PSU Theatre presents Still Life with Iris Oct. 14-17

October 10th, 2010 by Adam
Amanda Teneriello develops acrobatic illusions using hanging silks, with Robin Marcotte

Plymouth, N.H.— Students in the Plymouth State University Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance will perform Steven Dietz’s fantasy adventure play Still Life with Iris October 14-17 at the Silver Center for the Arts Hanaway Theatre.

The plot of Still Life with Iris centers on a little girl’s search for the simplest of things: home.
Iris lives with her mother in the land of Nocturno, a magical place in which the workers make, by night, all of the things we see in the world by day.

In Nocturno, memories do not reside in people’s minds but instead are kept in their coats, called “Past Coats.” The rulers of Nocturno, “the Great Goods,” are determined to have the best of everything on their island—they take Iris away from her home be their daughter. To ease the pain of this separation, they remove her Past Coat, leaving her with no memory of her home or her family. All that remains of Iris’ past is a single button from her coat. Using the button as a clue, Iris goes on a journey to free herself from the Great Goods and reclaim her memories, her past and her true family.

Performances of Still Life with Iris will be October 14 at 8 p.m. and October 15 at 7 p.m., October 16 at 2 and 8 p.m. and October 17 at 3 p.m.

Tickets are $13 for adults, $11 for seniors and $9 for youth at the Silver Center Box Office, (603) 535-ARTS (2787) or (800) 779-3869. Tickets are also available online at

Left to right: Samuel Tolley and Robin Marcotte in a physical theatre workshop

Still Life with Iris made its world premiere in 1997 at the Seattle Children’s Theatre, and the extended run closed with more than 70 sold-out performances. Its development was supported by a major grant from the John F. Kennedy Center’s Fund for new American Plays, the first play for young audiences to receive such an award. The play received rave reviews from critics, reviewers, magic fans and theatre goers.

Co-director Elizabeth Cox, director of theatre at PSU, says “This is a play that invites audiences of all ages. It is a fantasy/drama, a genre that we’ve not done with students in a while.”

Co-director Robin Marcotte, PSU 2000, who is also a graduate of Dell Arte School of Physical Theatre and current managing director of the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts is working with each actor to establish a full physical life for a character.

Cast members of Still Life with Iris are Lauren Patterson ’11 from Barre, Vt., Marni Balint ’11 from Hudson, Amanda Teneriello ’11 from Hudson, Cathryn Philippe ’11 from Windham, Abbie Morin ’12 from Laconia, Anna Smith ’13 from Manchester, Elizabeth Desrosiers ’11 from Vinyard Haven, Mass., James McEnerny ’12 from Middlebury, Vt., Samuel Tolley ’13 from Weare, David Brown ’12 from Whitinsville, Mass., Joshua Coleman ’12 from West Yarmouth, Mass., Eric St. Cyr ’11 from Hampstead and Mervin Enver Marvey ’12 from Rustenburg, South Africa.

Free-lance scenic and lighting designer Brian Sidney Bembridge is also working on the production. Bembridge, who is originally from Londonderry, is currently based in Chicago. His recent designs have been at Chicago Shakespeare, the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta and off-Broadway. Technical students in the Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance have the unusual opportunity to work on a non-realistic production, and are doing props, costumes and lights.

Associate professor Matt Kizer and student designer Dan Hopper are providing the light palette. Other-worldly costumes are being designed by PSU designer Danee Grillo. The student staff also includes Samantha Setayest as stage manager and Allison Porter as assistant stage manager.

For information about Still Life with Iris, contact Elizabeth Cox,

General information about events at PSU is available at ThisWeek@PSU.