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The School of Theatre and Dance Continues Production Season with Nathan the Wise

Posted Mar. 19, 2012

Nathan the WiseKent State University's School of Theatre and Dance presents Nathan the Wise April 13-22, 2012. Presented by the Roe Green Visiting Director Series, guest director Ami Dayan directs the new adaptation of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing's classic book. The show will run April 13-22 in Wright-Curtis Theatre, Music and Speech Center, Kent, Ohio.

First published in 1779, Nathan the Wise is set in Jerusalem during the Third Crusade and time of enlightenment. It follows Nathan, a wealthy Jewish merchant, the enlightened sultan Saladin and the Templars as they close the gaps between Judaism, Islam and Christianity. Major themes include tolerance and friendship.

"In experiencing Nathan the Wise, audiences will gain insights to the history and longevity of the tension between Islam, Christianity and Judaism," said Dayan.  "They will also be exposed to a unique, enlightened approach to the source of human conflicts -- dispelling the mystery and opening the possibility of acceptance."

Shows run Tuesday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. The box office is open weekdays from noon-5 p.m. and one hour prior to each performance. For tickets or more information call 330-672-2497. The box office accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover, checks and cash. Tickets are $8 students, $14 Faculty, Staff and Alumni Association members, $12 Seniors (60+) and $16 Adults. Groups of 10 or more are $7 per person.

Dayan expresses his joy in working with the School of Theatre and Dance as well as his hope for how students and audiences will interpret the play. 

It is a thrill and honor to be a Roe Green Visiting Director at Kent State's School of Theatre and Dance -- doubled by the exciting opportunity to adapt a classic, rarely produced masterpiece for American viewers today. Nathan the Wise challenges audiences to acknowledge and reflect upon the inherent prejudice and false beliefs that assemble within our minds from our unique cultural upbringing, and offers an articulate path towards greater consciousness of the common threads that weave humanity together. While delivering a drama of the highest order, it dares to depict a world where women and men of all faiths can transform beyond primitive hostilities and biases, asking audiences -- why can't we?

It is my greatest hope that working on this world premier production will empower and inspire students to apply their talents and skills to new theatrical projects that address the social political issues that they are passionate about. And if we manage to thoroughly entertain our audience as we illuminate, provide hope, and provoke thought -- I trust Nathan the Wise will be very well satisfied.

In addition to directing Nathan the Wise, Ami Dayan will also perform in A Tale of a Tiger at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 15 in the E-Z Blackbox Theatre in the Music and Speech Center, located at 1325 Theatre Drive in Kent, Ohio. It is free and open to the public.

Ami Dayan in A Tale of a Tiger, Sunday, April 15 at 7:30 p.m. in the E-Z Blackbox Theatre. Free and open to the public.A Tale of a Tiger is an award-winning Israeli-American adaptation of an Italian Nobel Prize Laureate play, based on an ancient Chinese theatre folk tale, with roots in an Indian myth. It is a humorous tale of a soldier who is shot in the Himalayas and left to die. A tigress saves the soldier and when his life is regained, the soldier re-determines the personal and moral standards by which he is to live. It is a total theatrical experience blending physical theatre, buffoonery, circus arts, ancient storytelling and modern theatre, for anyone ages 5-105. This performance is made possible through generous support of the Jewish Foundation of Cleveland.

Playwright, director, performer, and theatre instructor, Dayan studied and worked professionally in the United States, Europe, and Israel. A two-time recipient of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation Grant, Dayan's work has recently been commissioned by The Denver Center Theatre Company, The Colorado Shakespeare Festival, and The Roe Green Foundation.

Dayan's latest production, Conviction, had its successful off-Broadway debut in February 2010, and was developed into a film by director Steve Klein. His upcoming productions include A Happy End, by Iddo Netanyahu, and his new adaptation of Lessing's classic Nathan the Wise, opening on April 13 in Wright-Curtis Theatre in the Music and Speech Center located at 1325 Theatre Drive, Kent, Ohio.

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For more information contact:

Effie Tsengas, etsengas@kent.edu, 330-672-8398