Kennedy Center Theatre Festival selects UA production


The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) has selected The University of Akron Theatre Program's fall production of "The Bacchae 2012" for its annual regional festival competition. KCACTF has also selected one scene from last spring's UA production of "Merchant of Venice," directed by UA theatre instructor Aubrey Caldwell, for performance during the festival's Fringe showcase.

James Slowiak

UA's "The Bacchae 2012" is one of only six full-length plays chosen for performance during the KCACTF Region 2 festival at Towson University in Towson, Md. The UA performance is Jan. 14 at 8:30 p.m. in Towson's Stephens Hall Theatre.

Directed by UA Theatre Professor James Slowiak and based on Charles Mee's adaptation of the Greek tragedy by Euripides, "The Bacchae 2012" was performed this fall in UA's Sandefur Theatre.

In the UA production, the setting shifts from ancient Thebes to modern Akron. Audience members are invited to sit around a communal table and partake in soup and beverages, while elements of vaudeville, gospel music, torch songs and ethnic dance are incorporated into the provocative production. Post-show discussions led by UA faculty speakers Cydney Spohn, dance; Donna Webb, art; Pat Hill, communication; and Aubrey Caldwell and Terence Cranendonk, theatre, touched on the show's themes of feminism, gender identification and connection to place.

"The Bacchae 2012" is the second UA production selected by KCACTF in recent years. The first was "Winesburg, Ohio" in 2003, also directed by Slowiak.

The University of Akron will present a special, pre-festival performance of "The Bacchae 2012" on Jan. 9, 2013, at 7:30 p.m. in Daum Theatre in Kolbe Hall on the UA campus. Tickets are $25, and proceeds will help to offset the cost of sending the production to the KCATF festival.

Media contact: Cyndee Snider, 330-972-5196 or