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Catawba College Presents "Machine Play or I'm Not Nadine"

October 13, 2006

Category: Events, Theatre Arts


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The Catawba College Theatre Arts Department will offer the world premiere of an original play by College Writer-in-Residence Janice Moore Fuller, "Machine Play or I'm Not Nadine," October 25-29 in Hedrick Theatre on campus. The play, directed by Dr. Beth Homan, assistant professor of theatre arts, was workshopped this summer by Catawba College students and faculty who traveled to Estonia expressly for that purpose.

The play examines the unique relationships that women across time have negotiated with a variety of machines, from household appliances and office machines to fantasy machines, transportation, and finally, hospital machines. The play's five short acts correspond to these types of machines.

Through its combination of movement, dialogue, and original music, this experimental play also considers larger questions: How do machines affect the female body?   Do women have specifically gendered relationships with machines?   Have machines liberated or oppressed women?

The play's five female performers and one lone male use an assemblage of historical and imagined voices to create a montage of eerily familiar stage images. These images challenge the audience to consider the complex ways in which we interact with the machines that have become extensions of both our material and psychological lives.

Professors Fuller (English) and Homan (Theatre Arts) and 10 theatre arts students spent a two-week collaborative residency in June at the Polli Talu Arts Center in Estonia developing Fuller's original dramatic text. Joining the company there were Polly Boersig, a professional costume designer and LSU faculty member, and Sean Meyers, a professional photographer who documented the experience.

Cast members for the production include juniors Jordan Danz of Mequon, Wis., and Justin Johnson of Fuquay-Varina as Electricity; sophomore Gracie Greenbaum of Tolland, Conn.; senior Amy Guenther of Asheville; Guerin Piercy of Swannanoa; senior Meredith Fox of Elon; and senior Caitlin Heinen of Wauwatosa, Wis.

Crew members include senior Joey Yow of High Point as assistant director; sophomore Diana Hagler of Charlotte as stage manager; freshman Brittany Bland of Alpharetta, Ga., as assistant stage manager; senior Kaitlyn Gemmell of Micanopy, Fla., lighting designer; senior Jessica Moretti of Charlotte, scenic designer; senior William Randall of Tifton, Ga., sound designer/engineer; junior Sam Brooks of Seaford, Va., assistant costume designer; senior Joe Castillo of San Antonio, Texas, props master; senior Danielle Papet of Glassboro, NJ, publicity; and sophomore Jesse Hunter of Atlanta, Ga., media tech.

Polly Boersig serves as guest costume designer for the production, while Cliff Retallick of Faith, a recent M.F.A. graduate from the N.C. School of the Arts, is the composer of the original musical score.

Performances of "Machine Play or I'm Not Nadine" are offered at 6:55 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25; at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 26-28; and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29 in Hedrick Theatre on campus. Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students and senior citizens and group rates are available. For details, contact the Catawba College Box Office at 704-637-4481.

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