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August 12, 2020

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ONU to present ‘Suicide in B Flat’ by Sam Shepard

Ohio Northern University’s Freed Center for the Performing Arts will present “Suicide in B Flat” from Feb. 7-9 at 7:30 p.m. with two matinee shows on Saturday, Feb. 9, and Sunday, Feb. 10, at 2 p.m.

The production, done by ONU students, revolves around two detectives attempting to sort out a murder/suicide in a darkly comic, jazz-inspired parody of a detective story written by Sam Shepard, one of America’s greatest contemporary dramatic voices.

This wild ride of a play, first produced in 1976, is situated at the crossroads between Shepard’s experimental past and his more commercial future.

The cast includes Jennifer Barnaba (Paulette), a sophomore musical theatre and music performance double major from Bellbrook, Ohio; Derek Brookens (Louis), a senior musical theatre major from Port Allegany, Pa.; Lindsey DelBello (Laureen), a senior theatre and history double major with a dance minor from Williamsville, N.Y.; Jim Park (piano player), a sophomore marketing major from Sylvania, Ohio; Zane Sade (Niles), a junior theatre major from Churubusco, Ind.; Diego Sandino (Pablo), a senior journalism and theatre double major from Attica, Ohio; and Jim Scofield (Petrone), a junior musical theatre and creative writing double major from Sugar Land, Texas.

Geoffry Nelson, the guest director for the production, has staged two Sam Shepard plays, “True West” and “Fool for Love,” and produced a third, “A Lie of the Mind.” Nelson founded the Contemporary American Theatre Company in 1985.

He served as the artistic director at CATCO, central Ohio’s professional theatre, for more than 25 years, producing more than 200 plays.

Nelson has directed more than 100 plays, ranging from Neil Simon to Anton Chekhov, from Rodgers & Hammerstein to Harold Pinter.

He has taught theatre or served as a guest artist at several Ohio universities, including Denison, Wittenberg, Otterbein and Ohio State, as well as The Pontifical College Josephinum. He has won awards from The Ohio Theatre Alliance, The Theatre Roundtable of Central Ohio, The Central Ohio Critics Circle, The Ohioana Library Association and the Huntington Foundation.

Under his leadership, CATCO won the Governor’s Award for Arts Outreach, and, most recently, he was the recipient of the Raymond G. Hanley Fellowship in the Arts.

Tickets are $15 for general admission, $12 for seniors and non-ONU students, $9 for children, and $5 for ONU students. The Freed Center box office is open Monday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Phone orders are accepted with American Express, MasterCard, VISA or Discover by calling 419-772-1900. Tickets also are available online at www.freedcenter.com