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Oct. 4, 2011
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine:

 SRU’s ‘Strawberries in January’ affirms true love’s value


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Are you afraid of love because of the fear of rejection? Do you allow fear to control your search for true love? If you answered, “yes,” fear no more. Slippery Rock University’s production of “Strawberries in January” affirms the value of love and encourages you to “take the chance.”
      The play opens at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 13 in SRU’s Miller Auditorium and will be presented seven times.  Laura Smiley, associate professor of theatre, is the director.
        “Strawberries in January” follows four romantically challenged Canadians as they navigate platonic and romantic relationships. The show, a one-act romantic comedy written by Evelyne de la Cheneliere in a version by Rona Munro, encourages people to embrace their romantic side.
       “When you have an opportunity for love, you have to take a chance and explore it,” Smiley said. “These characters are lucky to have a second chance. Moral of the story: follow your heart, and don’t let fear prevent you from finding love.”

            “It’s not your typical love story. Plus, it has all the aspect of the movies put together in a live theatre experience making it exciting and interesting,” said Charlene Jacka, a theatre major from Slippery Rock who is the stage manager.            This cast includes: Sarah Tapparo, a Spanish major from Beaver, as Sophie; Alex Barnhart, a theatre major from Butler, playing Francois; Ayaka Hikosaka, a theatre major from Tokyo, Japan, as Lea; and Nickolaus Edwards, a theatre major from New Brighton, as Robert.

            Gordon Phetteplace, associate professor of theatre, is the set and lighting designer; Rebecca Morrice, assistant professor of theatre, is the costume designer; and Michael Boone is the technical director.

            Zoey Prokopiak, a theatre major from Santa Barbara, Calif., is the sound designer; Hikosaka is also the props master; Danielle DePalma, a theatre major from Pittsburgh, is the assistant lighting designer; and Samantha Kuchta, a theatre major from Lower Burrell, is the assistant stage manager.

       The play runs through Oct.  19. Curtain is at 7:30 p.m. for the Oct. 13, 14, 16, 17, 18 and 19 performances. There is also a 2 p.m matinee Oct. 16. There is no Oct. 15 performance.
    Tickets are $5 for SRU students and $10 general admission. Tickets may be purchased in the Student Union Information Desk or the Miller Auditorium Box Office and beginning one hour before each show. Call the box office at 724.738.2645 for reservations.


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.