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Curse falls upon Guilford College and Lunafest rises in Greensboro

by Mark Burger

It’ll be a feeding frenzy for area theater buffs when the Guilford College Department of Theatre Studies presents Sam Shepard’s award-winning, dysfunctional-family saga Curse of the Starving Class, which opens Friday at Sternberger Auditorium, located in Founders Hall on the Guilford College campus (5800 W. Friendly Ave., Greensboro).

The show first premiered in 1978 under the auspices of legendary producer Joseph Papp’s New York Shakespeare Festival, and received the Obie Award for Best New American Play. It is the first in Shepard’s widely acclaimed (and sometimes controversial) Family Cycle, which includes True West, A Lie of the Mind and Buried Child. These plays are piercingly incisive, viciously satirical and often painfully tragic portraits of families come undone.

Set in rural Illinois, Curse of the Starving Class focuses on the members of the Tate clan, whose relationships with one another are rapidly, irrevocably collapsing. How they deal with the situation — and with each other — forms the backbone of the story.

The original New York production featured Olympia Dukakis, Pamela Reed and Michael J. Pollard under the direction of Robert Woodruff. In 1994, the big-screen version of Curse of the Starving Class starred James Woods, Kathy Bates, Randy Quaid and Louis Gossett Jr.

The Guilford College production is being directed by visiting theater studies professor Tim Hanna, himself a 1993 graduate of Guilford.

Although written more than 30 years ago, Hanna believes that its themes and symbolism are as timely now as ever. “The play reveals how difficult and complicated life is for those in society who feel undernourished, unappreciated and displaced,” he said in a statement.

Due to adult themes and language, this production is recommended for mature audiences only. (Sam Shepard is hardly known for his family fare.)

Showtimes are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays (April 2-3, 9-10) and Thursday (April 8). General admission is $5 (less than the average movie!); members of the Guilford College community admitted for $1. Reservations are suggested, as seating is limited.

For tickets or more information, call 336.316.2414 or check out the official Guilford College website: www.guilford.edu.

 

— Hosted by Hirsch Wellness Network, Lunafest Greensboro 2010 is a touring film festival that pays tribute to the courage of women through a series of short films. It will make its stop in the Piedmont Triad on Saturday, April 10 at the Presbyterian Church of the

 

Covenant (501 S. Mendenhall St., Greensboro).

The film festival, which will make the rounds of more than 140 venues throughout the US and Canada, pays tribute to the talents and courage of women. These are films made about women and for women, and each Lunafest screening raises awareness and funds for local non-profit organizations that help and support women in the area.

The Greensboro event will support the Breast Cancer Fund and the programs of the Hirsch Wellness Network, an organization devoted to building a cancer support community in the area.

The showtime for Lunafest Greensboro 2010 is 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Admis’­sion is $15; $10 for students. For tickets or more information, call 336.549.8367 or e-mail louise@hirschwellnessnetwork.org.

wanna go?

CURSE Showtimes: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays (April 2-3, 9-10) and Thursday (April 8) Location: Sternberger Auditorium, Founders Hall, Guilford College (5800 W. Friendly Ave., Greensboro). General admission is $5; members of the Guilford College community $1. Reservations suggested.Information: call 336.316.2414 or check out the official Guilford College website: www.guilford.edu.

LUNAFEST Showtime: 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Sat, April 10th Location: Presbyterian Church of the Covenant (501 S. Mendenhall St., Greensboro) Admission is $15; $10 for students. Information: call 336.549.8367 or e-mail louise@ hirschwellnessnetwork.org

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