Denison Theatre Presents Premiere Of Donald Freed'sDeath Of Ivan Ilych
Posted: April 5, 2004
The Denison theatre department will present the world premiere ofThe Death of Ivan Ilychby acclaimed playwright Donald Freed at 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday (April 16-17) and Tuesday through Saturday (April 20-24) in Ace Morgan Theatre. Freed is at Denison serving as the fifth Jonathan R. Reynolds Playwright in Residence. Admission is $8 general admission, $5 for senior citizens, and $4 for students. Tickets may be purchased by calling the theatre department box office at (740) 587-6527.
The Death of Ivan Ilychis an adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's brilliant novella. Freed brings to the stage one man's epic struggle to come to terms with his own mortality. The production will feature Professor Jon Farris in the title role. Farris is retiring this year after more than two decades at Denison, during which he chaired the theatre department for most of those years and was named Jonathan R. Reynolds Distinguished Chair in Theatre.
Freed is at Denison for the semester, teaching two classes as well as serving as adviser on the production. He also is the author ofSecret Honor: The Last Testament of Richard M. Nixon, which Jon Farris has performed at numerous venues during the past two decades and which was made into a film directed by Robert Altman. Freed's other plays, books, and films includeInquest, Circe & Bravo, The Quartered Man, Alfred and Victoria (A Life), Veterans Day, The White Crow, Is He Still Dead?, andLove and Shadows.
Three Vail Artists-in-Residence are working on the artistic staff of the production: Dan Bonnell of Los Angeles is the director, John Ore of Southwestern University in Austin, Texas, is the lighting designer, and Brad Steinmetz of Ohio State University is the scenic designer. Cynthia Turnbull, chair of Denison's theatre department, is the costume designer.
Beginning in 1995 Bonnell served six seasons as the artistic director of Arcade, a Los Angeles company focused solely on the development of new theatrical material. He has also worked continually as a freelance stage director in Los Angeles. In 1997 Bonnell received the LA Weekly Best Director Award for his work on Katherine Burgers'Morphic Resonanceat the Matrix Theatre. He also taught three years at the New York City Ensemble Studio Institute.
Ore serves as associate professor of theatre and director of technical operations for the Sarofim School of Fine Arts at Southwestern University. He teaches courses in lighting and sound design and technology and serves as production manager. Steinmetz is assistant professor at Ohio State in Lima, teaching courses in theatre design and technology. He also designs scenery and lighting and serves as technical director for university productions. Last year, Steinmetz earned a master of fine arts from Ohio State, and has been recognized by the United States Institute for Theatre Technology as the 2003 winner of the Rose Brand Award for Scene Design.
Turnbull, associate professor of theatre, joined the Denison faculty in 1996. She also has taught at Southwestern University, McLennan Community College (Texas), and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Turnbull has presented "Foam Jester Shoes" and "Reconstruction of Tailored Garments" at conferences for the United Sates Institute of Theatre Technology.
Cast members include senior Elizabeth Martinez-Nelson (San Diego, Calif.), juniors Drew Lichtenberg (Pelham, Mass.) and Megan Long (Chapmanville, W. Va.), sophomores Vasilios Koumandarakis (Roswell, Ga.) and Michael Sato (Carmel, Ind.), and first-year Christopher Carr (Weymouth, Mass.). Also,Elementary School 3rd grader Rankin Langley will appear in the performance.
Junior Sarah Casebolt (Utica) serves as assistant costume designer, junior Daniel Carr (Maumee) is assistant to the director, and sophomore Sarah Broderick (East Liverpool) is assistant to the playwright. Video artists for the production are computing services members Christian Faur and Trent Edmunds, while Andrew Johns is the technical director and Johns and Bonnell are in charge of sound design.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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