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News Release

Moravian College Theatre Company Offers A New Season of Performances

Faust in FranceBethlehem, Pa., September 17, 2012—The Moravian College Theatre Company (MCTC) will offer an array of performances during the year that include a workshop, play readings, a student cabaret, and two full-scale theatre productions.

Moravian College hosts a workshop, Unpacking Classical Text, conducted by Joe Discher, Associate Artistic Director, New Jersey Shakespeare on Saturday, October 6, 1-4 p.m. Inspired by the absurdities of life in Eastern Europe under Communism, the play follows looks at an organization encumbered by a bureaucracy that is out of control. The playwright, Vaclav Havel, became president of Czechoslovakia in 1989 and guided the country through its division into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993, when he became president of the Czech Republic.

“This topic was selected due to the several connections that exist between Moravian and Havel,” said Christopher Shorr, director of theatre at Moravian. “The College has its roots in Czechoslovakia, where the Moravian Church was founded, and where John Amos Comenius—on whose educational philosophy the College is modeled—was born. In 1991, President Havel came to Moravian College to rededicate the statue of Comenius on Main Street.” Additionally, Shorr has a long-standing interest in Eastern European theatre. He lived and worked in the Prague during Havel’s presidency. When Havel died at the end of 2011, the decision was made to include one of his plays at Moravian in the following season.

The season continues with Faust in France, a new play by Moravian’s Christopher Shorr, running Thursday-Saturday, November 1-3, at 8 p.m. and on Sunday, November 4, at 2 p.m. in the Arena Theatre. This play is a classical adaptation based on Christopher Marlowe’s classical tragedy “Doctor Faustus.” In the trenches of World War One, with bombs bursting overhead, a German scientist, John Faust, tries desperately to crack the riddle of creating poison gas. When all else fails, he turns to the evil Mephistophilis for help. Selling his soul for the secret, Faust is condemned to live with the murderous consequences of his actions.

Also coming this season, MCTC will continue its Friday Night Play Reading Series, in which the company brings readings of intriguing plays, and invites the audience to stay after each reading for a discussion about the play. All readings are free and begin at 8 p.m. in the Arena Theatre. The plays will include adult content. The series begins with George Bernard Shaw’s Mrs. Warren’s Profession on Friday, September 21. Middle-aged Mrs. Warren runs a string of successful brothels. Her daughter, Vivie—a modern young woman—is shocked to discover the source of her mother's wealth. The clash of these two strong-willed but culturally constrained Victorian women is the spark that ignites the ironic wit of one of George Bernard Shaw's classic plays, a withering critique of male domination, sexual hypocrisy, and societal convention.

Next in the series is a reading of Neil Simon’s Laughter on the 23rd Floor, on Friday, November 9. This play was inspired by the playwright's youthful experience as a staff writer on Sid Caesar's Your Show of Shows, with all the attendant comic drama as the harried writing staff frantically scrambles to top each other with gags while competing for the attention of star madman Max Prince.

Closing the Friday Night Play Reading Series is Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest on Friday, April 12. This play, set in 1890s London is about two young gentlemen who use the same pseudonym, “Ernest,” to hide their secret rendezvous. Things get complicated when they both fall in love with women while using that name.

The Moravian College Theatre Company will present a Student Cabaret from Thursday, March 21 to Sunday, March 24 in the Arena Theater. All shows will be at 8:00 p.m. except Sunday’s, which will be a 12:00 p.m. matinee. The Cabaret is student initiated, directed, acted, designed and produced. The admission is free, but donations will be accepted and given to charity.

The last production of the season is The Memorandum on Thursday-Saturday, February 21-23, at 8 p.m. and on Sunday, February 24, at 2 p.m. in the Arena Theatre. Inspired by the absurdities of life in Eastern Europe under Communism, the play follows an organization encumbered by a bureaucracy that is out of control.

Tickets are $15 general admission; $10 student/seniors; $5 Moravian College faculty/staff; and $3 Moravian College students and can be purchased online at www.lvartsboxoffice.org, or at the door if available. For more information about show times, auditions, or for directions to performance locations, call 610-861-1489 extension 3 or visit www.moravian.edu/theatre. Moravian College encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. Anyone who anticipates needing any type of accommodation or who has questions about the physical access provided should contact Kathi Roman at Katro@moravian.edu or 610 625-7880.

Moravian College is a private, coeducational, selective liberal arts college located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Tracing its founding to 1742, it is recognized as America's sixth-oldest college. Moravian partners with students to build a strong foundation for their future. Visit the College’s Web site at www.moravian.edu.