College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences dean to premiere new play in Czech Republic
Sue Ott Rowlands, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, will take her new one-woman play "fig. 1" to the Prague Fringe Festival for a nine-show run from May 28-June 5. The play will make its world premiere at Divadlo Inspirace (Inspiration Theatre), which is in the Mala Strana district of Prague.
Now in its ninth year, the Prague Fringe Festival attracts a growing band of visitors from overseas as well as being increasingly popular with Czech audiences. According to its website, the event “creates a great international atmosphere where those on holiday can mix with locals and enjoy an eclectic mix of high quality and reasonably priced non-elitist theatrical entertainment.”
A modern adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s heartbreaking story, THE KISS; “fig.1” takes the audience on the personal roller-coaster journey of a woman whose sensual desire, long-ago cooled by age and gravity, is suddenly rekindled by a passionate kiss. As her reason does internal battle with her beating heart’s passion, we witness her intimate dance with memory, fantasy, and reality.
“We are opening in Prague as a furthering of my international arts focus and also to showcase the work of Virginia Tech faculty and students at an international venue,” said Ott Rowlands.
C.J. Mellides, a theatre arts major from Virginia Beach, Va., who graduated in May 2010, will accompany Ott Rowlands as the stage manager and lighting designer for the production, along with the play’s director Bruce Hermann, a faculty member from Texas Tech. The travelling set was built by Travis Gilmore of Middlebury, Vt., and Jamie Lindemann of Blacksburg, Va.,, two theatre Master of Fine Arts (MFA) candidates working under the supervision Randy Ward, a professor in the Department of Theatre and Cinema.
“fig. 1” was written by Mark Evans Bryan, the playwright who also penned other one-woman plays specifically for Ott Rowlands. Bryan’s work has been published in the Kenyon Review, The Journal of American Drama and Theater, and the Blackwell Companion to Twentieth-Century American Drama. Internationally renowned Czech scenic and costume designer, Jaroslav Malina, is designing the show and will be in Prague to supervise the installation of the production.
“fig. 1” is produced by Bear Gardens and Glacity Theatre Collective with the support of the Virginia Tech School of Performing Arts and Cinema and the Texas Tech Department of Theatre and Dance. Ott Rowlands is the founding artistic director of Glacity in Toledo, Ohio.
Ott Rowlands received her MFA from the University of Oklahoma and her undergraduate degree from Oklahoma Christan College.