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 'Tallgrass Gothic' opens SRU student theater season 




September 13, 2007

Contact: K.E. Schwab  




'Tallgrass Gothic' opens SRU student theater season


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - The first show of the Slippery Rock University theater department's 2007-2008 season is Minnesota playwright Melanie Marnich's romantic tragedy "Tallgrass Gothic," a haunting story of obsessive love. The play is based, in part, on the brutal British Jacobean tragedy "The Changeling."

            David Skeele, professor of theater, directs the production which is set in the Great Plains where a young wife develops a crush on her neighbor, then is trapped by lust and vengeance. The play has been described as, "Part gothic romance, part horror story and part 'Macbeth," a brutal drama that exposes the intoxication of new love and the consequences of desire."

            At the play's center is Laura, played by Deanna Brookens of Slippery Rock, whose drive, passion and instincts are awakened when her love for one man is threatened by her fear of another. The rules of this isolated place make reason impossible. Her solution is found in a person who provides a violent resolution, Skeele said.

            "Tallgrass Gothic," intended for mature audiences, premiered at the 2004 Humana Festival.

            Others cast members are Erin Berger of Beaver, Nicholas Ciesielski of Bridgeville, Dan Cummins and B.A. Vahabzadeh, both of Pittsburgh, and Dennis Whalen of Evans City.

            Gordon Phetteplace, associate professor of theater, is scenic and lighting designer; Rebecca Morrice, assistant professor of theater, is costume designer; and John Pivetz is technical director. Aaron Thurston of Homer City is properties master; Brookens is makeup designer; and Alex McNeill of New Castle is stage manager, with Andrea Carlin of Montrose and Lisbeth Wells-Pratt of Slippery Rock as assistants.

            Curtains are at 8 p.m. Sept. 28-29 and Oct. 1-3, with a 2 p.m. matinee Sept. 30 in Miller Auditorium. Tickets are $5 for SRU students and $10 for the general public. Reservations for the 90-minute show may be made in person from 1-2 p.m. weekdays beginning Sept. 17 at the Miller Auditorium Box Office, or by calling 724.738.2645.


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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