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Kent State's School of Theatre and Dance Presents Ragtime, Feb. 17-26

Posted Jan. 26, 2012

Kent State University's School of Theatre and Dance, in collaboration with the Hugh A. Glauser School of 
Music, will continue its 2011/2012 production season with Ragtime, based on the novel written by E. L. Doctorow in 1975. Directed by Eric van Baars, the show will run from Feb. 17-26 in E. Turner Stump Theatre, 1325 Theatre Drive, Music and Speech Building. This concert version follows the original story with the addition of a scaled-down orchestra, which is under the musical direction of Jonathan Swoboda, musical director for the School of Theatre and Dance, and Kerry Glann, director of Opera for the School of Music.The School of Theatre and Dance presents Ragtime, Feb. 17-26.

"Ragtime is an epic tale of three families struggling to protect the ones they love. The music packs an emotional punch," said van Baars. "Bring tissues - it will be the best cry you'll ever have!"

Ragtime is a story about life during Progressive-era America at the beginning of the 20th century. The show illustrates the issues of the time - from immigration, racism and politics to industrialization and social chaos - through the intermingling of characters and familiar historical figures. Harry Houdini, Booker T. Washington and Henry Ford connect with the story's characters in unpredictable settings to add an unusual literary component.

"Just as in Doctorow's compelling novel, the historical figures ground the characters in the reality of the times," said van Baars. "More importantly, the historical figures provide inspiration and spiritual guidance for the characters."

Eric van Baars is an Associate Professor in the School of Theatre and Dance where he teaches Movement and Acting. He has directed productions of Oklahoma!, The Diviners, Lysistrata, On the Verge, Honk!, The Wild Party, and A New Brain. Baars also serves as Assistant Artistic Director of Porthouse Theatre where he has directed Pump Boys and Dinettes and Dames at Sea and choreography for Once On This Island, Big River, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and The Fantasticks. He is a member of Actors Equity Association and the Society of Directors and Choreographers.

Shows run Wednesday 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 or visit The box office accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover, checks and cash. Tickets are $8 students, $12 Seniors (60+), $14 Faculty, Staff and Alumni Association members, and $16 Adults. Groups of 10 or more are $7 per person.

For KSU students: 500-point FLASHperks day at 8 p.m. on Weds., Feb. 22.


For more information contact:

Effie A. Tsengas,, 330-672-8398