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Oct. 9, 2010
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine
Office: 724.738.4854
Cell: 724.991.8302



‘The Crucible’ opens 2010 SRU theatre season

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – More than 30 Slippery Rock University students will open the fall theatre season with a student production of “The Crucible,” Arthur Miller’s dramatization of the Salem, Mass., witch trials. Performances will be at 8 p.m. today and Sunday-Wednesday with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee, at SRU’s Miller Auditorium.
             Director David Skeele, SRU professor of theater, said the message of the play has never been more important. “The Crucible” debuted in 1953 and is regarded by many critics as a metaphor for government blacklisting, especially McCarthyism.
            “I don’t feel the need to suggest another parallel because this play really isn’t about one time in human history.  It’s about the cruelty and irrationality that the human heart is always capable of,” Skeele said.
            SRU students will perform the work in period costumes (1692-93). “The first question I kept getting asked about the play is ‘Where are you setting it?’ Skeele said. “I don’t think I’ve ever read a play that depends on a straightforward setting more.”
            The play tells the story of the town’s overreaction to unusual behavior. When some of the women of Salem start having “fits,” some townspeople attribute the behavior to witchcraft. Innocent people are tried, hanged and families torn apart.
            The cast includes:

Luke Chamberlain, a political science major from Latrobe, as John Proctor;

Jessica Kowach, a theatre major from Hopewell, as Abigail Adams;

Meg Rodgers, an elementary/special education major from Bruin, as Elizabeth Proctor;

Nick Benninger, a theatre major from Butler, as the Rev. John Hale;

Dan Cummins, a theatre major from Pittsburgh, as deputy governor Danforth;

Sarah Tapparo, a Spanish and business administration major from Beaver, as Mary Warren;

J. Jon “Luther” David, a secondary education and theatre major from Grove City, as the Rev. Samuel Parris;

Ayaka Hikosaka, a junior theatre major from Japan, as Betty Parris;

Susan Lemon, a  theatre major from Grove City, as Ann Putnam;

Ethan Rochow, a theatre major from West Middlesex, as Thomas Putnam;

Adam Harry, an English and theatre major from Cleveland, Ohio, as Giles Cory;

Kevin H. Moore, a social work and theatre major from Aliquippa, as Francis Nurse;

Ashley Clement, a theatre major from Philadelphia, as Rebecca Nurse;

Matt Palla, a theatre major from Greenville, as Judge Hathorne;

Emily Kantner, a theatre and communication major from Bernville, as Sarah Good;

Ciera Spencer, a theatre major from Harrisburg, as Tituba;

Casey Reiland, a business management major from Harrisville, as Herrick;

Alex Barnhart, a psychology and theatre major from Butler, as Cheever;

Amanda Tarr, a dance and theatre major from Lower Burrell, as Susannah Walcott; and Aniela Schaefer, a sophomore theatre major from Greensburg, PA, as Mercy Lewis.


            Gordon Phetteplace, SRU associate professor of theatre, is the play’s scenic designer; Rebecca Morrice, SRU assistant professor of theatre, is the costume designer; and Michael Boone is the technical director. Ronnie Nocera, a Spanish and theatre major from New Castle, is the sound designer; Stacie O’Hara, a dance and theatre major from St. Mary’s, is the lighting designer; Kelly Myers, a senior theatre major from Natrona Heights, is the props mistress; and Maya Ogasawara, a theatre major from Saitama, Japan, is makeup designer.
            Danielle DePalma, a theatre major from Plum, is the stage manager for the show working with Shane Dowd, a theatre major from North Huntingdon, as assistant stage manager. Ben Magargee, a theatre major from Medina, Ohio, and Sarah Roza, a theatre major from Rochester, N.Y., are assistant stage managers.
            Student tickets are $5 and may be purchased, with student ID, at the Miller Auditorium Box Office at 724.738.2645 or the Information Desk in the University.  General admission tickets are $10.  Tickets will also be available at Miller one hour before the show.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania’s premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.