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Donna Skeen Visting Theatre Artist Series

“We're actors.  We're the opposite of people.”
                   Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
Nevertheless, people make theatre. 
Essential Stages: the Donna Skeen Visiting Theatre Artists Series will introduce you to people who make theatre through acting, directing, designing, building, producing and promoting their work. These people love what they are doing and live by doing what they love.  Through performance, presentation, workshop and conversation, these esteemed and unique artists will share their wealth of experience working—and struggling—in theatre and film across the country and around the world. 
Over the course of the 2014-2015 academic year, this diversely gifted collection of full-time professional artists will reveal why they chose to ignore everyone's advice to not quit their day jobs and how, in fact, their particular theatrical passions became their day jobs.

Essential Stages at WVSU was made possible by the generous support from Donna Skeen. Generous supporters of the arts are often referred to as "Angels." There has been no greater "Angel" for WVSU Theatre than Donna Skeen. Because of her generosity, WVSU students can practice and produce in their very own black box theatre--The David Skeen Theatre. "Due to Donna's belief in the power of theatre to affect change in the world, WVSU is able to offer this stellar season of theatre artists," Susan Marrash-Minnerly, WVSU Professor of Theatre. "Thank you, Donna, for your vision, your faith in our program, and your generosity!"
Essential Stages is a year-long celebration of the art, craft and dialogue of theatre and the related arts of film and television.  Don't miss this once-in-a-lifetime learning experience happening right in your own backyard. All performances, workshops and master classes are free and open to the public.
 Premiere Event – Thursday September 18, 2014   7:30pm Davis Fine Arts Building
The Fula From America: An African Journey
Based on Mr. Brown's own travels in West Africa. and set in 1981, the traveler sets off on a journey that takes him to Senegal, Mali, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea and Sierra Leone. From deep in the bush to the corridors of the African elite, he discovers friendship, generosity, poverty, wondrous beauty and civil war.  As his adventures unfold, he finds himself on the boundary of the African-American hyphen where the question arises: how much of him is African and how much is American?

12 noon          “In Your Own Words….Creating Theatre” with Mr. Brown
2pm                “Throwing Light on the Playwright’s Words” with professional lighting designer, Mike Wangen
“Building A Theatre Company from Inception to Success” with Dan Shoemaker, Executive Director of Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte
September 28, 2014   3pm
Now in its 24th year, ATC is the only year-round professional theatre company in Charlotte,NC

For more information, contact:
Susan Marrash-Minnerly, MFA
Professor of Theatre
Department of Communications
College of Arts and Humanities
West Virginia State University
Institute, WV 25112

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