Seton Hill University Theatre Presents the Pittsburgh Area Premiere of “Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea” April 22 to 24, 2022
The Seton Hill University Theatre and Dance Program will present the Pittsburgh area premiere of “Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea,” by Nathan Alan Davis, April 22 to 24, 2022 in the William Granger Ryan Theatre, Performing Arts Center, 100 Harrison Avenue, Greensburg, Pa. Tickets are $15, with student and group rates available. Call the Seton Hill Performing Arts Center Box Office for tickets at 724-552-2929 or purchase tickets online. “Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea” is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc.
As part of its COVID-19 risk mitigation efforts, the Seton Hill University Performing Arts Center requires all guests to wear masks at performances, regardless of vaccination status.
Performances: April 22 and 23: 8 p.m.; April 23 and 24: 2 p.m.
Dontrell wants to swim the Atlantic, against the tide of family resistance, to find his ancestor lost in the Middle Passage. Afro-Surrealism flows through movement, music, ritual and electric language in this magical play Rescripted calls “a beautiful invitation to heal.”
The Seton Hill student cast of “Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea” includes Channing Griffin of Munhall, Pa.; Alexandra Hellinger of Allison Park, Pa.; Diante Jackson of Greensburg, Pa.; Ryan Deshyla Jordan of Liberty Township, Ohio; Stacey Fils of Boardman, Ohio; Saffron White of Pittsburgh, Pa.; and Todd Griffin of Pittsburgh, Pa.
The Seton Hill student technical staff includes Devon Young of Pittsburgh, Pa., assistant to the director/dramaturg, assistant stage manager and scene shop and production crew; Christopher Brown of Forestville, Md., assistant stage manager and scene shop and production crew; Sarah Wells of Pittsburgh, Pa., dresser and costume shop crew; Penny Zamborsky of Homestead, Pa., dresser and costume shop crew; Madison Buckley of Westlake, Ohio, light board operator; Taylor Humenay of Clearfield, Pa., sound board operator; Ellie Oxley of Molendinar, Australia, assistant to the costume designer; Haddassah Cowen of Pittsburgh, Pa., costume shop crew; Julianna Eyer of Pittsburgh, Pa., costume shop crew, Alexandra Hellinger of Allison Park, Pa., costume shop crew; Kayla McCargo of North Brunswick, N.J., costume shop crew; Julia Wingard of Pittsburgh, Pa., scene shop and production crew; Isabel Papariella of Pittsburgh, Pa., scene shop and production crew; Tara Dougherty of Jefferson Hills, Pa., scene shop and production crew; Anton Linden of Sporemagervej, Denmark, scene shop and production crew; Tanner Maue of Swissvale, Pa., scene shop and production crew; and Mya Clay of McDonald, Pa., scene shop and production crew.
The Seton Hill University production of “Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea” is directed by NaTasha Thompson, a director, playwright and North Carolina native. Much of her inspiration comes from her southern roots. Her work is often grounded in Black History and invites productive discourse. She is committed to amplifying underrepresented voices so that awareness/education is increased. She’s worked with organizations such as The North Carolina Black Repertory Company, Playmakers Repertory Company, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Theatre For a New Audience, Bull City Black Theatre Festival, DNAWORKS, Mott Haven Academy Charter School and New Hazlett Theatre CSA 21/22, Lavender Terrace. She is also a recipient of FMM Longlist Prize for Works in Heightened Language from Synecdoche Works, 2021. NaTasha holds a BA in Drama from UNC-Greensboro and an M.F.A in Directing from Carnegie Mellon University.
Guest artistic staff for “Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea,” includes Choreographer Chrisala M. Brown and Percussionist Dante Mitchell.
