Denison Theatre Season Concludes With Premiere Of Caridad Svich Play
Date of Event: April 12, 2002
Posted: April 2, 2002
Denison University Theatre concludes its 2001-2002 season with the world premiere of "Perdita Gracia," written by the Jonathan R. Reynolds Playwright-in-Residence, Caridad Svich. The production opens at 8 p.m. on Friday (April 12) and continues with performances on Saturday (April 13) and Tuesday through Saturday (April 16-20) in Ace Morgan Theatre. Tickets for "Perdita Gracia" are $10 general admission, $5 for senior citizens and $4 for students of all ages. Call (740) 587-6527 to reserve tickets and for more information.
Inspired by Shakespeare's "The Winter's Tale," the play imagines a new life for Perdita, who in Shakespeare's play, is a declared bastard and set adrift as a newborn. Rescued and raised by a shepherd, she only makes a brief appearance sixteen years later, restored to her parents as the true princess.
In Svich's play, Perdita begins as she was described in "The Winter's Tale," and then embarks on a wholly re-imagined life where she is haunted by ghosts of the past and acquainted with the possibility of the future. In this play with original songs, Perdita lives on an island and is rescued and raised by a fisherman. She is watched over by a group of androgynous angels with digital eyes who call themselves Ravens and is guided by a speaking, still image of her mother.
"There are no guarantees in this little universe," Svich explains of her play. "Time is a surfer punk and a net of suspicion is cast over Perdita's marriage. In 'Perdita Gracia,' love asks for the impossible in a person and the play finds the beauty of the impossible in the map Perdita makes of her life."
"Perdita Gracia" is directed by Jon Farris, chair of the theatre department. Designing the production are Vail Artist-in-Residence Don Childs, scenery and lighting, and Cynthia Turnbull, costumes.
The play features seniors Lynn Hull (Jacksonville, Fla.) as Hermione, Jennifer Hulbert (Louisville, Ky.) as Frip, Abigail Chessen (Lewisburg, Pa.) as Raven #2, juniors Dianna Craig (Ashland, Ky.) as Perdita, Jason Seltzer (Pittsburgh, Pa.) as Flori, Aaron Broomall (Ft. Thomas, Ky.) as Raven #3, sophomores Scott Towler (Chesterfield, Mo.) as Bosco, Blake Whyte (Kalamazoo, Mich.) as Axl and first year students Megan Long (Chapmanville, W.Va.) as Raven #1 and Drew Lichtenberg (Pelham, Mass.) as the musician. Sophomore Jennifer McInnis (Antrim, N.H.) is the stage manager.
Svich is a playwright, songwriter, translator and editor. Her plays have been produced at regional theatres throughout the country and in Europe. She has been the recipient of numerous awards, among them an NEA/TCG Residency, a California Arts Council Fellowship, and a TCG Hispanic Translation Commission. Her play "Prodigal Kiss" is published inBest New Plays by New Playwrights.
Svich has been awarded a prestigious Radcliffe Institute Fellowship for 2002-2003. Founded in 1960 by Radcliffe College President Mary Ingraham Bunting, this program has named more than 1300 women as fellows and has been called "America's Think Tank for Women." It supports scholars, scientists and artists of exceptional promise who wish to pursue independent work in academic and professional fields and in the creative arts.
During her semester at Denison (in addition to working on "Perdita Gracia"), Svich will perform her solo work "Torch" at 2 p.m. on Sunday (April 14) in Burke Hall Theatre. She is also teaching a course in playwriting and collaborating with director Nick Philippou and actor/write Todd Cerveris on "The Booth Variations," a solo multimedia piece about John Wilkes Booth to be presented in Denison's Ace Morgan Theatre, May 10-11.
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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