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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI Theatre students 'acting out'

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KINGSTON, R.I. -- April 12, 2004 -- URI Theatre has started an outreach program called "Acting Out" which features a touring troupe of URI student players. The troupe is performing a comedy entitled Sticks and Stones by Don Kukla at approximately 20 schools this spring.

The troupe uses drama as a tool to examine contemporary social issues for children and youth. The lively play is 40 minutes long and is cunningly educational. It is designed to generate discussion long after the performance ends. Four talented URI theatre majors -- James Bagley of North Kingstown, Brad Kirton of Coventry, Erin Olson of Portsmouth, and Joe Short of Wakefield play several roles, doing skits full of wisecracks and questions about abusing cigarettes, drinking, drugs and guns. There's mime and even a remote control device that can make the actors go fast forward, slow motion, or speak in reverse.

While the play treats the subjects of peer pressure and substance abuse seriously, it makes sure that youthful audiences have plenty of fun along the way. Sticks and Stones has been on tour with the Missoula Children's Theatre as part of the "Issues and Awareness Tour" playing to audiences between fourth and eighth grades.

The play is directed by Paula McGlasson and stage managed by Michael Policare.

The remaining "Acting Out" troupe schedule is:

April 14: Rocky Hill School, East Greenwich, 10 a.m.
April 19: Davisville Middle School, North Kingstown, 9:30 a.m.
April 21: Wickford Middle School, North Kingstown, 9:30 a.m.
April 23: Broad Rock School, South Kingstown, 9:30 a.m.
April 26: Broad Rock School, South Kingstown, 9:30 a.m.
April 28: Broad Rock School, South Kingstown, 9:30 a.m.
May 3: Davisville Middle School, North Kingstown, 9:30 a.m.

While the topic may differ, "Acting Out" will tour with a new program next year. Anyone interested in booking the troupe for next year should call Paula McGlasson at 874-2712 or Bonnie Bosworth at 874-5922.