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Press Release

Contact:
Eric Sloss
412-268-5765

For immediate release:
January 14, 2005

Carnegie Mellon School of Drama to Perform Three American Plays in Repertory February 28-March 3 and March 14-26, 2005

PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon School of Drama's 2004-2005 season includes three American plays in repertory: Paul Zindel's "The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds," Mojie Crigler's "FZZN GRRL" and Kia Corthron's "Slide Glide, the Slippery Slope." Carnegie Mellon School of Drama faculty members Geoffrey Hitch, Jed Allen Harris and Mladen Kiselov will each direct a play. These three productions, which will share a single set, will be performed on a rotating schedule in the Philip Chosky Theater in Carnegie Mellon's Purnell Center for the Arts between February 28-March 3 and March 14-26, 2005.

"The notion of staging plays in repertory creates a rich experience both for our students and for our audience," said Elizabeth Bradley, head of the School of Drama, "Each of these three plays tackles our theme of the intersection of science and drama in particular and compelling ways—and unusually, each features female protagonists. From Zindel's remarkable 40-year-old play, where 13-year-old Tillie finds beauty in the world through her visions of space, to the very contemporary high-school-age heroine of 'FZZN GRRL,' who is fascinated by the properties of nuclear power, to the twin sisters of 'Slide Glide, the Slippery Slope,' whose world is defined by present issues such as cloning and genome theory—this trio of plays seen together will offer a richness of ideas and emotion in the context of science."

Zindel's "The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds," was awarded the 1970 Obie Award for Best Play, the 1970 New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best American Play and the 1971 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. This powerful, sometimes painful, drama, set against the growing threat of all-out nuclear war, tells the unexpected story of Tilly, a girl who escapes the entanglements of her tortured family in the limitless beauty of scientific discovery. Hitch, associate teaching professor of directing and acting in the School of Drama, will direct Carnegie Mellon's production of this highly acclaimed play. "The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds" will be performed on Monday, February 28, Thursday, March 3 and Wednesday, March 16 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, March 19 at 2 p.m.; Tuesday, March 22 at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, March 25 at 3:30 p.m.; and Saturday, March 26 at 8 p.m.

"FZZN GRRL," written by Crigler, will have its world premiere at Carnegie Mellon. In part a post-Columbine exploration of the factors that incubate alienation among young people in contemporary society, "FZZN GRRL" tells the story of Ineke, a prodigiously gifted freshman whose science-fair experiment spins into a nightmare. "FZZN GRRL" was developed in conjunction with the Ensemble Studio Theatre and with the support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Associate Professor of Directing Jed Allen Harris will direct this production. "FZZN GRRL" will be performed on Tuesday, March 1, Monday, March 14 and Thursday, March 17 at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, March 18 at 8 p.m.; Sunday, March 20 at 2 p.m.; Wednesday, March 23 at 7:30 p.m.; and Friday, March 25 at 8 p.m.

Corthron's "Slide Glide, the Slippery Slope" investigates questions of nature versus nurture through the story of two African American identical twins who were separated at birth. Each twin carries corrosive resentments, assuming that the other got the better deal in life. When they reunite after 36 years of separation, their assumptions and prejudices are challenged as they are finally forced to look into the mirror image that is each other. The play explores cloning, gene theory and ruminates on race in fiercely poetic language. Kiselov, associate professor of directing and acting, will direct this production. "Slide Glide, The Slippery Slope" will be performed on Wednesday, March 2 and Tuesday, March 15 at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, March 18 at 3:30 p.m.; Saturday, March 19 at 8 p.m.; Monday, March 21 and Thursday, March 24 at 7:30 p.m.; and Saturday, March 26 at 2 p.m.

The unifying theme for the School of Drama's 2004-2005 season is the exploration of scientific ideas. "In the 2004-2005 season, the School of Drama has largely chosen plays that explore scientific ideas and their impact on the world. Whether seen from the perspective of 'science as nightmare,' or conversely 'science as utopia,' this theme provides a rich array of dramatic material and is uniquely suited to Carnegie Mellon. At this university we daily celebrate the conjunction between scientific and artistic endeavor," said Bradley. These three plays focus more specifically on science in the contemporary world.

Carnegie Mellon University's School of Drama, established in 1914, is the oldest and one of the most distinguished degree-granting theatre programs in the United States. The School of Drama is one of five schools within Carnegie Mellon's College of Fine Arts, which also encompasses the schools of Architecture, Art, Design and Music. The College of Fine Arts also sponsors arts-affiliated programs and research centers.

To purchase tickets for "The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds," "FZZN GRRL," "Slide Glide, the Slippery Slope" or any other School of Drama production, call the box office at 412-268-2407. For more information about the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama, visit www.cmu.edu/cfa/drama. For more information about the College of Fine Arts, visit www.cmu.edu/cfa or contact Eric Sloss at 412-268-5765 or ecs@andrew.cmu.edu.

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