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Colby-Sawyer College Production of 'Spoon River Anthology' Theater Production Rescheduled for March 14, 15 Due to Power Outage

NEW LONDON, N.H. – Colby-Sawyer College has rescheduled its stage adaptation of “Spoon River Anthology,” in which the ghosts of the townspeople, free in death, return to share their stories and the secrets they guarded in life, shattering myths of idyllic small-town life in America along the way. The original performance dates were cancelled due to massive power outages in the state and on campus.

“Spoon River Anthology,” a collaborative production by the college's Fine and Performing Arts Department and the Sunapee-Kearsarge Intercommunity Theatre (S.K.I.T.), has been rescheduled for Sunday, March 14, and Monday, March 15, at 8 p.m. at Sawyer Center Theatre. Those who wish to request ticket refunds should contact Campus Activities at (603)526-3975. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students and children, and free with a Colby-Sawyer I.D.

The play is based on Charles Aidman's adaptation of Edgar Lee Masters' Spoon River Anthology, a collection of short free-form poems published in 1915. Delivered by 144 characters, the poems serve as epitaphs that reveal the truth of these characters' lives in the fictional town of Spoon River. The play, like the book, is unconventional in style and content, and requires its audience to piece together fragments of individual poems to form a narrative uncovers the complex realities of life in a small town.

Directed by Joshua M. Galligan, adjunct assistant professor of Fine and Performing Arts, the production features an ensemble that includes S.K.I.T. veteran actors Alice Field, Charley Freiberg, Jay Lambert, Bonnie Lewis and Kevin Tarleton, in collaboration with Colby-Sawyer students Travis Carlson, Margaret McCarthy, Kayla Pingree and Megan Ruggiero. Each actor plays about eight different roles, all of which revolve around a distinct theme such as lost youth, wisdom, love, enlightenment and honesty.

Michael Lovell, technical director for Fine and Performing Arts, serves as scenic designer and community member Deborah Barton as costume designer. The set evokes an old cemetery, with music, painting and photography wafting through the scenes to underscore the play's changing moods. The costumes, made of transparent materials like chiffon with frayed bits of fabric, convey a sense that the characters are fragments of the people and images they represent. Director Galligan describes the production as an “original and fresh version of a notable classic” in which he seeks to illustrate the timeless essence of characters whom fate has drawn together and whose past lives may serve to inform and revitalize the present.

“Spoon River Anthology” is S.K.I.T.'s second production as the Theatre Company in Residence at Colby-Sawyer College for the 2009-2010 academic year. The partnership has created opportunities for the college community to work more closely with a community theater program and local residents, as well as expanded the potential audience for its productions. S.K.I.T. benefits from the participation of the college's students, staff and faculty, and gains greater access to the resources provided by the Sawyer Center Theatre. The partnership also engages members of the Colby-Sawyer Players, a student organization, in college-community productions.

The “Spoon River Anthology” production marks the directorial debut at Colby-Sawyer College for Galligan, who has worked professionally as an actor, director, educator and costume designer across the country. He holds a M.F.A. from Virginia Commonwealth University in Theatre Pedagogy with concentrations in Acting, Directing, Voice and Speech. His performance credits include dozens of plays ranging from “As You Like It” and “The Crucible” to “The Laramie Project” and “Tuesdays with Morrie.”

S.K.I.T., founded in 1993, is an all-volunteer non-profit group dedicated to fund-raising for area charities and non-profit organizations through theatrical events. S.K.I.T. also provides scholarships to local high school students each spring through it scholarship fund. The group brings a variety of experience and talent to the Colby-Sawyer stage, enriching the experiences of both college and community members as they work in partnership.

Kimberly Swick Slover

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Colby-Sawyer, founded in 1837, is a comprehensive liberal arts and sciences college located in the scenic Lake Sunapee Region of central New Hampshire. Students learn in small classes through a select array of programs that integrate the liberal arts and sciences with professional experience.

Colby-Sawyer College, 541 Main Street, New London, N.H. 03257 (603) 526-3000