News

UC History Comes to the Stage in Original Play

Ursinus College theater contributes to the year-long celebration of the college’s 150th anniversary with The Complete History of Ursinus College (Abridged), a fun and engaging play written and directed by Professor of Theater Domenick Scudera.

Performances are in the Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center on the Ursinus College campus on Thursday, October 3, at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, October 4, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, October 5, at 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, October 6, at 2 p.m.

The Complete History of Ursinus College (Abridged) is a fast-paced and entertaining show that brings the college’s 150-year history to life by asking questions, which ties to the approach of the college’s “Quest: Open Questions Open Minds” core curriculum. This original production was written specifically for the anniversary year and invites everyone to salute all things Ursinus. Even though the play revolves around Ursinus College’s history, Scudera notes that the audience does not need to know much about the college in order to enjoy the production.

Similar to the characters in his play, Scudera started his research for The Complete History of Ursinus College (Abridged) by asking questions. He spoke with a variety of people connected to the college to understand their perspectives on Ursinus and its rich history. As the questions and stories flowed, he turned to college archivist Carolyn Weigel to gain access to a variety of records and documents in the college’s archives. Scudera says, “Carolyn Weigel was instrumental in supplying me with original documentation so that I could continue reading and researching to learn as much as I could about Ursinus people, places, events, academics, policies, songs — you name it. This led to many hours of interesting reading and pouring over texts.”

While much of the play is informed by documents and pivotal figures in Ursinus’s history, Scudera, the production team and cast strive to find balance between performing and communicating elements of the college’s past. Scudera explains his approach to directing The Complete History of Ursinus College (Abridged): “I told the students at the first rehearsal that we are having fun with Ursinus history, but we are not making fun of Ursinus history. And the result is a fun romp that will, hopefully, get audiences laughing and sometimes singing along with the company.”

Scudera is joined by professional designers from the Philadelphia area theater community. Meghan Jones is the technical director and is designing the set; Brian Strachan is designing costumes; and Shannon Zura is designing the lighting.

Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for seniors, students and staff. Tickets can be purchased online at ursinus.edu/tickets and they will be available at the box office before the show. For inquiries, please contact boxoffice@ursinus.edu or (610) 409-3030. —By Jordan Scharaga ’17