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, November 14, 2014

The Fairmont State University School of Fine Arts and Masquers theatre group join the lineup of worldwide organizations that will present readings of Caridad Svich’s new play “Upon the Fragile Shore” on Monday, Nov. 17, as part of an “artivist” play reading and digital film action that explores human rights and environmental issues.

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Instructor Exchange Ad-Hoc Committee of the Fairmont State University Faculty Senate will host a Panel Discussion on the “Role of Humanities in Contemporary Education” from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 17, in Multi-media Room A of the Ruth Ann Musick Library.

Moderated by Dr. Tad Kato, Chair of the Instructor Exchange Ad-Hoc Committee, the Panel Discussion is sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the College of Liberal Arts. The panelists will discuss positive roles of humanities and their interaction with science, based on the perspectives in each discipline. 

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Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Fairmont State University and West Virginia University students will participate in the second annual Fall 2014 Iron Pour, hosted by the WVU School of Art and Design.

Fairmont State sculpture students, technology students and faculty members, as well as students and faculty from regional universities, will collaborate for the event and utilize molten metal to create custom-made metal artworks.

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