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convocation photo

A scene from the Domino Players' production of A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams, performed on the Wachovia Theatre stage in April 2012.

Domino Players Perform at Kennedy Center
Theater Festival

The Albright College Domino Players' production of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire was selected to participate in the Kennedy Center American College Theater Region II Festival. The Region II Festival was held at Towson University in January.

The Domino Players originally performed A Streetcar Named Desire in the Wachovia Theatre last April. The production is directed by Jeffrey Lentz '85, Albright artist in residence.

Two seniors in a new playwriting course taught by Matt Fotis, Ph.D., were also recognized at the festival. April Airriona Jones '13 and Jared Mason '13 had their plays accepted for workshops at the festival. Jones' one-act play, Life as an Oreo, and Mason's full-length Locked In were performed.

Founded in 1969, the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival involves more than 600 academic institutions across the country. Regional festivals showcase the finest of each region's entered productions. Judges nominate the highest-rated shows to the annual national festival at the Kennedy Center.

This was Albright's fifth selection to the Region II Festival, which encompasses nine states. The Domino Players were selected as an alternate to the National Festival in 2011 with Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl. Their production of Samuel Becket'sWaiting for Godot was selected to the national festival in 2007.

Did You Know?

The Center for the Arts concluded 2012 as one of the most lauded cultural organizations in the region. In its year-end compilation of the best in Berks County arts, the Reading Eagle cited a February concert by pianist Rebecca Gass Butler, co-chair of the Department of Music, and violinist Christopher Collins Lee, the Reading Symphony Orchestra's concertmaster, as among the top 10 music and dance performances of 2012. The paper also named "Intertwined," exhibited at the Freedman Gallery last spring and summer, as one of the top 10 shows of the year."Intertwined" was guest-curated by Emily Branch, an adjunct instructor of art at the College.

NEA Sends Faculty to El Paso for Interdisciplinary Project

Jeffrey Lentz '85, artist in residence for the Departments of Theatre and Music, and Cocol Bernal, visual artist, were commissioned by the El Paso Museum of Art and the El Paso Opera Company to create and perform a multi-media concert to celebrate an exhibition of paintings from Europe's Golden Age that are currently on display at the El Paso Museum of Art.

Funded by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), this project, "The Birth of Opera," explores the constructural links between the visual, musical and theatrical art created during the early 17th century that gave birth to a new and interdisciplinary art form – opera.

Lentz and Bernal devised a performance project that fused digital images of the exhibition's paintings (with works by artists
such as Rembrandt, Rubens, Breughel and Hogarth) to songs by Igor Stravinsky, Dominick Argento and Roger Quilter, with lyrical
texts by William Shakespeare, Robert Herrick, Ben Jonson, Frances Quarles and W. H. Auden.

In addition to the two public performances of the event itself, Lentz and Bernal produced 12 short lecture concerts for young
audiences as part of the museum's educational outreach program during their 10-day residency.

"The whole point of the project was to offer a museum audience the opportunity to see their beloved art form through the eyes
of a different type of artist," said Lentz. "In return, we gained by absorbing what these audiences had to say about their experience
at the intersection of art and music."

For a visual artist like Bernal, the project presented an additional challenge. "First, I had to have a crash course on learning to follow
really difficult music," she said. "I made the videos to be triggered live in time with the music, so I had to learn to follow along.

"Working with an artist such as Jeff, from a totally different background, is extremely exciting," she said. "He possesses surprising questions that I might never have thought of and that forces me to see beyond my own artistic limitations."

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