Posts tagged ‘Pavilion Theatre’

The Penn Stater Daily — Oct. 4, 2013

From news to features, your daily dose of everything Penn State.

The place to be: The Penn State Centre Stage production of No Place To Be Somebody opens tonight at the Pavilion Theatre at University Park. For longtime Penn State theatre professor Charles Dumas, it’s something of a swan song.

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Dumas (left) as “Sweets,” faces off with “Johnny,” played by Herb Newsome ’02g. Photo by Tina Hay

Dumas is retiring in December, and No Place to be Somebody marks his final Penn State show as a director. He also plays a vital supporting role in the production, which is set in seedy, racially conflicted late ’60s New York City. The play won the 1970 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, making Charles Gordone the first African-American playwright to receive the honor. Based on the preview I attended, it’s tense, heavy stuff, especially challenging for audience members too young to appreciate the tone of race relations in late ’60s America. But it’s tight and well-acted, and I imagine Dumas is quite happy with the idea of challenging his audience.

No Place to be Somebody runs tonight through Oct. 10.

Big-screen hero: Speaking of premieres: Murph: The Protector, a feature-length documentary on the life of Michael Murphy ’98, debuts tonight at the State Theatre in downtown State College. Members of the Penn State ROTC (more…)

October 4, 2013 at 10:06 am 1 comment

Arthur Miller’s ‘All My Sons’ Onstage at Penn State

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Richard Bekins and Jane Ridley as Joe and Kate Keller.

I’ve really grown to love going to dress rehearsals of Penn State theatre productions. The director and crew always are happy to have me bring my camera gear—something that would be forbidden at the actual performances—and I inevitably get engrossed not only in shooting the play but in the play itself.

On Monday night I had a chance to photograph the dress rehearsal for All My Sons, which opens Friday night in the Pavilion Theatre. It’s an Arthur Miller tragedy (I’m thinking that “Arthur Miller tragedy” is a redundancy—did the guy write any happy plays?) set in an American suburb a few years after World War II.

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Penn State MFA acting candidate Lance Beilstein as George Deever, recently back from serving in WW II.

The play centers on two families whose sons were drafted into the war; one of those sons didn’t come back. Complicating the tensions, the fathers—Joe Keller and Steve Deever—once co-owned a manufacturing plant that made airplane parts for the war. The pair were accused of allowing defective parts to be shipped, leading to the deaths of 21 U.S. pilots. One of the fathers was exonerated and the other is still in prison, but from the start of the play, it’s not clear that the right guy is (more…)

October 5, 2011 at 8:49 am Leave a comment

A Sneak Preview of ‘Rent’ at Penn State

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Junior musical theatre major Sarah Ellis as Maureen.

I had a chance last night to see the first half of a dress rehearsal for Rent, the final production of the Penn State Centre Stage season. Better yet, I got to shoot photos. And better than that, I had a partner shooting photos with me: my brother Chris, who is a professional photographer in our hometown of Somerset, Pa.

Chris’ work involves shooting a lot of weddings, portraits of high school seniors, family portraits, and the like. So shooting live theatre was kind of a change of pace for him. We split up—he sat on one side of the theatre and I sat on the other—so we could get the action from more than one angle. And Rent proved to have plenty of action.

It was unlike any other stage performance I’ve seen before. Action is taking place everywhere in the theatre—not just onstage but all above/around it and in the aisles as well. If you’ve seen shows at the Pavilion, you know just how (more…)

April 5, 2011 at 3:34 pm Leave a comment


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