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Porthouse Theatre Announces 2010 Season

Posted Jun. 3, 2010

Porthouse Theatre, Kent State University’s School of Theatre and Dance’s outdoor, summer theatre located on the grounds of Blossom Music Center, announces its 2010 summer season with three humorous productions. 

The Broadway sensation, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, with music and lyrics by William Finn and book by Rachel Sheinkin, will run June 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26 at 8 pm; June 13 and 20 at 2 pm.  Directed by Artistic Director Terri Kent, “Spelling Bee” is an hilarious musical tale of overachievers’ angst that chronicles the experience of six adolescents vying for the spelling championship of a lifetime.  Overseen by adults who just barely managed to escape childhood themselves, see who learns that winning isn’t everything and that losing doesn’t necessarily make you a loser.  Starring local professional actors Sandra Emerick as Rona Peretti, Marc Moritz as Vice Principal Panch and introducing actress Rumi Oyama from New York City as Marcy Park.

“We have already held auditions in New York City, Cleveland and Kent to cast the season of hilarious productions,” said Terri Kent, artistic director of Porthouse Theatre.  “Many of the major roles are cast by professional actors with a mix of seasoned actors and students from all over the United States for the ensemble parts.”

As an added fun feature (and a fundraiser for the theatre) Porthouse  is offering walk-on role opportunities for people in Spelling Bee. A spot – and there are four available per show -  can be obtained for $100 to be one of the audience spellers in the show.  A wonderful surprise for family members or friends!  Call 330-672-3884 to reserve a spot on the night you have purchased a ticket.  First come, first serve on each of the dates available.

The second production in the season of three shows is The Foreigner by Larry Shue and will run July 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14, 15, 16 17 at 8 pm and  July 4 and 11 at 2 pm and will be directed by Rohn Thomas, who directed last year’s hysterical version of The Odd Couple.  Thomas will team up with the comedic precision of leading man Eric van Baars who will play the part of Charlie and local equity actor John Kolibab will play Froggy LeSueuer. Charlie is a painfully shy Englishman, who visits a Georgia lodge during a hunting trip.  He concocts a plan to avoid speaking to others by posing as a mysterious foreigner who speaks no English. The plan works well, at first. Charlie soon finds himself at the center of attention, serving as a sweet old lady's exotic human pet, a marriage counselor to a pregnant debutante and as an English pupil to her dull-witted brother.

Finally, in true Porthouse Theatre fashion, the season closes with yet another splashy, fun musical.  Bye Bye Birdie will run July 22, 23, 24, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, Aug. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 at 8 pm and July 25 and Aug. 1 at 2 pm.   The book is by Michael Stewart, lyrics by Lee Adams, music by Charles Strouse and this production was originally produced by Edward Padula. Directed by Terri Kent, this 50’s inspired musical is about rock 'n' roll heartthrob Conrad Birdie (loosely based on Elvis Presley) who, much to the dismay of his adoring fans, is about to be drafted into the Army. As part of one last publicity stunt cooked up by his agent, he promises to give a good-bye kiss to one lucky girl from Sweet Apple, Ohio, on "The Ed Sullivan Show." The upbeat score features How Lovely To Be a Woman, The Telephone Hour, Put On A Happy Face, A Lot of Livin' To Do, and One Last Kiss.

Subscriptions are currently on sale.  Prices range for Tues. – Fri. night $51 for seniors and $60 for adults; Saturday night $66 for adults and seniors; Sunday Matinee $51 for seniors and $57 for adults.  Gift subscriptions are also available. The box office accepts personal checks, Visa, MasterCard and Discover. Special rates for groups of 20 or more are available, as are student rates.  Call 330-672-3884 or visit for details.  Single tickets, ranging from $25 - $33 for Adults and Seniors and $17 - $20 for Students will go on sale after May 25, 2010. The box office is located in the Music and Speech Center on the corner of Main Street and Horning Drive at Kent State University in Kent. 

For More Information Contact:
Effie A. Tsengas
PR/Marketing Director
Porthouse Theatre
330-672-8398 or

**Attention Photo Editors: Images of the grounds images, last year's productions and promotional images of this season's productions are all available by contacting Effie Tsengas