9/24/14 ASHLAND, Ohio – Ashland University Department of Theatre opens the 2014-2015 season with George Bernard Shaw's masterpiece “Saint Joan.” Directed by Associate Professor of Theatre Teresa Durbin-Ames, evening performances begin at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 3, 4, 10 and 11, along with a 2 p.m. matinee on Oct. 5.
With the performances staged in Hugo Young Theatre, patrons should note that the seating is on stage for this production, which limits the number of seats available and advance purchase is recommended.
Based on the life and trial of Joan of Arc, Shaw's drama remains as vivid and timely to modern audiences as it was scandalous and incendiary in its premiere in 1923 (not long after the canonization of Joan of Arc by the Roman Catholic Church). As stated in Shaw’s program note for the first London production, the play is historically accurate including the Epilogue as he explains, "The Epilogue is obviously not a representation of an actual scene, or even of a recorded dream; but it is none the less historical. Without it, the play would be only a sensational tale of a girl who was burnt; leaving the spectators plunged in horror, despairing of humanity. The true tale of Saint Joan is a tale with a glorious ending; and any play that did not make this clear would be an insult to her memory."
The Ashland University production will feature senior theatre major Taylor Stepp (Atwater, Ohio) in the title role as Joan while her fellow classmate Benjamin Isaiah Black (Akron, Ohio) portrays three characters including Robert de Beadricourt, Bluebeard and Cauchon. Sophomore cast members include Logan Baker (Reynoldsburg, Ohio) as the Page, Ladvenu and the Archbishop; Andrea Disch (East Liverpool) as Steward, La Hire and the Executioner; and Kayla Gowdy (Hebron) as Duchess, Page, Canon Courcelles and Gentleman. Several freshman in the cast are Kristin Allman (Pataskala) as Earl of Warwick and Archbishop; Joseph Guadiz (Cleveland) as King Charles and the Inquisitor; Phoebe Lammert (Cleveland Heights) as La Tremouille and Soldier; Thomas Nesbitt (Mansfield) as Bertand Poulengey and Chaplain; and Jake Riley (Wooster) as Dunois and D'Estivet.
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 junior Kayleigh Shaw (Mentor) as the assistant lighting designer. Freshmen Ellyn Kilpatrick (Rocky River) and Mary Joyce Myers (St. Joseph, Missouri) are the show's stage manager and assistant stage manager, respectively.
The "Inside the Season" pre-show talk for “Saint Joan” will be held Friday, October 10, 6:45 p.m. in Hugo Young Theatre. Dr. Durbin-Ames will lead the pre-show talk giving audience members the inside story as they learn more about the production and its creators
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: $38 for adults; $32 for senior citizens, Ashland University faculty, staff and alumni; and $16 for non-AU students. Single tickets are: $12 for adult; $10 for senior citizens, AU faculty, staff and alumni; $8 for groups of 10 or more, $5 for non-AU students, and $2 for Ashland University students with ID.
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, which has been ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category, 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. ###
Associate Professor of Theatre Teresa Durbin-Ames