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, January 30, 2015

The Fairmont State University School of Fine Arts opens its spring 2015 gallery season with “clear, hold, build,” a solo show by FSU faculty member Jeremy Entwistle. The exhibit is on display through Thursday, Feb. 12, in the J.D. Brooks Gallery, located on the fourth floor of Wallman Hall. 

Entwistle received his B.F.A. from Alfred University in 1998 and his M.F.A. from West Virginia University in 2007 and is currently coordinating the FSU sculpture and foundry department. 

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Fairmont State University School of Fine Arts announces the campus residency of pianist Kari Johnson on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 13 and 14, which will include a public performance and masterclasses. 

Johnson will perform a recital of contemporary and classical piano repertoire at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 13, in Colebank Hall. Tickets for the recital are $10 and may be purchased in advance through the Fairmont State Box Office at (304) 367-4240 or at the door.

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Friday, January 09, 2015

A total of 1,130 students have been named to the Dean’s List at Fairmont State University after completing the fall 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 2014 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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