Theatre department to bring archives to life on the stage

KAITLYN SPECHT

Arts & Life Editor

Though the academic year has only just begun, Denison’s Department of Theatre already has many opportunities to look forward to for the fall semester.

Each semester, the department produces 2 plays.  This fall, the faculty have selected The Piano Lesson, by August Wilson, and The Traveler Returned, by Judith Sargent Marshall.

The first of these plays, The Piano Lesson, is, as Dr. Mark Bryan, Chair of the Department of Theatre, describes, “focused on the African-American experience in the American 20th century…and is considered a classic of 20th century American theatre.”

Students acting in the play will have an opportunity to work with Cheryl McFarren and Stafford Berry, the two directors of the play, as well as Peter Pauze and Cynthia Turnbull, the two designers. 

While the play will open in Ace Morgan on Oct. 13th, Denison students and faculty will also travel to Columbus to perform as part of the August Wilson Festival the following week.

Just a few weeks later, The Traveller Returned will open, running from Nov. 11th to Thanksgiving break. This play will be directed by Dr. Mark Bryan, and Peter Pauze and Cynthia Turnbull will return as designers for the performance. 

The play was originally first performed in 1796, but will be brought to stage for the first time in Granville this fall.

In addition to these performances, there will be an opportunity to delve into the writings of an alumnus through theatre.  Jennifer Schlueter, from Ohio State University, will, as part of her residency at Denison, collaborate with Dr. Mark Bryan and Denison students to bring pieces from the writings of 1913 graduate William Jordan Currin to life on the stage.  Currin was the first Denison student killed in world war 1.

Though the plans for the semester are already extensive, Bryan promises, “we’ll have some performances and guests that haven’t been ironed out yet,” assuring there are more exciting events to come.

Photo Courtesy of Alex Caprara/The Denisonian