(Posted February 9, 2015)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College's theatre department will show the cosmic side of non-urban life in "Middletown," a simple and compelling play that delves deep into the trials and tribulations of a small American town, at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 19-21, and Thursday, Feb. 26-28 in the Suzanne von Liebig Theatre located on Juniata's campus.

The Juniata theatre program uses a "Pay What You Can" ticket plan. To make reservations go to Juniata's Tixato.com account. Reservations are free and secure the seat for that evening's performance. Patrons can pick up tickets and, then, "Pay What You Can." The recommended ticket price is $10, but patrons are also welcome to pay nothing -- or $100. Patrons should pay what they can afford or whatever they believe the work is worth.

It's the kind of funny that sneaks up on you. The actors break the fourth wall all the time and there are all these surprises that happen at any given moment."

Kate Clarke, associate professor of theatre, director

Directed by Kate Clarke, assistant professor of theatre, "Middletown" is a 2010 play written by Will Eno that investigates how people find their place in the world while coping with how life started and how it all ends.

"The play itself is based in the metaphysical, which means it's a meditation on birth and death and all the normal things that happen in between," says Clarke, "There's a central friendship and love between these two characters, but it's also very funny. It's the kind of funny that sneaks up on you. The actors break the fourth wall all the time and there are all these surprises that happen at any given moment."

"Middletown" offers both a dramatic effect and a comedic flair as it explores a friendship between John Dodge and newcomer, Mary Swanson. Middletown residents experience the journey of life and death while their different paths cross in several unique ways.

The story uses astrological elements to bring the cosmic world into the play. Combining these features with real, human emotions will allow the audience to see deeper into the lives of the characters. Clarke is putting her own spin on the staging of "Middletown."

"There's going to be some dance and movement that's happening with the actors," says Clarke, "This is going to be the place where I do something a little different, but the scenes are actually rather quiet. They're conversations between people, like a monologue and the objects in this play will be everyday items such as a phone or a book."

The cast for "Middletown" is as follows:

Megan Smith, a senior from Scranton, Pa.; Andrew Kilpatrick, a senior from Johnstown, Pa.; Julia LaPlante, a sophomore from State College, Pa.; Jamison Monella, a junior from Morrisdale, Pa.; Alyssa Newberg, a junior from Derwood, Md.; Patrick Rutledge, a junior from Dubois, Pa.; Jacob Sinclair, a junior from Mount Airy, Md.; Elijah Hall, a sophomore from Felton, Del.; Kiah Mahy, a senior from Silver Spring, Md.; Will Bernard Rubio, a sophomore from Boston, Mass.; Holly Souchack, a junior from Scarsdale, N.Y.; and Julia Mathis, a junior from Collegeville, Pa.

Contact Gabe Welsch at welschg@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.