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Lycoming College associate
professor of theatre Dr. N.J. Stanley will direct the play, "A Number," by
Caryl Churchill, the 16th production of the Actors' Group. The play
will run for five nights, June 20-22 and 27-28, at 7:30 p.m. at the Public Art
Academy, 217 W. Fourth St., Williamsport.
“A Number” was written in 2002 when the
possibility of cloning had become a reality. As the play begins, a daughter
confronts her father with the shocking information that she has genetically
identical counterparts and is merely one of "a number" of clones. But cloning
is only the play's backdrop; Churchill is much more interested in a
penetrating, timeless inquiry into the nature of identity, the age-old debate
between nature versus nurture, and the very substance of love.
The play quickly becomes a mystery in
which the main character, Salter, muddles together truth and lies about the
past while his cloned daughters try to piece together what really happened as
the result of some doctor's experiment. During the course of the play’s action,
Salter confronts his first child and two of her clones. In a theatrically
interesting twist, the playwright requires the same actor to play all three
Local performers Tom Ryersbach plays Salter
and Amy Rene Byrne performs as Salter’s three daughters.
Stanley, who teaches acting, directing,
theatre history and dramatic literature, has directed more than 50 productions
across the U.S. She earned an M.F.A. in directing from Florida State University
and a Ph.D. in theatre and drama from Indiana University. She first worked with
the Actors’ Group in 2009 when she directed Harold Pinter’s “Old Times,” which
included Ryersbach in the cast. She also directed Ryersbach in “Ages of the
Moon” for the Actors’ Group in 2010 and he performed as Mr. Peachum in her
production of “The Threepenny Opera” last fall at the College.
“A Number” is performed in five scenes
without intermission and is intended for mature audiences. Tickets are $10 at
the door. Call 322-0587 for more information.
College is a four-year, residential liberal arts and sciences school dedicated
to the undergraduate education of 1,400 students. Its rigorous academic
program, vibrant residential community and supportive faculty foster successful
student outcomes. Lycoming offers 36 academic majors and is recognized as a
Tier 1 institution by U.S. News & World Report. Founded in 1812 and located
near the banks of the Susquehanna River in Williamsport, Pa., Lycoming is one
of the 50 oldest colleges in the nation. For more information, visit