Denison's Talented Personnel Grace Multiple Columbus Stages
Posted: September 30, 2005
The arts scene in central Ohio will have a noticeable Denison influence on the first weekend of October.
On Friday and Saturday (Sept. 30-Oct. 1), Raymond Wise, a 1983 graduate of Denison, an assistant professor in Denison's music department as well as founder of Raise Productions, will be presenting his play, "What Color is Trouble?," at the Capitol Theatre in the Riffe Center. Wise co-authored the play with Ron Pitts. It deals with gangs, addiction, racism and violence as well as the discovery that young people can make a choice to prevail while discovering hope, self-identity, forgiveness, trust and responsibility. It is being presented by the Ujima Theater.
In a Sunday afternoon (Oct. 2) arts event, members of the Denison Alumni Club of Columbus will fill numerous seats in the Riffe Center's Studio One Theatre for the world premiere of 1953 alumnus Herb Brown's new play, "You're My Boy!," with Denison's Professor Emeritus of Theatre Jon Farris taking on the role of Thomas Dewey and Associate Professor Cynthia Turnbull creating the costumes. The play, produced by Contemporary American Theatre Company (CATCO), chronicles the relationship between Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard Nixon during their run for the White House and is the result of five years of research by Brown. Club members will also enjoy a special reception following the performance.
Brown, a former justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio (1986-1993) and a former trial lawyer with the firm of Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease, is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School. He has previously written two novels and a short play. "Presumption of Guilt" was published in 1991 and rose to No. 10 on the Doubleday national list while "Shadows of Doubt, " published in 1994, became a selection of The Literary Guild. His previous play, "Power of God," was produced by CATCO during its Shorts Festival 2002.
Farris will be remembered by central Ohio audiences for his performances in "A Tuna Christmas," "Taking Sides," "Nixon's Nixon," and "Secret Honor: The Last Tape and Testament of Richard Nixon." He served as a faculty member and department chair in Denison's theatre department from 1981 to 2004 and was named as the first holder of the Jonathan Reynolds Distinguished Professorship in Theatre. He also appeared in numerous main stage productions at Denison.
At yet another venue, some 100 Denison students will board busses on Sunday afternoon (Oct. 2) to attend the Opera Columbus performance of "Aida" at Mershon Auditorium on the Ohio State University campus. Four Denisonians also will be among the cast members bringing this spectacular production to life: Raymond Wise, who will be having a busy weekend, will conduct the Ethiopian Chorus; Jared Roper, class of '07,and Vincent L. Briley, director of the Multi-cultural Student Affairs office, will be singing as members of the Ethiopian Chorus; and Sarah Ramsey, an affiliated studio instructor in Denison's department of music, is the Opera Columbus accompanist. The students attending this opera extravaganza also will meet with the cast at a reception following the Sunday afternoon performance.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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