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Release date:
Feb. 7, 2002
Contact: Deb Hammacher, Associate Director: 404-727-0644 or

Theater Emory Presents "Ah, Wilderness!" Feb. 15-March 2

Theater Emory will present Eugene O'Neill's valentine to the American family, "Ah, Wilderness!" from Feb. 15–March 2 as part of a project sponsored with the Emory Center for Myth and Ritual in American Life (MARIAL Center) that examines the American family throughout the 20th century. Beginning with the O'Neill classic, Theater Emory will investigate stage portrayals of the family during that time. Tickets are $15 general admission and $7.50 for Emory students with i.d. For information or tickets, call 404-727-5050.

O'Neill's coming of age comedy is a portrait of the Miller family in the Connecticut summer of 1906."It is a play about relationships," says director John Ammerman. "I see it as a study of the ways that families function—not just as a hierarchical unit—but as delicately interdependent entities."

O'Neill described the play as " a comedy of recollections in three acts." He presents the bittersweet time in a family’s life when the children are both maturing and reaching for independence while simultaneously wanting to hold onto the loving family haven that has been so nurturing. O'Neill fondly looks back to the world of his youth to depict a young man’s awakening to worldly ideas and the fascinations of the opposite sex.

The cast includes professionals Lisa Paulsen (Emory theater studies assistant professor), Steve Coulter, Lynna Schmidt, Bruce Evers and Damon Bogges. Jonathan Rosenblit plays the Miller’s youngest son. Emory students Raife Baker, Michael Pahr, Brian Crawford, Lauren Gunderson, Alex Newell, Nicole Sheres, Lynne Tucker and Gabriel Viñas complete the cast.

Wm. Moore is set designer, Marianne Martin is costume designer and Judy Zanotti is lighting and sound designer.

Theater Emory and the MARIAL Center will present "Staging the American Family: A Symposium on the Evolution of the Idea of Family in 20th Century Drama" Feb. 24 – 27. All events take place in the Mary Gray Munroe Theater, Dobbs University Center, 605 Asbury Circle, Emory. "Ah, Wilderness!" is ticketed, but all other events are free and open to the public. The events include:

*Sunday, Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m.: Keynote lecture "Our Imagined Families: The Myths and Rituals We Live By" given by Rutgers University historian John Gillis. He is a noted historian of the family who has written several books on family history; the most recent book is "A World of Their Own Making: Myth, Ritual and the Quest for Family Values."

*Monday, Feb. 25 at 7:30 p.m.: "The American Family on Stage: A Decade-by-Decade Look at the Evolution of the Family." Presentation of a scene from a play from each decade.

*Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m.: Michael Goldman, Princeton professor emeritus of English, offers a critic’s context for the scenes of family life, which will be re-staged in some fashion from the previous evening. One of the most distinguished American drama critics, Goldman has twice received the prestigious George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism.

*Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 7:30 p.m.: "Myth America: Diverse Arenas of Mythmaking on the American Family." Panel discussion, including Tony Award-winning playwright David Henry Hwang, advertising and idea man Joey Reiman, Gillis and Goldman.

"Ah, Wilderness!" performances dates and times:
7:30 p.m. Feb. 15
8 p.m. Feb. 16, 21*, 22, 23, 28, March 1, 2
3 p.m. Feb. 17, 24, March 2
*Pay what you can performance.
Mary Gray Munroe Theater, Dobbs University Center, 605 Asbury Circle, Emory. General admission $15; Emory students with i.d. $7.50. 404-727-5050

Theater Emory is the producing organization of Emory University and is affiliated with the Department of Theater Studies. It is a constituent member of the Theatre Communications Group, Inc., the national association of nonprofit professional theatres, and a member of the Atlanta Coalition of Performing Arts. It operates under a season agreement with Actors’ Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers in the United States.




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