Chrisala M. Brown has been choreographing, teaching and performing in Pittsburgh for over 20 years. Her dance background includes a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance from Temple University. Formal training began in Pittsburgh at the Pittsburgh High School for the Creative and Performing Arts and the Dance Alloy, a modern dance company. Most recently, she has presented works on the The Shona Sharif African Drum and Dance Ensemble, the Legacy Arts Project and the Balafon West African Dance Ensemble. In-depth studies of African Diasporic music and dance traditions have continued with Kadiatou Conte-Forte, Artistic Director of the Balafon West African Dance Ensemble, and on-going development through mentors from Guinea, Senegal and Mali. Chrisala brings a strong respect for and appreciation of the importance of educating students and audiences on the traditions of the cultures through music and dance. Context and authenticity is the priority in creating works that will have a lasting presence within the community. Ms. Brown has had the pleasure of working with the Seton Hill University Dance Ensemble to present West African dance movement for the Dance Spectrum 2022 Concert.
Beginning his musical education with noted percussionists Baba Eric(OmI Yemoja)Rucker and Youssou Lo in 1990, Dante Mitchell has studied and performed West African culture for over 25 years. Dante, an accomplished West African percussionist, has recorded and performed in many main-stage plays and productions nationally and internationally. Dante has toured extensively around the United States, Cuba and West Africa studying and performing traditional African customs and cultures. Following various trips to West Africa as a child, Dante developed a powerful appreciation and love for West African culture and music. Since then, he has used his immense musical knowledge and talents to teach, preserve, and cultivate an awareness of the rich cultural heritage and musical traditions of West Africa through “edutainment.” He has toured as a West African percussionist with prestigious international dance companies. He is also a member of Kuumba inc. and co-founder of The Ibeyi West African Drum and Dance Company.
Professional artistic staff for the production includes Ken Clothier, Assistant Professor of Theatre, lighting design, projection design, and master electrician; Karen Glass, Assistant Professor of Theatre, set design, charge scenic artist and properties manager; Seton Hill alumna Lexi Jenks, a December 2021 graduate, stage manager; Lisa Leibering, Assistant Professor of Theatre, costume design and costume director; Elaine Montgomery, costume shop manager; Denise Pullen, Associate Professor of Theatre, artistic director; and Caila Yates, technical director, production manager and COVID-19 compliance officer.
Venue Information: All Seton Hill Theatre performances are held in the William Granger Ryan Theatre in Seton Hill’s Performing Arts Center, 100 Harrison Avenue, Greensburg, Pa. The Performing Arts Center is a fully accessible and climate-controlled facility. Parking is available in four nearby Greensburg parking areas: the Bell Parking Garage on North Otterman Street (across the street from the Performing Arts Center), the Hellman-Ghrist lot on North Main Street, the Albert Grillo lot on Seton Hill Drive and the Wib Albright lot off West Otterman Street.
Ticket Information: Single admission tickets are $15. Seton Hill students (with valid ID) can purchase tickets for $5. Non-Seton Hill students (with a valid school ID) can purchase advance tickets for $13. Students from any school can purchase rush tickets five minutes before curtain, subject to availability, for $5 (with valid school ID). Groups of six or more can purchase tickets at a rate of $11 each with a reservation and advance payment. Order tickets online at http://www.setonhill.edu/tickets by phone at 724-552-2929, or by mail at SHUPAC Box Office, Seton Hill University, 1 Seton Hill Drive, Greensburg, Pa. 15601-1599. Box Office Hours are Monday through Friday from 2 p.m. - 6 p.m. and three hours before a performance.
Seton Hill University’s Performing Arts Center is 73,000 square feet of everything a performing arts major needs to move from student to professional. The Center houses two dedicated, flexible performance spaces, the Carol Ann Reichgut Concert Hall and the William Granger Ryan Theatre. The Center also includes a performance studio, new classrooms, rehearsal rooms and technical areas that include the best equipment for learning and performing, from Steinway pianos to the latest in lighting, sound, video and acoustics. The Center is located in downtown Greensburg, putting it squarely in the middle of the city’s cultural district yet still only minutes from Seton Hill’s main hilltop campus.
The Seton Hill University Theatre and Dance Program has a long history of educating performing arts majors for professional careers while playing a vital role in the educational life of the campus. Seton Hill’s Theatre and Dance Program offers five full-length productions (as well as a number of shorter works) each year that generate audiences of over 3,500 and speak to topics addressed in courses across Seton Hill’s curriculum. For more information on the Theatre and Dance Program at Seton Hill, please visit www.setonhill.edu or call 724-552-2934.