Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Pioneer women weave a mosaic of life in Goshen College musical ‘Quilters,’ May 18-20
GOSHEN, Ind. – The struggles and joys of frontier life for women will come to life at Goshen College with the production of the musical “Quilters” by the college’s music and theater departments on the Umble Center stage May 18, 19 and 20 at 7:30 p.m.
In this culmination of the May Term Musical Theater class, the departments are collaborating through the direction of Professor of Music Debra Brubaker and Professor of Theater Doug Liechty Caskey to present the stories, dances and songs of pioneer women that lead to the creation of their quilts in this musical drama by Molly Newman and Barbara Damashek and based on the book “The Quilters: Women and Domestic Art” by Patricia Cooper and Norma Bradley Allen.
Ostensibly the story of a pioneer woman and her six daughters, “Quilters” blends a series of interrelated scenes into a rich mosaic which captures the sweep and beauty, the terror and joy, the harsh challenge and abiding rewards, of frontier life. The action depicts the lot of women on the frontier: girlhood, marriage, childbirth, spinsterhood, twisters, fire, illness and death. But there is also love, warmth, rich and lively humor, and the moving spectacle of simple human dignity and steadfastness in the face of adversity.
In the end, when the various patches are assembled into one glorious, brilliantly colorful quilt, the effect is both breathtaking and magical – and a theatrical masterstroke which will linger in the mind and memory long after the house lights have dimmed.
“The collaborative nature of quiltmaking most directly parallels our approach to this show as a musical theater production. You just can’t make a quilt by yourself and musical theater is one of the most collaborative art forms there is,” said Liechty Caskey.
In the cast: senior Adrienne Nesbitt (Goshen), sophomore Angie Noah (Bay City, Mich.), senior Fjaere Harder (Mountain Lake, Minn.), sophomore Jenni Miller (Goshen), first-year Kate Friesen (Freeman, S.D.), sophomore Kristina Mast (Corvallis, Ore.) and senior Sara Thögersen (Goshen). The musicians include Adam Carter-Nafziger, sophomore Elena Histand (Telford, Pa.), Lukas Simpson, first-year Martin Brubaker (Goshen) and Rosalyn Troiano.
In the crew: Doug Liechty Caskey (director and producer), Deb Brubaker (music director), Talashia Keim Yoder (choreographer), Jerry Peters (technical director), Chris Seitz (accompanist), Leah Moreno (dramaturg), Alison Brookins (stage manager), Adriel Santiago (set design), Joy Hess (costume design), Jessica Brubaker (light design), Doug Hallman (sound operator), Eileen Hilty (props manager and assistant stage manager), Meg Kennell (hair and make-up design), Grace Magnan (technical director assistant), Deanne Binde (technical director assistant), Patrick Ressler (technical director assistant), Kaitlyn Huber (assistant stage manager), Lindsy Glick (master carpenter), Matt Harms (master carpenter) and Molly Kellogg (light board operator).
Tickets cost $12 for general admission and $8 for students and senior citizens. They can be reserved by calling the Umble Center box office at (574) 535-7395. The Umble Center is accessible to wheelchairs and people with other physical limitations.
Editors: Photographers can take play preview photos on Wednesday, May 14 at 4 p.m. in Umble Center during rehearsal. Call Doug Liechty Caskey to confirm at (574) 535-7393. For more information about this release or to arrange an interview, contact Goshen College News Bureau Director Jodi H. Beyeler at (574) 535-7572 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Goshen College, established in 1894, is a four-year residential Christian liberal arts college rooted in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. The college’s Christ-centered core values – passionate learning, global citizenship, compassionate peacemaking and servant-leadership – prepare students as leaders for the church and world. Recognized for its unique Study-Service Term program, Goshen has earned citations of excellence in Barron’s Best Buys in Education, Colleges of Distinction,” “Making a Difference College Guide” and U.S.News & World Report’s America’s Best Colleges” edition, which named Goshen a “least debt college.” Visit www.goshen.edu.