Aug. 22, 2006
Contact: Gordon Ovenshine: 724-738-4854;
SRU PLAY ‘DARK
NORTH’ TRIUMPHS IN SCOTLAND
PERFORMANCE SET FOR AUG. 29 ON
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. -- After presenting the
play to five-star reviews at the 60th Edinburgh Festival
Fringe in Scotland, Slippery Rock University theater majors will
present the supernatural horror “Dark North” at 7:30
p.m. Aug. 29 in Miller Auditorium. SRU’s David Skeele,
professor of theater, wrote the play, which reviewers described as
“Dark North had the hairs
on the back of my neck standing up as I was sucked into its
terrifying and nightmarish world,” wrote Britain’s
Three Weeks, a journal covering the festival. “The cast of
seven, working with minimal props and a nearly bare set, created an
intense and unnerving atmosphere with a delivery of mesmerizing and
gruesome characters. David Skeele’s script is superbly
handled by this talented young ensemble from the wonderfully named
Slippery Rock University, in Pennsylvania. This is one of the most
gripping and original pieces of theater I've ever seen, and it
deserves a packed house every night.”
SRU students earlier this month
presented seven productions of “Dark North” at the
festival, the largest international arts festival in the world. The
festival included 400 theater companies from around world
performing in the Edinburgh area, with an audience of 1.3 million,
according to the festival Web site.
Saint Paul’s Church Hall in Edinburgh agreed to sponsor SRU
after Laura Smiley, assistant professor of theater, visited last
summer to discuss sponsorship. Smiley directed the play in Scotland
and will direct the local version.
Admission at SRU is $1, which will go
toward future performance trips.
“Dark North” revolves
around television psychic Daniel Dark North, who makes a lucrative
career out of communing with the dead, but one afternoon, in the
bowels of a crumbling Connecticut mansion, he discovers sometimes
the dead really ought to stay that way.
In addition to the Three Weeks,
audience members reviewed the play and posted impressions on the
festival Web site.
“I love disturbing theater, and
this is just what the doctor called for. Tense and chilling,
it’s a good night of psychological suspense,” wrote Bob
“The student playing Daniel (Matt
McNear of Beaver) is destined for a great career as a thespian if
he so desires,” another Web poster wrote.
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.