Ursinus’ 150th birthday celebration continues this weekend with the production of “The Complete History of Ursinus College [Abridged],” a play written and directed by Professor Domenick Scudera.
The Theatre and Dance Department decided to contribute to the sesquicentennial by bringing to life some of the people and events from the college’s 150 years.
Scudera says researching and writing “The Complete History” was both gratifying and interesting. Through digging in the archives, reading documents, and talking to members of the community, he learned a lot about the college that he had not previously known.
Scudera’s research has helped him foster a greater appreciation for important people in Ursinus’ past such as Eleanor Frost Snell, Minerva Weinberg, Bertha Hendricks, and W.R. Crigler. Even old traditions like May Day, the Lorelei Dance, school colors, and the Ursinus mascot were cast in a new light by his digs through the archives.
Members of the company and production crew also share that same sentiment of appreciation for the Ursinus history in the play. Senior Ruby Serafin and junior Hannah Ritter have enjoyed their experience working and rehearsing as cast members.
“Acting in this play has made me more observant of the campus and I feel accomplished ’cause I can rattle off facts to people that they might not have known before. I feel more engaged and more connected then I did before,” says Serafin.
“It has allowed me to understand how the history of the college fits into the history of the surrounding area, which is neat. Ursinus has always seemed to me to have very strong ties to the Collegeville community, which is nice,” says Ritter
It would be impossible to fully touch on every aspect of Ursinus’ 150-year history, so Scudera focused his script on those elements of UC’s history that he felt would be both entertaining and fascinating.
The play has a fun, fast-paced, light-hearted tone that Scudera believes people will enjoy. He and the entire company look forward to sharing what they have learned about the college and the community.
“Our hope is that the production will allow the Ursinus community to have fun with, and pay tribute to, all things Ursinus,” Scudera says.
The play opens Thursday, October 3, at 7:30 p.m. It runs through the weekend with performances on Friday, October 4, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, October 5, at 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, October 6, at 2:00 p.m.
New play inspired by Ursinus’ historyTickets run $8 for general admission and $5 for students, faculty, and seniors.