Sept. 3-9, 1999
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Spectrum TheatreStudent theater group to dramatize entering class' hopes and dreams

Spectrum Theatre will portray the personalities and perspectives of students entering U.Va. during a production of "Voices of the Class" Sept. 9-11 in Old Cabell Hall auditorium at 8 p.m.

Members of Spectrum Theatre, a student organization created to "reach across the racial divide," will incorporate approximately 50 admission essays of incoming students into an ensemble work that will include narration, skits, monlogues and musical numbers. Throughout the production, nine actors will constantly change their roles, costumes and characters to reflect experiences of the entering class.

Spectrum Theatre students have had total creative control over selecting and editing the essays to portray as well as casting and staging the production. They've spent approximately two months examining more than 130 application essays recommended by U.Va.'s Office of Admission and have selected those writings that best answer the question, ³Who are you?", according to Kevin Neher, the group¹s co-founder.

"We have two main goals in the production," said Neher, a third-year student. "We believe the production will reveal how the words students chose while applying to U.Va. reflect their voices. We also see the production as a way of introducing those voices to the University community."

The presentation will also "allow all kinds of voices to be heard," said Steven Shepard, a third-year student and co-founder of the Spectrum Theatre. The two students formed the organization last year and staged a multiracial version of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" that was set in the civil rights era.

The organization receives support from the Dean of Students Office, the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and the Parents Program of the Alumni Association.

Tickets for "Voices of the Class" cost $3 and are available at Newcomb Hall Box Office. Beginning Sept. 6, they will also be sold on the Lawn.


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