Campus News

View Year

Juniata Theatre Production 'Dorian Gray' Hits Festival Circuit

(Posted June 2, 2014)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- The Juniata College Theatre Department's Gravity Partners production of "The Picture (of Dorian Gray)" has been chosen for the 2015 New York International Fringe Festival, which will runs from Aug. 13 through Aug. 29, 2015 in New York City.

"This is one of the most prestigious theatre festivals in the world," says Neal Utterback, assistant professor of theatre and director of the production. "Off Broadway and Broadway productions such as 'God Sees God' and 'Urinetown' all emerged from the Fringe Festival, so this is a tremendous opportunity for our students."

"This is one of the most prestigious theatre festivals in the world. Off Broadway and Broadway productions such as 'God Sees God' and 'Urinetown' all emerged from the Fringe Festival, so this is a tremendous opportunity for our students."
Neal Utterback, assistant professor of theatre

The Gravity Partners is Juniata College Theatre's professional ensemble, which has a holistically intertwined mission: to teach and learn theatre, to devise and develop productions, and to tour and share plays and performances. The ensemble features, professional actors, and technical directors, as well as current Juniata students as well as recent graduates.

Utterback's production is currently at the 6th Annual Planet Connections Theatre Festivity, which runs through June 8 at the Paradise Factory in New York City. The Paradise Factory and its Theatre Festivity are overseen by actor/director Tom Noonan, best known for this work in films such as "Manhunter" and "Heat," as well as television shows such as "Damages," "The Blacklist" and "Hell on Wheels."

"The festival has a very clear mission on integrating theatre performance, social activism and environmental consciousness," Utterback says, "Every production chooses a charity to raise money for and is strongly encouraged to find creative ways to be more eco-friendly. All of the profits from our ticket sales will go to support GLAAD. We are also maximizing social media to reduce our material consumption for publicity."

The New York Fringe Festival uses a jury-based selection process to choose the lineup of productions. The festival was founded in 1997.

"The Picture of Dorian Gray" is adapted from the only novel written by Oscar Wilde. The plot centers upon a handsome young man who has his portrait painted by and up-and-coming young artist. Soon both men become enthralled by another man, who preaches that beauty and hedonism are the only things worth pursuing.

The Juniata production takes Wilde's novel and combines the plot with details from "de Profundis," Wilde's final letter to his lover, written while Wilde was serving a prison sentence. "The production examines the blurry line between artist and art, our consumer consumption and objectification of youth, and the lust for individual pleasures," explains Neal Utterback, assistant professor of theatre and director of the production. "It also asks 'How far would you go to get everything you wanted?'"

The production will feature original music by Gabriel Gould, a central Pennsylvania-based composer.

Juniata students will comprise the cast, including, Jessica Denison, a senior from Cooperstown, N.Y.; Jamison Monella, a junior from Morrisdale, Pa.; Andrew Kilpatrick, a senior from Johnstown, Pa.; Phil Oberholzer, a senior from Shippensburg, Pa.; and Alyssa Newberg, a sophomore from Derwood, Md.

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