February 10, 2010
Elizabeth Blevins, Director, Office of Communications
Office: (740) 351-3810; FAX: (740) 351-3179; Cell: (740) 464-4854
940 Second Street – Portsmouth, Ohio 45662
Web site: www.shawnee.edu
The Gershwins’ ‘Porgy and
Bess’ coming to Shawnee State University
“Porgy and Bess” was first performed in 1935, with music by
George Gershwin, libretto by DuBose Heyward, and lyrics by
Ira Gershwin and Heyward.
It was based
on Heyward's novel “Porgy” and the play of the same name
which he co-wrote with his wife Dorothy Heyward. All three
works deal with African American life in the fictitious
Catfish Row based on the real-life Cabbage Row in
Charleston, South Carolina, in the early 1920s.
conceived by Gershwin as an American folk opera, “Porgy and
Bess” premiered in New York in the fall of 1935 and featured
an entire cast of classically trained African-American
singers – a daring choice at the time.
“Porgy and Bess” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday,
Feb. 23 at Shawnee State University’s Vern Riffe Center for
the Arts on its 75th Anniversary Tour.
Capasso production, directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, has
brought this American classic to audiences in cities big and
small in the United States and around the world.
It has been
performed live in more than 1,000 shows in 17 different
countries on six continents, including 49 of the fifty
United States, reaching a total audience of more than 1.5
million people. Gershwin considered it his finest work.
As a cultural
icon, the original cast recording was included by the
National Recording Preservation Board in the Library of
Congress, National Recording Registry in 2003. The board
makes selections on an annual basis that are "culturally,
historically or aesthetically significant."
Bess” tells the story of Porgy, a handicapped black man
living in the slums of Charleston, South Carolina and his
attempts to rescue Bess from the clutches of her violent and
possessive lover. It is a drama and a love story of true
is part of the Southern Ohio Performing Arts Association
Broadway Series sponsored by Southern Ohio Medical Center.
be purchased at the McKinley Box Office at the Vern Riffe
Center or at www.sopaa.org
or any Ticketmaster outlet. Group, family and student
discounts are available. For more information, e-mail
or call (740) 351-3600.
“Annie” coin purse is available at the box office when
showing a ticket to “Annie” and purchasing a ticket to the
Moscow Festival Ballet’s “Swan Lake” scheduled for Thursday,
April 8 at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts. Supplies are