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Juniata Theatre's 'Two Huts' Examines Relationships, Creativity

(Posted March 14, 2011)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Using poetry, dance and drama to delineate the limits and possibilities in creating one's world, Juniata College and its theatre department will stage "Two Huts," an examination of how human beings create, at the Suzanne von Liebig Theatre in the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts.

The production will run at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, March 24, and Friday, March 25, with a 2 p.m. performance Saturday, March 26. Tickets for the production are $7 for adults and $4 for children.

Director Stephanie Skura premiered an earlier version of the production in 2010 and expanded this production, adding the roles of two men. The male actors function as announcers, introducing each scene and offering bits of comic relief.

The production, which showcases four Juniata students in the main roles, was written, directed and choreographed by Stephanie Skura, a founding member of The Gravity Project, Juniata's professional-in-residence theatre group.

Using minimalist staging (the two huts of the title are suggested by lighting), the production follows the thoughts and moods of two women as they write in their journals and, through this act of creation, define their worlds. In addition to the play's dialogue, the women write letters to the world, which are "mailed" out to the audience.

Skura premiered an earlier version of the production in 2010 and expanded this production, adding the roles of two men. The male actors function as announcers, introducing each scene and offering bits of comic relief.

In addition to the dance and dialogue, the current "Two Huts" production also has added a contemporary score of new music, comprised of selections from jazz, world music and alternative rock.

The Juniata students in the cast are as follows:

Sara Deppenbrook, a junior from Beaver Falls, Pa.; Kaetlyn Kuchta, a junior from Shickshinny, Pa.; Quintin Hess, a senior from Princeton, N.J.; and Gary Shoemaker, a freshman from Summerdale, Pa. Student members of the stage crew include: Danielle Zappa, a senior from Massapequa Park, N.Y.; Stefani Milstrey, a junior from Gansevoort, N.Y; Jazmine Jade, a sophomore from Huntingdon, Pa.; and Gustav Redmond, a freshman from Bethesda, Md.

Skura is associate artistic director for The Gravity Project, Juniata's professional theatre ensemble. She also runs her own dance company and has toured in 27 of the United States and 13 countries at major festivals in Zurich, Vienna, Lisbon, Budapest and Canada.

Skura has received seven choreography fellowships and five Dance Company Grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. She has worked as director, choreographer and in other roles on a variety of Juniata productions, including "Nine Gates," "Pippin," "Crispin" and "The Corduroy Prayer."

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