'Life and Art' Panel Discussion Offered in Conjunction with Musical Production

2/9/11 ASHLAND, OH -- Ashland University Departments of Theatre and Art collaborate to offer a panel discussion about "Life and Art" in relation to the upcoming production of Stephen Sondheim's musical "Sunday in the Park with George."

The panel will serve as a talkback immediately following the theatre performance on Friday, Feb. 25, in the University's Studio Theatre. While that evening's audience members are welcome to attend, the panel discussion is free and open to the public.

The discussion will focus on how artists create a fulfilling and complete life as artists addressing such questions as:  Is it possible? Can artists have a "life?" What are the compromises? To emphasize that artists' challenges are the same regardless of their medium, panelists represent a variety of art forms including playwright Sarah Morton, actor Lisa Langford and video artist Kasumi.

Sarah Morton is the author of more than a dozen produced plays, including "Dream/Home" (commissioned by Dobama Theatre), 'Safety" (winner, Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award), and her solo piece "4 Minutes to Happy," which she performed at The New York International Fringe festival and for an extended run at Cleveland Public Theatre.

Outside of Cleveland, her work has been produced at Emerging Artists Theatre in NYC, NYC Fringe, The Lincoln Center Directors Lab, and the Annex Theatre Company in Chicago.  Also an actor, she is a two-time recipient of a Times Newspapers Theatre Tribute Award for Outstanding Performance. She also teaches playwriting independently and in many local schools and universities.

Lisa Langford is a graduate of Harvard University and also studied acting at Juilliard and The American Repertory Theatre. She has performed in film ("The Spitfire Grill," "Happiness," "Gloria," directed by Sidney Lumet), television ("Law and Order," "Cosby," "Spin City"), and theater ("Seven Guitars," "A Midsummer's Night Dream," both directed by Tony-nominated director, Marion McClinton). She received a Lucille Lortel nomination and Off-Broadway's Encore Award for Best Actress in the play "Stonewall Jackson's House." In addition to acting, Ms. Langford is also an accomplished writer and is the first African American woman to write for both American Greetings and Hallmark, where she was honored to develop a line of greeting cards with Dr. Maya Angelou.

Kasumi is internationally celebrated as one of the leading innovators of a new art form synthesizing film, sound and video in live performance. She has won global acclaim for her richly expressive and compelling compositions in venues worldwide: from Lincoln Center with The New York Philharmonic to collaborations with Grandmaster Flash and DJ Spooky. She performed and exhibited work at Württembergischen Kunstverein Stuttgart and at the Chroma Festival de Arte Audiovisual in Guadalajara, Mexico, and her newest work, "Breakdown," premiered at Carnegie Hall in concert with the American Composers Orchestra. She was recently awarded an EMPAC Dance Movies Commission 2009- 2010, supported by The Jaffe Fund for Experimental Media and Performing Arts, Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.  Her work, "Quadrascope," premiered with The Cleveland Orchestra in April. "Panoptic Delusions" was featured at The Ingenuity Festival, 2010. Kasumi, executive producer of "Aardvark" the internationally acclaimed feature by young filmmaker, Kitao Sakurai, was named one of Cleveland Magazine's Most Interesting People of 2011. Visit her website at www.kasumivideoart.com<http://www.kasumivideoart.com/>.

This special event coincides with Ashland University Theatre's 2010-2011 "Award-Winning" season presenting Stephen Sondheim's magnificent musical "Sunday in the Park with George."  As one of very few musicals to have won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, this production is directed by Assistant Professor of Theatre Fabio Polanco with music direction by junior music education major Eddie Carney. Performances begin Thursday, Feb. 17, at 7:30 p.m. in Ashland University's Studio Theatre. Evening performances continue on Feb. 18, 19 and 23-26 at 7:30 p.m. with afternoon matinees scheduled on Sundays, Feb. 20 and 27 at 2 p.m.

Reserved seating tickets for "Sunday in the Park with George" are now on sale at the Ashland University Central Box Office. Single tickets are: $10 for adults; $9 for senior citizens, non-Ashland University students, University faculty/staff; $8 for groups of 10 or more; and $2 for Ashland University students.

To purchase tickets, call the Ashland University Central Box Office at 419-289-5125, Monday through Friday, 12:00 AM to 6:00 PM.  For more information, visit the Web site at www.ashland.edu/theatre<http://www.ashland.edu/theatre>, find us on Facebook or contact Tricia Applegate, coordinator of performing arts publicity and events, at 419-289-5950 or tapplega@ashland.edu<mailto:tapplega@ashland.edu>.

Ashland University (www.ashland.edu<http://www.ashland.edu>) is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University 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.