Middlebury

Middlebury College production of "The Bewitched" to be performed at Kennedy Center as part of national competition April 18-19

March 13, 2006

Production received multiple awards at
American College Theatre Festival in February

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - After sweeping many of the awards categories at the regional American College Theatre Festival in Fitchburg, Mass., Feb. 1-5, the Middlebury College Theatre Department advances to the national competition in Washington, D.C., with its production of Peter Barnes' "The Bewitched." The 38th annual Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival will include performances of "The Bewitched" on Tuesday, April 18, and Wednesday, April 19, both at 7 p.m. in the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theatre.
 

"The Bewitched," as performed by the Middlebury College Theatre Department

Premiered by the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1974, "The Bewitched" is a hilarious satire about people who, based on their wealth or religious beliefs, occupy positions of privilege. Bawdy, visceral and vaudevillian, the play explores blind obedience in 16th-century Spain during the reign of Carlos the Second, and features more than 30 actors playing more than 50 roles, with two Middlebury College alumni as guest artists - Alexander Draper, class of 1988, and Michael Doyle, class of 1998. The Middlebury College production marks the play's American premiere and is directed by Professor of Theatre and Department Chair Richard Romagnoli.
 

Scene from "The Bewitched"

The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, established in 1969 by Kennedy Center founding chairman Roger L. Stevens, is a national theatre program involving 18,000 college and university students. It encourages, recognizes and celebrates the finest and most diverse work produced in college and university theatre programs. Each winter, regional festivals showcase the best of each region's entered productions and offer a variety of activities, including workshops, symposia and regional awards programs. A panel of three judges, selected by the Kennedy Center and the festival's national committee, adjudicate regional festival productions. Four to six of the best and most diverse regional festival productions are selected to be showcased in the spring at the Kennedy Center's annual national festival.

Also advancing to the national festival are three individual Middlebury College students and a recent alumna. Junior Laura Harris, a theatre and film major, is an Irene Ryan National Acting finalist, and junior Paul Doyle, a theatre major, is a National Critics' Institute finalist. Senior Christina Galvez, a theatre major, will compete in the national festival with her set design for "The House of Yes" as will 2005 graduate Laura Eckelman, a theatre and physics major, with her lighting design for "The Last Night of Ballyhoo."

Middlebury College Assistant Technichal Director Hallie Zieselman was awarded the faculty fellowship in design, and is scheduled to attend the national festival to participate in workshops and master classes.

This year marks Middlebury's third appearance in the national festival at the Kennedy Center. In 1995, the college presented Howard Barker's "Scenes from an Execution," which was also directed by Romagnoli, and in 1997, the college performed "The Last Supper Restoration," which was written and directed by 1996 graduate Dan O'Brien, who received the Michael Kanin Playwriting Award that year.

Tickets to each performance of "The Bewitched," which is intended for mature audiences, are $5 and go on sale March 20 at the Kennedy Center Box Office, which can be reached at www.kennedy-center.org/tickets/