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Ohio Northern University presents 11th International Play Festival

Jan 28, 2015

The Ohio Northern University Department of Theatre presents the 11th International Play Festival in the Stambaugh Studio Theatre from Thursday, Feb. 19, to Saturday, Feb. 21, at 7:30 p.m. Matinee performances are scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 21, and Sunday, Feb. 22, at 2 p.m.

This year’s festival will feature the English-language, U.S. premiere of  “Nevada” by Cuban playwright Abel González Melo. The play will be directed by guest director Otto Minera from Mexico City and translated by Yael Prizant. Melo’s play is set in contemporary Havana and stylistically combines a poetic theatre of images with gritty naturalism. “Nevada” tells the tale of a group of characters scraping together a living amidst Cuba’s economic adversities and whose dreams seem to be just beyond reach. Set in 2008, Melo’s play is a darkly poetic, passionate expression of Cuban existence.

Minera, a distinguished Mexican director, will be in residence at ONU directing “Nevada” for five weeks. Prizant, translator and Cuban theatre scholar, will be in residence for a week, working with the cast in rehearsal and revising the translation. The playwright, Melo, will be in residence the week of production, attending final rehearsals and the performances as well as talkbacks with the audience and symposia with students.

Joan Robbins, ONU dramaturge and lecturer in theatre arts, said, “The project overall has afforded ONU’s students and faculty many exceptionally wonderful opportunities for cultural education and enrichment. In the first week of January, six members of the production team (three faculty and three students) spent four days in Havana, Cuba, doing research for the production. They toured Havana with the playwright, exploring all the locations where the action of the play occurs, and brought back extensive photographs and video, some of which will provide the basis for the scenic design for the production. To be in Havana at such a historical time of change was really a life-changing opportunity; the group shared all that they learned in Havana with the entire cast, thus, enriching the production immeasurably. The guest artists involved in the production offer the students a tremendous source of intercultural opportunity.”

The cast is Jeremy Martinez (Rosnay), a senior theatre major from Palmview, Texas; Jordan Michael Loyd (Higinio), a junior music performance major from Independence, Ky; Joey Nicolette (Frank), a freshman musical theatre major from Cleveland Heights, Ohio; Kyle Wilkerson (Osmel), a freshman musical theatre major from Alpharetta, Ga; Samantha Tilton (Lucia), a sophomore theatre major from Lowell, Ohio; and Annie Liskow (Magda), a freshman musical theatre major from Dallas, Texas.

Tickets are $15 for general admission, $12 for seniors, $10 for ONU faculty/staff and $5 for ONU students. The Freed Center box office is open Monday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Phone orders are accepted with American Express, MasterCard, VISA or Discover by calling 419-772-1900. Tickets are also available online at

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