By George Spelvin

DEFYING GRAVITY, Jane Anderson’s ethereal play directed by Dr. John O’Connor, opened in Wallman Hall Theatre Friday evening.  Using the 1986 space shuttle Challenger disaster and the death of teacher in space, Christa McAuliff to organize the action, the play centers around McAuliff’s daughter before and after the disaster and other characters associated with the event.  The play then becomes one about character relationships -- McAuliff and her daughter, a tourist couple and a Cape Canaveral bar owner/waitress and a NASA mechanic.  One additional character, the impressionist painter Claude Monet, also appears to “challenge” the characters and the audience to think about how we look at things.

The script thus becomes a mosaic of scenes that director O’Connor and the design team must lead the audience through for everything to make sense.  This “challenge” is ably met by this production team.  Staged on a set designed by Troy Snyder who also designed the lighting, and multimedia effects by Nick LeJeune, the atmosphere emphasizes the ethereal which is further reinforced by the sound design and original music by Dr. Daniel Eichenbaum.

The cast numbers seven actors and is lead by the “teacher” and her daughter Elizabeth played by Lillian Gaylord and Ann Marie Witkowski respectively.  Claude Monet is played by Stephen Phillips.  The tourists from Oregon who watch the launch are played by Kate Thompson and Allen Ludwick and John Hall and Kiya Fitzgerald portray the Cape Canaveral folks.

DEFYING GRAVITY continues this week with performances at 7:30 on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 7, 8 and 9.  Tickets may be purchased at the box office, 11:00 am to 3:30 pm, Monday through Friday, or by calling (304) 367-4240.  Tickets may also be purchased on line by going to www.fairmontstate.edu/tickets.

FSUNow Stories

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Fairmont State University School of Fine Arts recognized students for their scholarship at the Academic Awards Ceremony at the end of the spring 2014 semester.

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Saturday, June 21, 2014

A total of 1,044 students have been named to the Dean’s List at Fairmont State University after completing the spring 2014 semester.

Dr. Christina Lavorata, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, has released the Dean’s List and the President’s List to recognize high-achieving students for their academic distinction. Full-time students who earned a 3.4 or better grade point average for the fall 2013 semester are named to the Dean’s List. Full-time students achieving a perfect 4.0 grade point average are named to the President’s List.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

When you attend the Fairmont State University Town & Gown Summer Theatre production of “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” you will notice a lot of related names in the program. Multiple members of several local families take the stage together for this musical.

Tickets for “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” are $10 and can be purchased by calling the Box Office at (304) 367-4240. Performances will take place at 7:30 p.m.  June 13, 14, 18, 19, 20 and 21 and at 2 p.m. June 15 at Wallman Hall Theatre on the FSU main campus.

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