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MCCC Theatre Students to Perform “Mad Forest,” a Mix of Politics, Family and the Surreal, at Studio Theatre Nov. 8-10


West Windsor, N.J. – Theatre students at Mercer County Community College (MCCC) can count on being challenged every semester.  Their upcoming performance of “Mad Forest” will be no exception, as it takes them and their audience on a journey into the murky minefield of dictatorships, revolutions and social upheaval.

“Mad Forest” will be performed Friday and Saturday, Nov. 8 and 9 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 10 at 2 p.m. Performances take place in The Studio Theatre, located next to Kelsey Theatre on the college’s West Windsor Campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road.

Having just come off “Rosmersholm,” the Ibsen masterwork that intertwined domestic relationships with political realities in late 19th century Norway, students are fast forwarding to the messy politics of late 1980s Romania.  Written by the great British playwright Caryl Churchill, the play encompasses the Romanian Revolution, conversations between dogs and vampires, happy engagements, and angels descending on poor families. 

According to MCCC Associate Professor Jody Person, Coordinator of the Theatre/Dance Program, 14 students will portray more than 40 characters in this demanding, high energy production. “Every theatrical device is employed in this brilliant play, which examines family life within a politically corrupt system,” says Person, who is the show’s producer and is also coaching students on their Romanian accents.  The show is directed by adjunct faculty member Quiche Stone.  Sound and lighting will be carried out by MCCC’s Entertainment Technology students, under the supervision of Program Coordinator Robert Terrano. Sets and costumes are designed by adjunct faculty member Kate Pinner.  The stage manager is second-year student Rachel Garretson.  The play’s poster was designed by Advertising Design student Colin Walsh.

Poster by Advertising Design student Colin Walsh


Person notes that “Mad Forest” provides multi-level learning opportunities for his students.  “The show’s subject matter is new territory for us.  It deals with the complex gray areas of toppling dictators and serves as a political allegory that links several common threads.  While specifically focusing on Romania in the late 1980s, it readily brings to mind incidents detailed in the news during the Arab Spring of recent years.  It is a cautionary political tale.”

The show’s time period is also new for Person's students.  “In the past we have performed classic dramas, tragedies, and comedies, as well as contemporary musicals and plays from the past two decades.  This year we are covering dramatic material from several decades we have never touched – the 1960s to the 1980s.  This will add layers of historical understanding for our students, not only of the dramatic material, but of the world in which we live.”

Tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors, and $14 for students and children.  (Tickets for MCCC students with current IDs are $8.)  Tickets are available online or by calling the Kelsey Theatre Box Office at 609-570-3333.

Students interested in Theatre and Dance at MCCC may pursue their associate degrees in either Liberal Arts or Fine Arts. Read more about the Theatre/Dance program here.

For more events at Kelsey Theatre, see the schedule here.

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