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Middlebury's Potomac Theatre Project to perform three shows in New York City

June 20, 2008

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - The Potomac Theatre Project, under the direction of Middlebury College Professors Cheryl Faraone and Richard Romagnoli and Jim Petosa, Director of Boston University's School of Theatre, will present its 22nd repertory season Off Broadway starting July 1.

Twenty-six students, alumni and faculty from Middlebury College will be in the company for three productions: Howard Barker's "Scenes From An Execution," Sarah Kane's "Crave" and the New York premier of Neal Bell's "Somewhere in the Pacific."

Tony Award-nominated actress Jan Maxwell will join the company in her third collaboration with the Potomac Theatre Project, along with nine other professional actors and stage managers from New York City. Being a part of the celebrated political theatre company that has been nominated for seven Helen Hayes Awards is a valuable experience for Middlebury students interested in acting careers.

"For the past 20 years, the students who've worked with PTP have cited this opportunity as challenging to them in ways that performing with their peers could never be," Farone said. "They get significant insights into the life and process of professional artists and form relationships which will be of immense help to them as they enter the professional world."

"This is unlike any other opportunity for undergraduates," said 2008 graduate Justine Katzenbach. "PTP gives you the chance to decide if you've chosen the right career path. And if you do decide to go ahead with your choice, it gives you a taste of exactly what it's like to work professionally."

The company will be in residence July 1-26 at the Atlantic Stage 2 Theater located at 330 West 16th Street in Manhattan.

"Crave," directed by Faraone, and "Somewhere in the Pacific," directed by Jim Petosa, will run as a doubleheader and begin previews July 1 for a July 6-26 run. Cast members include Middlebury College alumni Adam Ludwig of the class of 1993, Stephanie Janssen of the class of 1997, Michael Doyle of the class of 1998, John Stokvis of the class of 2005 and Macleod Andrews of the class of 2007. Rishabh Kashyap, Stephanie Strohm and Alec Strum, who all graduated in 2008, are also cast members.

"Crave" is a fiery exploration of English playwright Sarah Kane's seared and segmented inner self, with four actors delivering impassioned monologues and engaging in fevered dialogue, never making eye contact.

"Somewhere in the Pacific" takes place on a troopship at the end of World War II. The ship's captain is haunted by the death of his son in battle; the young Marines under his command are terrified and restless as they are stalked by an invisible enemy. Sex and violence underpin every interaction.

"Scenes from an Execution," directed by Romagnoli, will begin previews July 3 for a July 6- 26 run. Cast members include Rachel Ann Cole, Allison Corke, Willie Orbison, Jordan Tirrell-Wysocki and Justine Katzenbach, who all graduated in 2008. Will Damron and Lucy Faust, both 2009 graduates, and former Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance Peter Schmitz are also cast members. Assistant Professor of Theatre Alex Draper will play the role of the Doge of Venicee.

In "Scenes from an Execution," a 15th century Venetian painter (Jan Maxwell) is commissioned by the State of Venice to portray the Battle of Lepanto, a naval battle described as the greatest triumph of Venetian history. Her canvas depicts quite a different interpretation, however, and provokes a battle over truth, artistic freedom, and responsibility.

The design and production team includes Laura Eckelman of the class of 2006, Franny Bohar of the class of 2008, Ben Schiffer of the class of 2010, Professor of Theatre Mark Evancho, Associate Technical Director Hallie Zieselman and Costume Designer Jule Emerson.

Tickets are $24 and are available at or by phone at 212-279-4200. Student and senior tickets are $16 and can be purchased by phone or at the box office. Members of the Middlebury community may use the code "ptp1" when ordering to receive a further discount.

For details about the company, visit