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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI Feinstein Providence Campus to premiere play focused on mental health issues for teens

Media Contact: Jhodi Redlich, 401-874-4500

Squiggy and the Goldfish by Lenny Schwartz, May 4-8

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – April 21, 2005 – In recognition of Mental Health and Wellness Month in May, the University of Rhode Island Feinstein Providence Campus will premiere SQUIGGY and the Goldfish, a dramatic production written by Rhode Island playwright Lenny Schwartz.

Squiggy is a moving and engaging story with characters that are believable and easily approachable. Through these characters, Schwartz addresses some of the serious issues faced by today’s youth including: self image, depression, physical and sexual abuse, cutting (inflicting self-mutilation) and teen suicide. The play explores these complex issues honestly and in a manner that becomes a catalyst for discussion.

Free and open to the public, the production will be held Wednesday through Saturday, May 4-7 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, May 8 at 2 p.m. Due to the topics and materials covered, the play is not suitable for small children, but for teens and older. The play will be presented in the Paff Auditorium at URI’s Providence Campus, 80 Washington St.

As a public service, special performances for area high schools will be held Thursday and Friday, May 5 and 6 at 9:30 a.m and 12:30 p.m. each day. A study-guide, discussion questions, resources and contact numbers will be available for schools and teachers planning to attend the performance of Squiggy. Those interested in bringing classes should call 277-5206 for reservations.

The play is written and directed by Schwartz (N. Scituate, formerly of Cranston), designed by Jim Belanger (Coventry), with Dramaturg Frank Toti (Cranston). Cast members are: Matthew Smith (Swansea, Mass.) as Squiggy, Christina Myers (Cranston) as Blossom, Cailin Humphreys as Veronica, Hector Garcia (Cranston) as the Young Man, Laura Barlow (Cranston) Female Police Officer, Michael Truppi (Johnston) as Goldie, Kevin Delany (N. Providence) as Pappy, Kate Golbitz (Bristol) as Mom, Jon Brennon (Providence) as Wally, James Kelly (Bellingham, MA) Dr. Kevorkian, and Elese Morrone (Coventry) Geeky Girl.

This is the third of more than a dozen of Schwartz’s plays to be premiered at URI’s Providence campus and presented to schools. Other plays by Schwartz include: Lulu and Me, Video Store Madman, and The Scarecrow.

A complementary art exhibition will also be presented at the URI Feinstein Providence Campus Gallery, May 1-27, that focuses on mental health issues. The campus gallery exhibit will deal most directly with Alzeheimer’s disease, bi-polar disorder, depression and the use of art in healing. A Gallery Night with performances of music and poetry. Free and open to the public, the gallery is located in the first and second floor lobbies of the campus at 80 Washington St. Hours are: Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. - 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., closed Sunday.