Mary Baldwin Theatre Presents The Verbena Rowan Museum

May 3, 2004

Mary Baldwin University presents Todd Ristau’s The Verbena Rowan Museum May 5-8 at 8 p.m. and May 9 at 2 p.m. in the Fletcher Collins Theatre in Deming Hall.

Ristau, assistant professor of theatre at Mary Baldwin University, is a graduate of the Iowa Playwright’s Workshop and the first Iowa writer to have been produced on London’s West End since Tennessee Williams. According to Ristau, The Verbena Rowan Museum is something like a cross between Death of a Salesman and Fried Green Tomatoes. The play looks into the efforts of the title character, a lonely and aged orphan played by University of Virginia drama professor Kate Burke, to ensure something of her remains in the world when she leaves it behind.

Julie Howard, played by senior Christina Sayer, is drawn into Verbena’s world of dream and memory through a series of letters and phone messages attempting to get Verbena’s Social Security number. Additional cast members include Amy Jordan as Young Verbena, Sarah Hatfield as Nurse Terry, Mill Mountain Theatre intern John Bryant as Virgil Walker, and Jim Benedict as the Bank Manager and Uncle Horace. Ensemble members include Megan Dzaack, Tashera Perry, Molly Starks, Heather Johnson, and Jess Hilden.

Audiences are advised that this play’s blend of melancholy and humor contains some adult themes and language, but is appropriate for most audiences. Reservations are strongly recommended. The campus box office is open for credit-card reservations Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at (540) 887-7189. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students and seniors.

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