9/13/13 ASHLAND, Ohio - Ashland University Department of Theatre opens its 2013-2014 season "Exploring World and Self” with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz's “Night Train to Bolina.” Directed by Associate Professor of Theatre Fabio Polanco, evening performances begin at 7:30 p.m. in the intimate Studio Theatre on Sept. 26-28, Oct. 3-5, along with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sept. 29.
Produced in cooperation with this year's College of Arts & Sciences Symposium Against Indifference, which is focusing on Latin America and the Caribbean, this drama staged in a war-torn, unidentified country in Latin America was selected for this season by Professor Polanco.
“The Symposium asks us to learn about a topic or issue in the hope that knowledge will reduce our collective and individual indifference toward it, and that lack of concern will turn to caring,” Polanco said. “Mr. Cruz, the first Latino to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, exposes the effect of civil unrest and violence on children and the consequences of innocence lost at too young an age. He gives us dialogue and images that are at the exact same moment beautiful and disturbing, and a play that is both personal and allegorical, for the children surely represent all children all over the world who are victims of war, violence, sexual abuse, hopelessness, and cynicism.”
Looking for a way to escape the guerrilla warfare ravishing their home, the two children in the play rely on each other and their imaginations to help them flee their devastated rural village for the city of Bolina, a mythical metropolis where "kites go to die." Mateo and Clara, portrayed by junior theatre majors Nick Seemann (Bath, Ohio) and Taylor Stepp (Atwater, Ohio), show the strength and resilience of youth in the most difficult of circumstances. In their journey, they meet Sister Nora played by senior theatre major Emily Jeppesen (Jefferson, Ohio), Doctor Martin played by junior theatre major Anthony Nicholson (Bremen, Ohio) and freshman integrated language arts major Ariel McCleary (Stow, Ohio) as Talita.
The production's set and lighting are designed by Assistant Professor of Theatre and Resident Scenic Designer Jason Coale while Assistant Professor of Theatre and Resident Costume Designer Sarah Russell designed the costumes. Technical Director J. Michael Desper is the sound designer with Amanda Leslie as the guest projection designer and Paulina Trunzo, assistant to the director. Sophomore music performance major Fatima Imani Smith (Copley, Ohio) and freshman musical theatre major Ceyanna Stasick (Sullivan, Ohio) are the show’s stage manager and assistant stage manager, respectively.
New for the 2013-2014 theatre season is "Inside the Season" pre-show talks, which are offered before the second Friday performance of each production. The "Inside the Season" pre-show talk for “Night Train to Bolina” will be held Friday, Oct. 4, at 6:45 p.m. on the Hugo Young Theatre stage and will include light refreshments.
Director Fabio Polanco will lead the pre-show talk giving audience members the inside story as they learn more about the production and its creators while also hosting guest presenters from the Hope for Honduran Children Foundation. Based in Cleveland, Ohio, this organization was established to help provide a nurturing environment for children ravaged by conditions of extreme poverty in Central America. In addition to supporting them with food, clothing, shelter, medical care and education, their ultimate goal is to instill the desire and provide the necessary tools for these children to become self-sufficient, caring and responsible adults. Literature about the organization will be available at all performances and donations will be accepted on their behalf.
Season tickets for theatre productions are still available and include admission to all four main stage productions at a reduced price compared to single tickets. Season tickets for all four productions are: $32 for adults; and $28 for senior citizens, students and Ashland University faculty/staff. Single tickets are: $10 for adults; $9 for senior citizens, students, University faculty/staff; $8 for groups of 10 or more; and $2 for Ashland University students.
To purchase tickets, call the Ashland University Box Office at 419-289-5125, Monday through Friday, 12 to 6 p.m.; or purchase online 24/7 at www.ashland.edu/tickets. For more information about the department of theatre, visit www.ashland.edu/theatre, find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AshlandUniversityTheatre or contact Tricia Applegate, coordinator of performing arts publicity and events, at 419-289-5950 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ashland University, ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2013, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###