Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Students invited to perform at Kennedy Center Festival
Oakland University students will perform “Urinetown” at the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival’s Great Lakes Regional Conference Jan. 10-16 on the campus of Illinois State University. The musical, staged at Oakland’s campus during the fall 2005 season, was one of only 11 performances chosen from about 60 entries in the five-state region.
In “Urinetown,” a hit Broadway musical comedy by Mark Hollman and Greg Kotis, residents of the title city are faced with a drought that forces the outlaw of private toilets. Public pay-toilets controlled by an unscrupulous company become the only option. “Urinetown” both spoofs and pays tribute to the American musical while presenting social commentary on crisis and class struggle.
OU’s performance is directed by Michael Gillespie; musical director is Fred Love. Both are professors of theatre at OU. For Gillespie, the invitation to perform at the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival is “regional recognition of very fine work. The mission of the festival is to promote excellence in university theatre across the nation. Being selected attests to the quality of Oakland’s program and brings distinction to its students.”
Oakland University also received additional accolades from the festival. Ten OU students were nominated for Irene Ryan Acting Scholarships and senior Robert Arbaugh was nominated for a student director scholarship award. Nominees will compete for the awards at the festival.
“V-Chip,” a 10-minute play by Linda Curatolo, publicist for OU’s Department of Music, Theatre and Dance, also will be honored with production at the festival. More than 50 Oakland students and faculty will travel to Illinois for the regional conference.
A benefit performance of “Urinetown” will be held Saturday, Jan. 7, at 7 p.m. in Varner Studio Theatre on OU’s campus. Funds raised will help defray student costs for the trip to Illinois. Tickets are $25 for unreserved seating or $50 for preferred seating. To purchase tickets, call (248) 370-3013 or e-mail email@example.com