The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie to open at URI

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KINGSTON, R.I.—April 7, 2008–The prize-winning Theatre Department of the University of Rhode Island announces its upcoming production of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. The production runs April 17 to 19 and April 24 to 26 at 7:30 p.m. and April 20 and 27 at 3 p.m. Admission is $14 for the general public, $10 for senior citizens and URI faculty/staff and $8 for students. For reservations, call the box office at 401-874-5843. For more information, call 401-874-5921.

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie has proven to be a tour de force for such exciting stage and screen actors as Vanessa Redgrave, Zoe Caldwell, Maggie Smith and more recently Fiona Shaw and Cynthia Nixon (Miranda in Sex and the City). Adapted from Muriel Spark’s novel by Jay Presson Allen, the play and film won Tony and Oscar awards for their leading ladies.

In this serious, comedic play the attractive, unorthodox teacher, Miss Jean Brodie in her prime, captivates the attention of her schoolgirls, as well, as a few of her male colleagues. Why Brody with her personal, anecdotal, progressive style insists on teaching at the conservative private girls’ school in Edinburgh, Scotland, is bewildering to many, particularly the traditional headmistress Miss MacKay.

As fascism and its proponents, Franco, Mussolini and Hitler, gained popularity in the 1930s, Brody’s amusing views, her romantic stories and her very decided, sometimes dangerous opinions, make an impression on everyone with whom she comes in contact.

Brodie entertains us as she dismays us, but her impact is undeniable. As the action builds the audience comes to understand her words “…all my pupils are the crème de la crème. Give me a girl at an impressionable age and she is mine for life…”

A MATChat, short for matinee chat, with the director, cast, designers and crew will follow the April 20 performance at 3 p.m. The interactive chat will give audience members an opportunity to ask questions.

Scenic design by Cheryl deWardener, costume design by Marilyn Salvatore, lighting design by Jeffrey Whitsett, and sound design by Michael Martineau.

Members of the cast, their characters and hometowns follow:

Actor Character Hometown

Ama M. Appiah, Miss MacKay, Miss Campbell Providence

Kira Arnold, Miss Campbell Fairfield, Conn.

Elyssa Baldassarri, Jean Brodie Holmes, N.Y.

Cory Crew, Mr. McCready Putnam Valley, N.Y.

Jamie Dufault, Mr. Perry Narragansett

Autumn Gillette, Mary MacGregor Manchester, Mass.

Meg Kane, Schoolgirl, Girl Guide Smithfield

Joseph Kidawski, Teddy Lloyd Framingham, Mass.

Rebecca Kittredge, Girl Guide, Schoolgirl Cranston

Jolie Lippincott, Sandy Westerly

Lara Maynard, Jenny Narragansett

Nick Mendillo, Gordon Lowther Cranston

Stephanie Morgan, Girl Guide, School Girl Westfield, Mass.

Ellise G. Petraca, Miss MacKay Johnston

Betsy Rinaldi, Girl Guide, School Girl Coventry

Stephanie Rodger , Girl Guide, School Girl Coventry

Amanda Ruggiero, Monica Smithfield

Johnny Sederquist, understudy Middleboro, Mass.

Hillary Scofield, understudy Kensington, N.H.

Micah Tougas, understudy W. Kingston

Stephanie Anne Traversa, Sister Helena Narragansett