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Theatre and Dance Celebrates KSC Centennial Next Season

The Keene State College Theatre and Dance Department will commemorate the college’s centennial during its 2009-10 season with a comedy that harkens back to KSC’s beginnings as a women’s teaching college and a reprisal of a musical that christened the Redfern Arts Center main stage. The season will include a drama about family life and will end with a 35-year-old tradition of a modern dance concert.

_Eleemosynary_ by Lee Blessing opens the season October 20-24 at 7:30 p.m., with 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. shows on the 24th, in the Wright Theatre. Directed by PeggyRae Johnson, Eleemosynary focuses on three generations of women who are exploring the difficult territory of self identity and family acceptance as they grapple with over 50 years of cultural changes.

Eleemosynary means “of or relating to charity, the giving of alms,” and the play is part vocabulary lesson, part dramatic family saga, and part comic narrative. The play combines the emotional effect of 60 years’ worth of society’s limitations and expectations on a grandmother, daughter, and granddaughter with the inevitable missteps in communication between three strong-willed women, each eccentric in her own way. The result is an insightful and humorous play that speaks volumes of our past, present, and future.

A reprisal of _The Threepenny Opera_ was chosen as the department’s bi- annual musical, because it was the first production presented in the Redfern Arts Center in the spring of 1981. The notorious Bertolt Brecht/Kurt Weill musical will be directed by Ron Spangler, and choreographed by Marcia Murdock on November 18-21 at 7:30 p.m. in the Main Theatre.

The Threepenny Opera is a masterpiece of musical theater that grew out of its writers’ experience of Weimar Germany, the period between the World Wars when Germany struggled to establish a working democracy. First performed in Berlin in 1928, Brecht creates a world of beggars, thieves, and prostitutes in which there is no honor; every character would sell out any other if an advantage is to be gained. The play is a biting commentary on capitalism and explores the battle for superiority (morally and monetarily) of the classes - issues seemingly at the forefront of the current global economic conditions.

_A Lie of the Mind_ by Sam Shepard will be performed March 3-6, 2010, at 7:30 p.m. in the Main Theatre. Directed by Vaughn West, the drama takes patrons on a ride down the big, bad American road to meet two dysfunctional families connected by the marriage of their children and mutual animosity. The play asks, “How far can one fall before one finds a measure of redemption?”

A Lie Of The Mind examines the deceitful tricks the mind can play and the harsh reality of being surrounded by alcoholism, domestic violence, and emotional instability. The play ties in one very important universal truth: Each person is on a desperate search for love and peace of mind.

_An Evening of Dance_, directed by Marcia Murdock, rounds out the season on April 14-17, 2010, at 7:30 p.m. in the Main Theatre. The evening continues a 35-year tradition of ending the season with a concert dance celebration of choreography and performance. As if to announce that spring is here, this modern dance event presents an exciting collection of faculty, student, and guest artist choreography to inspire, enliven, and enrich its audiences. Each piece in this concert will bring a new perspective that will engage and transport viewers, and each will entertain with the honest beauty of dance.

Tickets for these performances will go on sale July 6 to members of the Redfern Arts Center and will be available to the general public after July 20. To order online, visit or call 603-358-2168.

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Keene, New Hampshire 03435