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Ithaca College Theatre Will Collaborate With Scenic Design By Cornell University's Kent Goetz On Production Of William Finn's 'A New Brain'

ITHACA, NY — For years Ithaca College and Cornell University’s theatre departments have been collaborating to bring exciting theatre to the Ithaca community. In current and past seasons, lighting design professor Steve TenEyck and acting professors Greg Bostwick and Norm Johnson have been guest artists, directing or designing, at Cornell. This semester, it is Ithaca’s turn to host a guest artist from Cornell as Ithaca College Theatre’s production of “A New Brain” features scenic design by Cornell professor Kent Goetz.

“A New Brain” is Goetz’s first project at Ithaca. Of the experience so far Goetz remarks, “The biggest difference I’ve noticed between the Ithaca College and Cornell theatre departments is in the focus and motivation of the students.” At Cornell many of the students who are involved with the theatre department are not necessarily studying for careers in theatre. At Ithaca College, however, the students who design, act and manage the shows are training for careers in theatre and the focus of many of the undergraduate degree programs is on gaining professional experience. Goetz notes, “At I.C., I’ve observed that students are given roles with substantial responsibility earlier in their program — and they rise valiantly to the task.”

Ithaca is a small town, but is home to a number of theaters and theater companies. When asked about the importance of collaboration in a place like Ithaca, Goetz said, “Given the modest size of Ithaca’s arts community, pooling the diverse, but limited, capital and human resources from the different institutions allows us to create artistically-rich experiences that rival those found in larger cities.”

Not only designers and directors have collaborated on projects between the two institutions; Ithaca college assistant professor Kathleen Mulligan was a cast member of Cornell’s production of “The History Boys” this season. Ithaca College undergraduates have also worked as guest artists at Cornell. Recent graduate Amy Elyse Cohen taught circus routines to performers in “The Bourgeois Gentleman” last season. Christine Olivier, an Ithaca College theatre arts management major, is currently choreographing the Schwartz Center’s production of Leonard Bernstein’s “Mass,” which opens April 21.

Directed by Susannah Berryman. “A New Brain” previews at Ithaca College Tuesday, March 24 at 8 pm. Performances will be offered at 8 p.m. on March 24, 26–28, 31 and April 1–4, with matinee performances offered at 2 p.m. on March 28, 29 and April 4. All performances will be held in the Clark Theater in Dillingham Center on the Ithaca College campus.

Ticket prices range from $4.50 to $10 and can be purchased in person at the Ithaca College Ticket Office in Dillingham Center or by calling (607) 274-3224. Tickets may also be purchased at the Clinton House Ticket Center, by calling (607) 273-4497, or visiting www.ithacaevents.com.