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Ibsen Illuminated in Student Production of “Rosmersholm” With Narration by Professor Emeritus Mel Leipzig Oct. 24


West Windsor, N.J. – Mercer County Community College’s Theatre students are teaming up with Professor Emeritus and renowned painter Mel Leipzig for a staged reading of “Rosmersholm,”  written by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen, on Thursday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m.  The show will be performed at MCCC’s Kelsey Theatre, located on the West Windsor Campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road.

As eight students bring the drama to life, Professor Leipzig will serve as an on-stage narrator to lead the audience through the complexities of the plot and shed light on the historical events at the time the play was written. 

While not as well-known to American audiences as some of Ibsen’s other works, “Rosmersholm” is considered by many critics to be his masterwork. Reflecting a progressive takeover of the government in 1880s Norway, the play is a domestic tragedy about the collision of utopian ideas and political realities, incorporating timeless themes that remain relevant today.

Student actors include: Margot Bergeron of Hamilton, Jon Cintron of Trenton, Patrick Gallagher of Hamilton, Elizabeth Koenig of Yardley, Pa., Mike Miele of Belle Mead, Jonathan V. Polanco of Hamilton, Joe Schachter of East Windsor, and Wellington Talkpa of Trenton.

According to MCCC Theatre Program Coordinator Jody Person, the project was inspired by Professor Leipzig.  “Everyone knows Professor Leipzig as a painter, but he is also a great lover and appreciator of Ibsen.  We will bring the show to life as Mel offers an insider’s view into Ibsen’s world, like the director’s commentary on a DVD.  People will leave the theater with far greater insights into Ibsen’s times.”

From left: Michael Miele (standing), Jonathan Palanco and Elizabeth Koenig (sitting), Wellington Talkpa (standing), and Patrick Gallagher.
Left to right: Jonathan Polanco, Patrick Gallagher, Mel Leipzig, and Margot Bergeron (facing away from camera)

Person adds that Leipzig was a close friend of Rolf Fjelde, a leading Ibsen translator who died in 2002.  Further proof of Leipzig’s appreciation of Ibsen can be found in his paintings, which include numerous canvasses based on Ibsen plays, including MCCC student productions of “A Doll’s House,” “Hedda Gabler” and “Peer Gynt.”

“Professor Leipzig has wanted to do this performance for a long time,” Person says.  “It’s a great opportunity for our students.  The show is full of hidden beauties and mythic symbolism.  We will all be richer for this unique presentation.”

Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $10 for students and children.  Tickets are available online or by calling the Kelsey Theatre Box Office at 609-570-3333.  Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible, with free parking available next to the theater.

Students interested in theatre and dance 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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