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 SRU Theater Troupe to Present Play in Scotland 



July 20, 2006

Contact: Gordon Ovenshine: 724-738-4854;


     SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Slippery Rock University students will present seven productions of “Dark North,” a play written by SRU theater Professor David Skeele, at the 60th Edinburgh [Scotland] Festival Fringe, the largest international arts festival in the world.

      Seven student actors and seven student technicians will produce the play Aug. 5-12. The monthlong festival includes 400 theater companies from around world performing in the Edinburgh area, with an expected audience of 1.3 million, according to the festival Web site.

      To participate, theater companies must find a Scottish sponsor that believes the theater company offers an interesting production with broad appeal, said SRU’s Gordon Phetteplace, associate professor of theater and department chair.

      Old Saint Paul’s Church Hall in Edinburgh agreed to sponsor SRU after Laura Smiley, assistant professor of theater, visited last summer to discuss sponsorship. The play, directed by Smiley, will be performed in the church.

           “Everyone in theater circles knows this festival,” Phetteplace said. “It’s a great experience. It gives students the opportunity to experience another culture, produce a show in a once-in-a lifetime venue, and it will provide a job boost when they graduate.”

      Students will receive three credit hours for the experience, which counts as a theater course.

     "Dark North," a horror story, involves the fictional TV medium Daniel Dark North who discovers he can talk to dead people. “I like it because we don't use a lot of special effects; it's what the other people on stage are experiencing," Skeele said.

             Students participating: Mark Blackstock of Monroeville; Braden Blauser of Parker; Stephanie Brauner of Palm; Deanna Brookens of Slippery Rock; Katie Erskine of Tarentum, Jeffrey Feola of New Castle; Randi Gartner of Pulaski; Lydia Giese and Rikki Stupka, both of Butler; Casey Hughes of Roseland, N.J.; Kelly Mcbane of McKees Rocks; Matthew McNear of Beaver; Nicholas Quinn of Pittsburgh, and Bethany Vahabzadeh of Pittsburgh.

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