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UW-Green Bay Theatre’s ‘Almost, Maine’ earns bid to regional festival

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The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Theatre production Almost, Maine has been invited to the American College Theater Festival’s regional festival in Lansing, Mich. on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011.

“Everyone is terribly excited,” said UW-Green Bay Theatre Prof. Laura Riddle. “The opportunity to perform for over one thousand theatre students, teachers and professionals is a thrilling experience.”

UW-Green Bay Theatre, Almost, MaineAlmost, Maine, a romantic comedy performed on campus in October, is the tenth UW-Green Bay production to receive a regional ACTF invitation since 1980.

The UW-Green Bay crew will begin remounting the production on Dec. 27 in preparation for two performances on Jan. 8 in the Pasant Theatre on the Michigan State University campus in Lansing. The shows are at 1 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Before the regional competition, UW-Green Bay Theatre will perform a public benefit performance on Monday, Jan. 3, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. in the University Theatre inside Theatre Hall on the UW-Green Bay campus, 2420 Nicolet Drive. Tickets, available at the door, will be $20 for adults, $10 for students. Tickets can be purchased with cash or check only.

Almost, Maine earned enthusiastic reviews and audience response over its seven-show run earlier this fall. Prof. John Mariano directed a 13-member student cast through nine vignettes revolving around relationships at a brink, with characters either pushing toward one another or apart. The action takes place in a tiny, snowy town in northern Maine.

UW-Green Bay Theatre, Almost, MaineThe ACTF is a national theatre organization through the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Wisconsin is part of region three, which also includes Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and part of Ohio.

Bids for the regional competition are awarded after independent judges travel to plays that are entered for consideration.

The festival doubles as a conference with workshops for students and faculty, as well as individual competitions in acting, design, playwriting, directing, dramaturgy, theatre criticism and technical fields.

UW-Green Bay senior Dustin James will participate in the National Costume Design Competition for costume design for Almost, Maine. James, a graduate of Pulaski High School, is majoring in history and theatre.

Several students have been nominated for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Competition including:

Almost, Maine
• Derek Knabenbauer, senior, Green Bay
• Zach McLain, senior, Florence
• Alison Tyler, senior, Stoughton

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
• Matt Harris, junior, Racine
• Ross Christian, junior, De Pere

Other UW-Green Bay Theatre productions invited to the regional competition in the last 30 years are:

2009 The Balkan Women
2006 Red Herring
2004 The Christmas Schooner
2002 Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls
1999 On the Verge
1993 Camp Meeting
1991 In Circles
1985 Children of a Lesser God
1981 Trojan Women

UW-Green Bay has also received several awards for technical theatre. The University’s delegation won the Golden Hand Truck Award — sometimes described as a “team award” because it recognizes excellence in load-in, set-up and take-down in addition to technical acumen on production night — in 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2009. The awards are on display in the University Theatre lobby.

For more details on the regional festival visit www.kcactf3.org/.

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