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 Scotland's 'Festival Fringe' includes SRU professor's new play 




July 19, 2010

CONTACT: K.E. Schwab



Scotland's 'Festival Fringe' includes SRU professor's new play 


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - For the third year in a row, Slippery Rock University's theatre department will present an original play by David Skeele, SRU theatre professor, at the world- famous Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Edinburgh Scotland. The show includes a 13-member student cast.

This year, the department will stage "Deepchurch Hollow," a thriller that relates the tale of Alice Deepchurch, who, at age 10, was locked for hours in a hidden room deep inside her home. She has never been the same. 

When she is temporarily released from a mental institution, she returns to her gothic Gettysburg home and has one night to answer the questions that have haunted her all of her life: Is the evil in her head, or is it all too horribly real?  

"I elected to stay in the same genre this year, in part, because we have established a niche with our Edinburgh audience," said Skeele, who wrote the two previous thrillers, "Dark North" and "The Margins," that were presented at the festival. 

"They expect this kind of production from us, and they know what they are getting - something from the supernatural. When they come to one of our shows. I am always hoping the new play is as scary, or even scarier, than the previous one. 'Deepchurch Hollow' brings in a real element of mystery as opposed to the others. Solving the 'ghost mystery' can really be fun," he said. 

Skeele said his latest work was very difficult to write and took considerable time to pull the various elements together. "Actually, I wrote several different versions of a very complicated story. To make the story come out was clearly my goal," he said.

Laura Smiley, SRU associated professor of theatre, will direct the production planned for Aug. 6-14 at The Space at Venue 45 in central Edinburgh, Scotland. She also directed the previous shows. Full rehearsals get under way Monday. 

The festival, described as the largest art festival in the world, combines such art forms as theatre, comedy, opera, dance and others. It runs Aug. 6-30 and traditionally attracts more than 400 theatre companies performing throughout the region. The audience is estimated at more than 1.3 million people.  

The SRU student-touring company includes theatre majors Daniel Cummins from Pittsburgh, Jackie Freeman from Geneva, Ohio, Adam Harry from Cleveland, Ohio, Ayaka Hikosaka from Tokyo, Japan, Alex Hollock from Butler, Jessica Kowach from Hopewell, Alex McGee from Shaler, Kelly Myers from Natrona Heights, Zach Nading from East Brady, Megan Nye from Utica, Maya Ogasawara from Saitana, Japan, Jennifer Reeher from Volant, and Krista Vogler from Hudson, N.H.  

Colleen Reilly, SRU assistant professor of theater, and Michael Boone, SRU's technical director, will join Skeele and Smiley to support the presentation.

While in Scotland, the SRU contingent will have time to see productions from other countries participating in the festival. This year the festival, which is marking its 64th year, will offer 2,453 shows.

The production will be presented at SRU Aug. 30-31.

For additional information about the festival visit:


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.



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