Psychosis on Stage

Psychosis on Stage Sarah Kane’s 4.48 Psychosis is staged as a unique dance-theatre piece in a collaborative effort between Dance Extensions, Rowan University’s contemporary dance company, and the university’s Department of Theatre & Dance for four performances, December 7-10, 2006.

Kane, one of Great Britain’s most controversial contemporary playwrights, suffered from severe bipolar disorder and committed suicide shortly after completing 4.48 Psychosis. Seemingly meant to be produced posthumously, the play is much more than a suicide note – it is “a thought-provoking, poetic exploration of mind and body; from darkness into light, from pain into love, from life into death.”

Directed and choreographed by Melanie Stewart, the acclaimed Philadelphia-area choreographer and chair of Rowan’s Theatre & Dance Department, this innovative production will push the boundaries of contemporary dance to viscerally communicate the intensity, ideas and struggles of depression. Continuing their mission to promote dance as art, Dance Extensions and the Department have assembled a creative team of faculty and guest artists: Bart Healy (set design), Stephanie Nichols (costume design), Robert Thorpe (lighting design) and a commissioned score written and performed by David Cimetta.

Throughout her more than 20 years at Rowan, Stewart has actively linked her professional career as a performer, choreographer, director and producer of avant garde dance theatre to her academic career. Her works produced at Rowan include Lilith, Petrushka, Cabaret, The Snow Queen, The Gathering, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and The Fabulous Fable Factory’s Fantastic Return. With her professional company, Melanie Stewart Dance Theatre, she produces the nEW Festival at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. As a performer, her recent work includes Babel, an original political satire developed with the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Peter Clerke, director of the Scottish-based theatre company Benchtours. Her awards include numerous fellowships for dance, theatre and interdisciplinary work from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and The National Endowment for the Arts and she has been honored for her productions of The Gathering and The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by the The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.

Additional support for the production has been provided by Campus Players and the College of Fine & Performing Arts at Rowan.

Performances of 4.48 Psychosis are Thursday-Saturday, December 7, 8 & 9 at 8 pm; and Sunday, December 10 at 3 pm in Tohill Theatre, located in Bunce Hall on the Rowan campus, Route 322 in Glassboro. Tickets are $10, general admission; and $5 for students, staff, alumni and seniors. Tickets can be purchased online by visiting www.rowan.edu/theatredance or at the box office on the night of the performance. For additional information, visit the website or call 856-256-4030.

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Author: Press Release-Rowan University

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