“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

Cosdon to Have Chapters in Routledge Handbook of Musical Theatre Producers

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.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

The Playshop Theatre presents “Peter Pan and Wendy” by Doug Rand

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

Allegheny College Playshop Theatre Presents Audacious “Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play”

Simpsons Singing 2

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

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Playshop Theatre to Present Bertolt Brecht’s “A Life of Galileo”


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.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Gator Day COMM-ingling with Prof. Mehler 11:00 am

Meet us in the Vukovich lobby at 11:00 am with lunch to follow.

(Ghost) Light opens September 10 at 8:00 p.m. in the Gladys Mullenix Black Theatre

Allegheny College Student Karina Mena Named to “110 Students to Watch” List

Karina Mena

May 6, 2015 – Allegheny College’s Karina Mena, a junior communication arts major with minors in Latin American/Caribbean studies and theater, has made the list of “110 Students to Watch” in Variety magazine.

Mena, from Portland, Ore., was named to the list, which features upcoming movers and shakers in the entertainment industry. She is a lead technician in Allegheny’s Playshop Theatre and will attend the 2015 United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) Conference in Cincinnati, the leading professional conference for theater technology and production. 

“I feel very honored and surprised to be considered one of Variety’s ‘110 Students to Watch,’” Mena says. “It was really cool to hear that I was a part of this list, though I definitely was not expecting this news.”

“Karina embodies the unique spirit and possibilities of communication arts at Allegheny,” says Julie Wilson, assistant professor of communication arts/theater. “She is a talented artist, both on and off stage, as well as a sharp and passionate critic of our media culture. I have no doubt that Karina will spend her life creating images, sets, characters and stories that will challenge and inspire all of us!”

Mena is heavily involved in Allegheny’s theater program. In addition to working as a lead technician for the Playshop Theatre, she also has been an actor in the shows, the properties master (who is in charge of collecting, purchasing and/or building all pieces that are placed on a stage set) and an assistant stage manager. In addition, she designed and constructed/welded a main set piece for a Student Experimental Theatre performance this year.

Additionally, Mena is a volunteer at the student-run coffeehouse Grounds for Change. She also is a member of the executive board for the service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, where she serves as the historian who helps manage the fraternity’s social media accounts.

In the future, Mena would like to help create theater in a small company in a community where she can involve people with a variety of backgrounds, cultures and races.

See the full list of Variety “110 Students to Watch” winners.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research