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Penn State's Acclaimed NU . Musical Theatre Festival to Present New Works

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Penn State’s acclaimed NU. Musical Theatre Festival will present two new works during its 2014 summer season: Sarah Hirsch and Molly Fox’s musical adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher on Wednesday, June 18, at 7:00 p.m., and Michael Gruber’s musical The Not So Peaceable Kingdom on Thursday, June 19, at 7:00 p.m. Individuals interested in experiencing the rehearsal process for these works may also attend any/all rehearsals, which are open to the public and take place daily Friday, June 13 through Thursday, June 19, from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Admission to performances and rehearsals of The Fall of the House of Usher and The Not So Peaceable Kingdom is free and open to the public. All rehearsals and performances take place at the Penn State Downtown Theatre Center, 146 South Allen Street, State College.

Edgar Allan Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher comes to life in Sarah Hirsch and Molly Fox’s haunting musical adaptation. Struggling painter James Cleary receives a summons to his childhood friend Roderick Usher's mansion, to paint Roderick's portrait before he dies. Roderick and his twin sister, Madeline, allegedly suffer from a mysterious inherited illness. Roderick tells James that Madeline is far away, but James discovers her hidden in the mansion. James's discovery of a sinister vein running through the Usher line rocks the house to its foundation. The Fall of the House of Usher addresses just how far we would go to keep from losing those we love.

Michael Gruber’s The Not So Peaceable Kingdom is a musical anthology of children's poems, fables, and short stories with animals as the central figures. Illuminating works by Aesop, A.A. Milne, Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear, Roald Dahl, the Grimm Brothers, and many others, this program features four singers and is designed to delight children of all ages.

 “We are thrilled to bring The Fall of the House of Usher and The Not So Peaceable Kingdom to our community,” said Raymond Sage, artistic director of the NU. Musical Theatre Festival. “The work we do at the NU. Musical Theatre Festival is a genuinely collaborative effort in the progression of a truly American art form. I am incredibly proud of the dedication of everyone associated with our 2014 season and can’t wait for our audiences to experience these remarkable new works.”

For more information on the NU. Musical Theatre Festival, please visit