Name: Lisa Kufs
Major: Sociology, Graduate Dept.
Final Press Release
April 17, 2003 Contact: Elsa Murphy
Original Play Breaks Tradition
for Bryn Athyn Community Theater
Board members of the Bryn Athyn Community Theater say “Avalon,” the bold and edgy work of a Willow Grove playwright, will be remembered long after the curtain falls on the production set for May 2, 3, 9 and 10 at the Mitchell Performing Art Center in Bryn Athyn.
“Unlike our recent productions – ‘Iolanthe,’ ‘The King & I’ and ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ – Avalon tackles controversy head on,” said producer Kent Cooper. “We picked the play as our spring production because of its bold consideration of divisive contemporary issues. It depicts traditional religious beliefs warring with the questionable ethics of biologically engineered people.”
The BAct board, which selects work for the twice-a-year productions, was impressed by the quality of the play, written by 25-year-old Lisa Kufs, according to Board member Mimi Mitchell. “We set a high bar for what we will consider,” said Mitchell, in whose honor the performing art center is named. “Lisa’s fearless treatment of the concept and the caliber of her writing made Avalon stand out.”
Set in the near future, the play unfolds as the fear of advancing biotechnology causes the government to outlaw all genetic research. When a group of scientists changes the rules, not everyone is ready to live in a brave new world. Religious fundamentalism clashes with advancing science in a fable of doubt, faith, love, betrayal and ultimate redemption. In the story, Avalon does not refer to an isle of ancient lore, but to both the name of an unscrupulous biotech corporation and a remarkable young girl who is special in many ways.
Kufs, a Willow Grove resident and currently a graduate student in Temple University’s Department of Sociology, comments, “Experiencing first hand the process of transferring, and sometimes transforming, what was on the page to the stage has been a lot like child birth – occasionally painful, but ultimately exhilarating.”
Avalon debuts May 2, 3, 9 & 10 at 8 p.m. at the Mitchell Performing Art Center, Tomlinson & Buck Roads. Bryn Athyn, PA. Tickets may be obtained by calling 215-938-PLAY or at the door. Information:www.bact.org.