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Juniata Theatre Student Showcase Reveals Art of Acting

(Posted November 14, 2005)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- A troupe of nine student performers will pull the curtain back on how actors and dancers prepare and perform individual scenes in the Juniata College Theatre production "Performance Lab Showcase," which will run at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 18 and Saturday, Nov. 19 in Rosenberger Auditorium in the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts on the Juniata campus.

The performances are free and open to the public.

The performances will reveal how Juniata's new theatre major prepares students to build a performance from the perspectives of acting and movement. The performances also will be linked with some special theatre training provided by four instructors from The Gravity Project, the college's professional theatre teaching group organized by Andrew Belser, associate professor of theatre at Juniata.

"We are sharing with the audience how actors and dramatists build a scene from various perspectives -- acting, movement, staging," he says.

The showcase will feature a variety of original scenes and prepared monologues performed by Juniata students. The scenes will provide insight into how theatre students use specific techniques to prepare for roles. The performances will demonstrate several of the theatrical techniques taught this semester by instructors in The Gravity Project.

Four members of The Gravity Project have taught workshops in theatre this semester: Marika Becz, who teaches voice, acting and movement; Stephanie Skura, who teaches Skinner Releasing and improvisation; Andrew Olewine, who teaches clowning; and Ilse Pfeifer, who is a Fitzmaurice voice teacher.

'In each scene or monologue, the students will put into practice some of the new techniques they've learned from Gravity Project members," Belser explains.

In addition to performing, the students and faculty will demonstrate some of the training and techniques. "There will be some audience participation required," Belser says.

The Juniata students featured in the showcase are: Joshua Beckel, a freshman from Hollidaysburg, Pa.; Tricia Bitetto, a sophomore from Ringoes, N.J.; Casey Chew, a freshman from Phoenixville, Pa.; Monteze Freeland, a freshman from Baltimore, Md.; Thea Lothe, a junior from Exton, Pa.; Megan Monahan, a freshman from Pottstown, Pa.; Jesse Parsons, a sophomore from Roosevelt, N.J.; Adam Vachon, a sophomore from Gray, Maine; and Mandy Yeager, a sophomore from Curwensville, Pa.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.