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Theatre Students and Faculty Collaborate for Proof

August 10, 2007

SELINSGROVE, (Pa.) – Students and faculty from Susquehanna University's Department of Theatre will celebrate the fruits of their collective summer efforts when they take the stage next weekend to present the award-winning play Proof by David Auburn. The play will be held nightly at 8 p.m. Friday through Sunday, August 24 to 26, in Degenstein Center Theater. Admission is free and open to the public.

The production marks the second in a series of summer performance projects highlighting faculty-student collaboration. The project uses an intense two-week rehearsal schedule similar to the fast-paced summer stock model common in the theater industry. “Like students who assist chemistry professors or historians with research, theatre students in this production participate in the creative processes of performance and production alongside faculty practitioners,” says Eric Viker, assistant professor of theatre.

The cast of Proof features Douglas Powers, associate professor and chair of The Department of Theatre, performing with several accomplished theatre students under Viker's artistic direction. Students performing in Proof include theatre majors Jaclyn Collier, of Mount Carmel, Pa., and Julie Ek, of New Market, Md., and Brian Grier, a senior communications major and theater minor from Devon, Pa. Production stage management will be handled by sophomore theatre majors Chelsea Lepore, of Kendall Park, N.J., and Peter Zimmerman, of Johnstown, Pa.

A riveting story of madness, relationships and science, Proof won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play of 2001. “Proof is an excellent example of contemporary dramatic literature and should appeal to a wide range of audience interests. The text skillfully explores family dynamics, romance, mental health issues, and fascinating aspects of mathematics,” Viker says. The play includes adult language and situations.

Viker serves as technical director for the Susquehanna University Department of Theatre and teaches courses in dramatic literature, theatre production, and stage management. He holds a master of fine arts degree in theatre technology from the University of Texas at Austin and is a freelance production manager and technical director. A member of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education and the United States Institute for Theatre Technology, Viker was instrumental in founding and developing theatre companies in northern Florida, and continues to provide operations and technology consulting to civic and small professional theatres.

Powers holds an M.F.A. in acting from Ohio University, a master's degree in theatre history and dramatic literature from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and a Ph.D. in theatre with an emphasis in ritual and performance studies from the University of Missouri-Columbia. A professional actor and director, Powers is a member of the Actors' Equity Association and Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers. He teaches courses in acting, theatre history, dramatic theory and criticism, and directing.

Contact: Victoria Kidd
570-372-4119

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