Bold Theatrical Undertaking, "Seven Sins,"
Premieres at MCCC Nov. 9-18

10/16/07


A unique collaborative performance event premieres at MCCC in November. Created by students, faculty, alumni and professional award-winning guest artists, "Seven Sins" features four, original one-act plays and three dance numbers in a production that is "every bit as fanciful, dramatic, raunchy, and deadly as the sins themselves," according to MCCC Theatre Program Coordinator Jody Person, the show's creative director and producer. "Seven Sins" will be performed on Fridays and Saturdays, November 9, 10, 16, and 17 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 18 at 2 p.m. in the Studio Theatre, located next to Kelsey Theatre, on Mercer's West Windsor campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road.

"Seven Sins" will offer artistic interpretations of all seven sins, starting with sloth in "Acedia's Sunshine," written by Theatre program graduate Josiah DeAndrea and directed by Louis Wells. The play features Dan O'Boyle as Trey, Stephanie Landau as Laura, and Michael V. Mitchell as Neil. The plot centers on Trey, who, convinced he is learning nothing in college, gives up on his classes, his best friend, his girlfriend, and even getting up to go to the bathroom. Only two things will get him to move: A full refund of his college tuition or the fulfillment of an unusual fantasy involving a unicorn. But given the absence of sympathetic college administrators and available unicorns, how will his friends break Trey's funk and get him to move?

"Envy," a dance number conceived and choreographed by MCCC dance instructor Janell Byrne, features students Benita Baron, Ricki Hearns, Molly Restine, Jessica Ristow, Anne Marie Ryfinski and Victor Ruiz. The piece explores the quest for knowledge, creativity, strength and beauty. Everyone wants these traits and may envy those who have them, but how far would we go to achieve what we lack?

The sin of pride will be explored in "John Brown's Bodies," written by Lou J Stalsworth and directed by NYC guest artist Michole Biancosino. The play features Dan Lownie as the Inquisitor, Maureen Hackett as Mary Brown, Keith Harper, Jr., as Frederick Douglass, Keenan McDonald as John Brown. Chorus members include Doreen Griffin, Latoya Hill, Abena Oferi-Atta and DeHaven Rogers. Based on actual historical events, "John Brown's Bodies" follows the fall of John Brown, a militant white abolitionist in 19th century America, and asks disturbing questions about Brown's legacy in light of the terrorist attacks of 9-11. How far is too far when fighting for one's beliefs? What is the true cost of liberty and justice for all?

Lust will be explored in "A Sin Worth Immortality," a dance conceived and choreographed by MCCC dance student Erik A. Rojas and featuring students Katie Proietti, Molly Restine, Ricki Hearns, Anne Marie Ryfinski, Benee Williams and Benita Baron (understudy). The classic Brothers' Grimm fairytale, "Hansel and Gretel," meets the vampire novels of Anne Rice in a dark fantasy of lost children experiencing the first rush and chaos of sexual desire.

Greed is examined in "An Arm and a Leg," written by New York playwright Stephen Gnojewski and directed by Louis Wells. The play features Sasha Giboyeaux as Magdalena, James Jaketic as Man 1, and Dan O'Boyle as Man 2. The plot focuses on Magdalena, an illegal immigrant who crosses the Mexican border into the United States to work in a garment factory in order to provide for her family. But with every sacrifice she makes, Magdalena loses more than just piece of mind. In this play, chasing the American Dream demands nothing less than actual human limbs.

Wrath is the subject of the dance number, "Wracollathage," conceived and choreographed by Jody P. Person. It features students David Hamm, Yiraldi Reyes and Emma Warwinsky. From road rage to bullfighting to God's wrath in "Revelations," human fury is thrown on stage in a cacophonous collage.

From left, Emma Warwinsky, Yiraldi Reyes, and David Hamm in "Wrath."
Featured in "John Brown's Bodies" are Abena Ofori-Atta, Latoya Hill, Doreen Griffin, Keegan McDonald, Keith Harper, Jr., Maureen Hackett and James Jaketic.
From left, Victor Ruiz, Benita
Barron, Ricki Hearns, and
Anne Marie Ryfinski in "Envy."
From left, Anne Marie Ryfinski, Ricki Hearns, Benita Barron, Katie Proietti, and Molly Restine in "Lust."

"Tyler and the Seven-Legged Lamb, or EAT," by New York playwright Peg Were, looks at gluttony. Directed by Michole Biancosino, the play features Melanie Britten as Sadie, Clayton Gage as Mike, and Ben Knight as Tyler. Two orphaned brothers, Mike and Tyler, are quietly reeling from the death of their parents two years earlier. Mike is doing his best to put food on the table and take care of his precocious brother Tyler. But when Mike becomes romantically involved with a young chef named Sadie, Tyler acts out, refusing to eat and getting suspended from school - because, he says, he wants to save a seven-legged lamb. The real reasons are, in fact, deeper and more troubling than either brother is willing to admit, and when Sadie intervenes with a new recipe, they are forced to confront their issues head-on.

Other students majoring in the arts are also involved in "Seven Sins." Under the guidance of Photography Program Coordinator Michael Dalton and drawing/painting instructor Lucas Kelly, visual art students are creating images of the seven deadly sins that will be projected on stage during scene changes, replacing the more usual musical scene transitions. Students include Katrina Brooks, Rachel Dubrow, Greg Gentert, Kathleen Henry, Adam Kaplan, Jennifer Manukas, Leslee McCall, Amanda Brooks, Todd Goldberg and John Berkenkopf. Entertainment Technology students, under the direction of Program Coordinator Bob Terrano, are in charge of all lighting, sound and stage management. Chris Ghaffoor is the lighting designer for "Wracollathage," "Acedia's Sunshine," and "An Arm and A Leg." Jillian Donchak and Nicole Schlunick are stage managing the plays, and Max Nagy is doing double duty as stage manager for the entire event. Person estimates that more than 50 students are contributing in various ways to the show.

Tickets for the "Seven Sins" are $12 for adults, $10 seniors/students, and $5 for MCCC students, faculty, and staff. Tickets are available online through Kelsey Theatre at www.kelseytheatre.net or by calling the box office at (609) 570-3333. Purchases via computer may be made up to one hour prior to curtain time. Tickets may also be purchased by calling the Kelsey Box Office at 609-570-3333. Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible and provides assisted listening devices upon request. Free parking is available next to the theater.

Learn more about Fine Arts degree programs at Mercer County Community College by visiting:

Theatre Program
Dance Program
Entertainment Technology Program
Photography Program

For more on arts events at MCCC visit:

2007-08 Kelsey Theatre Season
Exhibits at the MCCC Gallery

Directions to MCCC

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