The State Theatre Hosts New Play Reading Series
STATE COLLEGE, PA - May 11, 2012 - Executive Director Richard Biever is pleased to announce that The State Theatre will host a new play reading series called "Start At The State." The readings will take place in the intimate Upper Studio on the second floor of the theatre and are supervised by local playwright Mary Gage.
First up, on Wednesday, May 16, is a reading of Penn State professor and author Warren Sylvester Smith's one-woman play, Blavatsky. 2012 marks the centenary of Smith's birth (1912-1984).
The life of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, a 19th-century spiritualist and founder of the Theosophist movement, is shown in six conversations set at various points in her controversial career. The performance is directed by Elaine Meder-Wilgus.
Well-read, well-traveled and a prolific writer, Blavatsky is portrayed as both charismatic and crude, a true believer in the spiritual entities she called "the Masters," but not above using conjurers' tricks to convince her followers and skeptics.
The playwright, Warren Smith, taught in Penn State's Department of Theatre Arts from 1946 to 1967, and was Director of General Education in the Arts from 1967 until his retirement in 1977. He had a particular interest in the plays and other writings of George Bernard Shaw, and wrote or edited several books on Shaw. His 1970 book The London Heretics explored many controversial figures of that era, including Helena Blavatsky and the Theosophists. He wrote Blavatsky in 1982-83.
Blavatsky will be performed in the Upper Studio of The State Theatre at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 16, 2012. Admittance is free, but donations are welcomed.