posted September 18, 2002

Hope to Present Two-Person America Herself

Reprising their roles as immigrant sisters Basha and Drusha, Hope College theatre faculty member Jean Bahle and theatre chair Daina Robins will be offering two performances of Bahle's "America Herself" on Thursday and Friday, Sept. 26-27, in the DeWitt Center studio theatre.

The performance on Thursday, Sept. 26, will be at 9 p.m. to accommodate those who wish to attend both the college's Visiting Writers Series event earlier in the evening and "America Herself." The Friday, Sept. 27, performance will be at 8 p.m.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

The two-person play began as a conversation four years ago, when Bahle and Robins discovered commonalities in an immigrant heritage and shared memories of growing up with sisters. Last fall, Fred Sebulske, managing director of Actors' Theatre in Grand Rapids, launched a New Plays project offering local playwrights John Rich and Jean Bahle a year-long process to develop their work. Staged readings and audience feedback throughout the year culminated in final productions earlier this spring at Actors' Theatre.

"America Herself" mixes story theatre and absurdist humor, and explores inherited ideas of what it means to belong to an American culture. With the play still a work-in-progress, Bahle is happy to have another opportunity to perform the piece in front of an audience. Minor revisions have made it into this version as Bahle and Robins rehearse under Sebulske's direction.

Seating is open, and there will be a brief talk- back session following each performance. The studio theatre is on the ground level of the DeWitt Center, which is located on Columbia Avenue at 12th Street.

The production is co-sponsored by the college's Cultural Affairs Committee, Department of English of Theatre and Women's Studies Program.