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Hitchhiking Off the Map Hits Juniata Stage

(Posted October 24, 2000)

The theatrical journey "Hitchhiking Off the Map," will be performed by Independent Eye Theatre at 8:15 p.m., Monday, October 30 in Oller Hall on the Juniata College campus. Created by Conrad Bishop and Elizabeth Fuller, the production whisks the audience through six micro-plays about transforming journeys ? across continents, to the shopping mall, up a volcano, and down the basement stairs to the Underworld.

Tickets are $3 for students and $5 for general admission. They can be purchased at the Information Desk in the Ellis Hall lobby or at the door the night of the performance.

Independent Eye Theatre uses many storytelling forms? realism, puppetry, cabaret, etc.? to reflect shared human experience and devotes itself to creating new visions through the art of theatre. Bishop and Fuller opened the Eye in 1974 in Chicago?s Body Politic Theatre, focusing on national touring and presenting hundreds of shows annually over its first ten years.

After several moves throughout Pennsylvania, the Eye now resides in Sebastopol, California. In 25 seasons, the Eye completed 69 stage productions, including 44 Eye-created works and 12 premieres by other writers. The group created eight commissioned plays, produced four videos, three radio drama series and two radio documentaries heard over 90 public stations. The group brought theatre to hundreds of locales in 34 states. It receives regular support from the National Endowment for the Arts and from the Philadelphia Theatre Initiative of the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Bishop and Fuller, both the founders, producers, directors, and actors of the Independent Eye Theatre, have quite a list of individual accomplishments as well. Bishop has directed more than 100 productions for professional and college theatres. Fuller has created 45+ theatre scores and was twice recipient of Philadelphia?s Barrymore Award for music scores. They both were co-founders of Milwaukee?s Theatre X and have worked together for 38 years.

Besides touring, the Eye conducts residencies with colleges and high schools and develops collaborative productions with many theatres. In accordance with this, the Independent Eye Theatre will be returning to Juniata for the Spring 2001 semester for five weeks of residency to produce a science fiction fantasy with Juniata students. The play, entitled "Realists," will have multiple manifestations: a large cast version created at Juniata; a "trio" version which will become part of the Independent Eye Theatre national touring repertory; an audiodrama which will be recorded for broadcast on Public Radio; and a prose narrative for publication. In addition to the play, The Independent Eye Theatre will also teach classes and offer workshops during their residence at Juniata.

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