(Posted September 22, 2008)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College will host a special production of the musical drama "Tootleloo," written by Altoona, Pa. native Tom Sweitzer, at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 2 at Rosenberger Auditorium in the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts.

Tickets for the production are $10 and can be purchased by calling (814) 643-5585 or (814) 944-9434.

The play centers on the hopes and fears of a young boy as his mother battles a fatal illness. The story centers on the family's struggle to face the loss of their mother and how a hospice worker changes how the family looks at illness, love and life,

"Tootleloo" is sponsored by the Home Nursing Agency in Altoona, Pa. Loudon, who based the play on his mother's own struggle with illness, worked with the agency's hospice services during his mother's illness.

The play is introduced by Willard Scott, longtime weatherman for NBC's "Today Show," and Scott also delivers a final monologue using recorded voiceovers.

Sweitzer also created a musical based on Altoona called "Porches." Other plays he's written include "Sight" and "Snow Queen," an adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson's story. He is artistic director of the Creative Youth Theater Foundation.

He earned a bachelor's degree in theatre from Shenandoah University in Winchester, Va., and has performed in community and summer stck theatre companies such as the Allegheny Highlands Regional Theatre and the Allenberry Playhouse.
Sweitzer, a resident of Loudon, Va., has previously staged the play for Capital Hospice of Loudon County. "Tootleloo" also will be staged at 8 p.m. at the Mishler Theater in downtown Altoona.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.