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Alumnae Collaborate with Students in Eleemosynary

KEENE, N.H., 10/03/09 - Keene State College students and alumnae will collaborate in presenting Eleemosynary by Lee Blessing. The KSC Theatre and Dance production will be directed by PeggyRae Johnson, and staged Tuesday through Friday, October 20-23, at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, October 24, at 2 and 7:30 p.m. in the Wright Theatre at the Redfern Arts Center on Brickyard Pond. Admission is $10 for the general public; $8 for KSC staff, senior citizens, and youth ages 17 and younger; and $6 for KSC students. Tickets are available through the box office at 603-358-2168 or online at

In celebration of Keene State’s centennial, the Theatre and Dance Department begins the year with Eleemosynary, which examines the constraints placed upon women seeking advanced education from the early 20th century through the 1980s.

With an appreciation for the art of language, Eleemosynary, which means “charitable,” provides a penetrating study of three generations of women. Though all of them are brilliant, each experiences very different societal expectations regarding the educational possibilities available to them. Each finds her own form of escape through the metaphor of flight and ends up intensifying struggles within the family unit. This poignant, mature, artful, and comedic study of women’s educational and familial relationships highlights the human need for connections and forgiveness. Eleemosynary earned Blessing a 1997 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Writing.

A pre-show talk, “The Status of the Educated Woman throughout the 20th Century,” facilitated by the chair of the KSC Education Department, Shirley McLoughlin, and assisted by Kay McLean, representing the KSC Alumni and Parent Relations Office, will take place on Thursday, Oct. 22, at 6 p.m. in the Harry Davis Room of the Redfern Arts Center. Three generations of local KSC alumnae, (Esther McCarthy Noseck ‘33 of Keene, N.H., Barbara Noseck Gendron ‘63 of Keene, N.H., and Suzanne Gendron Hodgkins ‘85 of Walpole, N.H.), will compare and contrast their inter-generational educational experiences.

The three-woman ensemble cast includes KSC’s Rebecca Holtz ‘13 of Walpole, N.H., as the grandmother, Dorothea; Kimberly Sollows ‘13 of Westford, N.H., as her daughter, Artie; and Allison Lee Relihan ‘12 of Wakefield, Mass., as the granddaughter, Echo. Understudies for the production include Molly Chase ‘11 of Manchester, N.H., and Ashley Simeone ‘12 of Whitefield, N.H. Chris Bell ‘11 of Higganum, Conn., is stage manager, Craig Deming ‘10 of Farmington, Conn., and Molly Chase ‘11 are assistant stage managers, Justin Gray ‘11 of Westford, Mass., and Matt Kohler ‘12 of Marstens Mills, Mass., are designing sound, and Eric Messier ‘12 of Manchester, N.H. is lighting designer.

Several theatre and dance department faculty members are involved in the production: Celine Perron is set and lighting manager; Jenny Fulton is costume designer; Craig Lindsay is technical director; and Daniel Patterson, chair of the Theatre and Dance Department, is production manager.

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