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Open Stage of Harrisburg announces its 27th season

August 26, 2012
By JACK FELIX - Sun-Gazette Correspondent , Williamsport Sun-Gazette

HARRISBURG - Rehearsals are under way for the Open Stage of Harrisburg's kickoff attraction of its 27th season.

The professional regional theatre in downtown Harrisburg features four productions in the 2012-13 lineup, two of which coincidentally were presented by another professional regional theatre, the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble, last season.

Longtime Executive Artistic Director Donald Alsedek predicts that all four productions will "Open Your Mind," beginning with "the perfect show for an election year."

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Open Stage of Harrisburg’s acclaimed production of “The Diary of Anne Frank” is taking the stage once again, detailing the inspirational story of a young Jewish girl’s life during the Holocaust. After performances for school youngsters, there will be one public performance at 2 p.m. March 2 at the Whittaker Center for Science and the Arts, 222 Market St., Harrisburg. “The Diary of Anne Frank,” based on Frank’s diary, takes place in Nazi-ridden Amsterdam during World War II. Anne is introduced to the beauty and strength of the human spirit while coming to age in this tale of perseverance and hope, as she and her family hide in an overcrowded attic for more than two years.

The four-show series is staged in the intimate Angino Family Theatre, 223 Walnut St., and features:

"Frost/Nixon" from Oct. 5 to 27 - Richard Nixon, the disgraced president trying to salvage some positive legacy, and David Frost, the jet-setter TV personality, go head-to-head in the historic encounter that changes both lives. Peter Morgan's recreation of this all-inclusive interview is powerful, biting theatre, recommended for mature audiences.

"Truman Capote's A Christmas Memory" from Nov. 23 to Dec. 15 - BTE staged this poignant memory play for all ages last holiday season. Open Stage's version of Capote's autobiographical tale follows young Buddy (Capote) recalling his impoverished youth living with his sprightly cousin Miss Sook in the rural South during the Great Depression.

"Joe Turner's Come and Gone" from Feb. 1 to 23 - Chronicling the black experience in America, a father searches for his inner freedom in 1911 Pittsburgh. The second installment in August Wilson's majestic "Century Cycle" is full of vibrant characters on the move. They are all African-American headed for new work, new freedom and new life in the Industrialized North. And Joe Turner is searching for a new identity that will make him whole again. Recommended for mature audiences.

"In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play" from April 12 to May 4 - This touching comedy about marriage, intimacy and the dawn of electricity was BTE's season-finale last May. Contemporary playwright Sarah Ruhl's recent works include "Dead Man's Cell Phone" (just produced by Millbrook Playhouse this summer), "The Clean House" and this sweet witty tale of a Victorian doctor obsessed with the marvels of technology as he treats women for "hysteria" with his vibrating invention while his wife listens at the door from the next room. The play is not really that risque, but it's definitely for mature audiences.

Tickets for the Subscription series are on sale at the box office by calling 717-232-6736 or at

As an added attraction, for the 14th consecutive year, Open Stage of Harrisburg will present "The Diary of Anne Frank."

After performances for school youngsters, there will be one public performance at 2 p.m. March 2 at the Whittaker Center for Science and the Arts, 222 Market St., Harrisburg.

The Tony and Pulitzer Prize award-winning drama is based upon the actual diary of a young Jewish girl who comes of age while hiding from the Nazis for two years in a tiny overcrowded apartment. This is inspiring theatre for young and old alike.



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