review of the play, Frank Rich of the New York Times writes, “a playwright who shares Swift’s bleak view of humanity, Durang conquers bitterness and finds a way to turn rage into comedy that is redemptive as well as funny.”

Director Dan Crozier of Allegheny’s Communication Arts/Theatre Department is aided by stage manager Itzel Ayala and assistant stage managers Matt Lis and Cayla Brandon. Michael Mehler is the scenic designer, and Miriam Peterson designed the costumes.

The play is a counterpoint to Playshop’s previous production “Luna Gale,” which centered around problems of parenting as well, but with a serious plot and tone. The teenage family of “Luna Gale” dealt with drug addiction and a social worker’s involvement in their case, while the family in “Baby with the Bathwater” struggles humorously with the name and gender of their child, and the subsequent emotional and gender confusion of the child as he grows up.

This is the final show in the Playshop Theatre’s 87th season. The cast features Liz Colarte as Helen, the mother, and Daniel Keitel as John, the father, as well as Emily Wilson, Jen Ray, Megan Greig, Chloe Spadafora, Johanna Stanley, Mary Lyon, Mark Shimkets, Elijah Prince, and Emma Woodhead.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for non-Allegheny students, senior citizens, and Allegheny employees. Admission is free for Allegheny students with identification, but they are asked to make reservations.

For more information or to order tickets, contact the Playshop Theatre box office at (814) 332-3414.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Cosdon Hosts Seventh Annual ‘Brilliance of the American Theatre’ Series

Associate Professor of Communication Arts/Theatre Mark Cosdon hosted the seventh annual “Brilliance of the American Theatre” author series at the Tony-honored Drama Book Shop in Times Square, New York City. The event brought together authors from the University of Kansas, Tufts University and Ithaca College for a wide-ranging discussion of their new books with an audience of over 75 people. Cosdon also has been invited to participate in a plenary session on “Migrations in American Drama and Theatre” at the Fifth International Conference on American Drama and Theatre to be held at the Université de Lorraine, France in June 2018.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Playshop Theatre Presents ‘Luna Gale’

LunaGale_Photo

The Allegheny College Playshop Theatre will present “Luna Gale” from February 23-26 in the Gladys Mullenix Black Theatre in the Vukovich Center for Communication Arts.

“Luna Gale,” written by Rebecca Gilman and directed by Mark Cosdon, centers on a social worker who is confronted with an unforgiving dilemma — what to do with a child born to drug-addicted teens. Family secrets, moral ambiguities, faith, biases, and the beleaguered welfare system collide in this contemporary drama.  A play that The New York Times called “smart and absorbing,”  “Luna Gale” is sure to provoke questions of how we care for the most vulnerable and at-risk.

Performances are at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 23-25, and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 26.

The cast features theatre majors Mary Lyon ’17 as Caroline, the social worker; Ada Zech ’19 as Karlie, the mother, and Simon Brown ’19 as Peter, the father, as well as Alyssa Johnson ’20, Daniel Keitel ’17, Sam Richardson ’20, and Eddie Glass ’18.  The production is stage managed by Johanna Stanley ’18.  Michael Mehler is the scenic designer, Miriam Patterson designed the costumes, and William Kenyon designed the lights.

“Luna Gale” includes strong language and subject matter that some might find upsetting.  The play is recommended for mature audiences only.

Tickets for all productions are $10 for adults and $8 for non-Allegheny students, senior citizens and Allegheny employees. Admission is free for Allegheny students with identification, but they are asked to make reservations.

For more information or to order tickets, contact the Playshop Theatre box office at (814) 332-3414.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Allegheny College’s Playshop Theatre to Present ‘Luna Gale’

LunaGale_Photo

The Allegheny College Playshop Theatre will present “Luna Gale” from February 23-26 in the Gladys Mullenix Black Theatre in the Vukovich Center for Communication Arts.

“Luna Gale,” written by Rebecca Gilman and directed by Mark Cosdon, centers on a social worker who is confronted with an unforgiving dilemma — what to do with a child born to drug-addicted teens. Family secrets, moral ambiguities, faith, biases, and the beleaguered welfare system collide in this contemporary drama.  A play that The New York Times called “smart and absorbing,”  “Luna Gale” is sure to provoke questions of how we care for the most vulnerable and at-risk.

“Rebecca Gilman is a very contemporary playwright,” said Cosdon, associate professor of communication arts and theatre. “Her most well known plays are dramas without clear antagonists and storylines that don’t have easier answers. ‘Luna Gale’ follows this pattern. What Gilman consistently returns to are situations that never resolve themselves easily … and there’s never an easy solution when it comes to the welfare of a child.”

The play “asks us to consider our biases, and it also, I think, encourages us to think about where and how each of us takes responsibility for ultimately the most fragile of beings in society,” Cosdon said.

Performances are at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 23-25, and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 26.

The cast features theatre majors Mary Lyon ’17 as Caroline, the social worker; Ada Zech ’19 as Karlie, the mother, and Simon Brown ’19 as Peter, the father, as well as Alyssa Johnson ’20, Daniel Keitel ’17, Sam Richardson ’20, and Eddie Glass ’18.  The production is stage managed by Johanna Stanley ’18.  Michael Mehler is the scenic designer, Miriam Patterson designed the costumes, and William Kenyon designed the lights.

“Luna Gale” includes strong language and subject matter that some might find upsetting.  The play is recommended for mature audiences only.

Tickets for all productions are $10 for adults and $8 for non-Allegheny students, senior citizens and Allegheny employees. Admission is free for Allegheny students with identification, but they are asked to make reservations.

For more information or to order tickets, contact the Playshop Theatre box office at (814) 332-3414.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

“A Civil War Christmas: An American Musical Celebration”

ACivilWarChristmas_Postcard-1By Paula Vogel
Music by Daryl Walters

November 17-20, 2016
Thursday-Saturday 8:00 p.m.
Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

It is Christmas Eve in 1864 along the icy, war-ravaged Potomac near Washington, D.C.  Union and Confederate troops are hunkered down by the river, Abraham Lincoln strategizes for peace while his wife Mary visits the wounded, and former slaves are migrating north in search of freedom.  Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel weaves a rich tapestry of stories, both historical and fictional, into a drama that intertwines holiday carols, marches and spirituals of the Civil War period.  An epic theatrical event that captures a nation in desperate need of hope and healing.

To order tickets call the Box Office at 814-332-3414

Cosdon co-leads graduate sessions

At this summer’s meeting of the American Theatre and Drama Society, Associate Professor of Communication Arts/Theatre Mark Cosdon co-led sessions for graduate students dedicated to teaching in a liberal arts college and the tenure/promotion process. Cosdon serves on the board of the American Theatre and Drama Society. Recently, he joined the advisory board of the Harvard Theatre Collection.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Theatre Students to Complete Summer Internships

A number of theatre students will complete internships this summer. Karina Mena ’16 will intern in marketing at the Manhattan Theatre Club. Amanda Fallon ’18 will intern in production at the Ko Festival of Performance at Amherst College. Itzel Ayala ’17 will be in the apprentice acting company at the Williamstown Theater Festival at Williams College. Mary Lyon ’17, Liz Colarte ’17, and Simon Brown ’19 will intern at the New York Classical Theater.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research