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‘Men on Boats’ floats through Middlebury

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College Department of Theatre and Dance will present “Men on Boats,” directed by Cheryl Faraone. Ten explorers; four boats; one Grand Canyon — this play by Jaclyn Backhaus is the true(ish) history of an 1869 expedition, when a one-armed captain and a crew of insane yet loyal volunteers set out to chart the course of the Colorado River. In the 2018 rendition, it’s women in those boats).
Based on the journals of John Wesley Powell, who led an 1869 geological expedition down the Green and Colorado Rivers into the (then) great unknown called the Grand Canyon, the play derives much of its humor and wisdom from the fact that all its characters are played by women.
“The play requires the company to stage the impossible: vessels barreling over waterfalls and hairsbreadth escapes from drowning. Silly? Sure. Thrilling? Oh, yes,” said a TimeOut review.
The production features a company of 10 Middlebury College students, including Becca Berlind, Madeline Ciocci, Kaitlynd Collins, Toria Isquith, Emily Ma, Katie Marshall, Gabrielle Martin, Coralie Tyler, Gabby Valdivieso and Amanda Whiteley. Sam Martin is Stage Manager with Spencer Royston and Grace Weissman as Assistant Stage Managers. Movement Direction is by Peter B. Schmitz. Set Design is by Hallie Zieselman, Lighting Design by Mark Evancho, and Sound Design by Allison Rimmer. Properties are by Jim Dougherty, the Technical Director. Glenna Ryer is the Costume Designer for the show, with Marcia Provoncha as Costume Director and Robin Foster Cole as Associate Costume Director.
“Men on Boats” will be performed on Friday, Nov. 30, at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 1, at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 2, at 7:30 p.m. in Seeler Studio Theatre at Mahaney Center for the Arts in Middlebury. There will be a lively post-show talk back and discussion following the Friday performance.
Tickets are $15 for the general public; $12 for Middlebury College faculty, staff, alumni, emeriti and other ID card holders; and $6 for Middlebury College students. For tickets or information, call (802) 443-MIDD (6433) or visit go.middlebury.edu/arts.

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