Lake Erie College’s theatre department to present plays from New Zealand
Lake Erie College announces the spring theatre production on Wednesday, April 7, Thursday, April 8 and Friday, April 9 at 7:30 p.m. in the C.K. Rickel Theatre in the Fine Arts Building. A matinee show will be on Saturday, April 10 at 2 p.m. Starring in the plays are current Lake Erie students, alumni and community residents.
The event features the U.S. premiere of two plays from New Zealand: “Chook Chook,” by Fiona Farrell and “An Unseasonable Fall of Snow,” by Gary Henderson. The plays are directed by Dr. Jerry C. Jaffe, associate professor of theatre at Lake Erie College.
“Chook Chook” depicts the lives of four female chickens living in cramped conditions on an industrial chicken farm. The play is a satiric metaphor upon the role of women in contemporary society. First produced in 1994, it is one of the most oft-produced plays in New Zealand. Starring in “Chook Chook” are Abby M. Frederick, Beverly Kristy, Becca Hinkley and Maggie Leach.
“An Unseasonable Fall of Snow” is set in an interrogation room as two men argue over the facts of some violent event they are uncovering. In the style of a police mystery, it has a very provocative twist ending. The Sunday Star Times in New Zealand called the play, “a clever, moving piece of writing from one of New Zealand’s leading writers.” Starring in the play are students Joseph Fath, Jordan Sandidge and Richard Keay.
Farrell has won numerous awards, including the New Zealand Book Award in 1993 for her novel “The Skinny Louie Book” and the New Zealand Prime Minister’s Award for Fiction in 2007.
Henderson is a playwright whose plays have been performed around the world, including his most famous, “Skin Tight,” which won a coveted Fringe First Award at the Edinburgh Fringe in 1998.
Jaffe lived in New Zealand for six years, teaching at the University of Otago. While there, he met many New Zealand theatre artists, including Henderson. Coming to Lake Erie College last year, Jaffe was eager to have an opportunity to share something about the country he considers his second home.
“New Zealand is a lovely and vibrant country, with many enthusiastic and skilled artists, Jaffe said. “I saw so many fun and exciting plays there; the love of New Zealand drama is now in my soul.”
In addition to living in New Zealand, Jaffe has edited a special edition of the journal Australasian Drama Studies on the topic of New Zealand theatre.
Serving as technical director is Lake Erie College alumna, Julie Harter, and lighting designer is Cleveland-based designer, Ben Needham.
Tickets are free to all Lake Erie College students, faculty and staff and $5.00 for general admission. For more information, call the Lake Erie College Fine Arts box office at 440.375.7455.
Reviewers are also welcome and will be offered complimentary tickets. They are welcome to attend rehearsals or to interview by appointment with Jaffe. Please contact Jaffe directly at 440.375.7451.
Lake Erie College, located in Painesville, Ohio, currently serves more than 1,300 students. Founded in 1856, Lake Erie is an independent, liberal arts institution that challenges its students to "get in and stand out" in academics, athletics and student activities. The College offers 35 undergraduate majors and graduate programs and the option to design an individualized major to fit career and academic goals. Lake Erie's innovative learning experiences focus on helping students to meet career and life challenges, preparing for a world that is increasingly interdependent.