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January 16, 2001

Future Stars to Perform at CSUS Lenaea Festival

California State University, Sacramento sets the stage to spotlight high school drama students at the 44th annual Lenaea Festival, Feb. 2 - 4.

The festival is the oldest high school drama event of its kind in the country. Whereas some festivals require specific scenes from particular plays, the Lenaea Festival has no limitations on performance subjects and no restrictions on the number of participants.

The Lenaea Festival features duets, monologues and one-act plays written and directed by West Coast high school students.

Hundreds of students from Bakersfield to Seattle will perform 58 one-act plays, in addition to numerous monologues and duets, at this year's festival.

Each participant will receive advice and one-on-one workshops regarding their productions from a team of guest respondents, including actor Robert Pine and screenwriter Tim Wright. Each piece will also be critiqued to emphasize the show's strengths and weaknesses, as well as to provide the students with a practical theatrical experience.

On the final evening of the festival, at 5 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 4, a recognition ceremony will be held in the University Union Ballroom to honor outstanding presentations in all categories including acting, directing, play writing, costuming, lighting, scenic painting and sound design.

The Lenaea Festival was created in 1957 in an effort to get CSUS involved with the community and connected with local high school drama departments.

The festival takes its name from the ancient Greeks. Originally staged in Athens in the fifth century B.C., the Lenaea Festival was a Dionysian celebration of the wine press and the dramatic emphasis was placed on comedy.

In 1998, the Lenaea Festival received the Northern California Educational Theatre Association award for "Excellence in Theatre Education," and in 2000, the association named the festival's executive director Robert Smart as "Theatre Educator of the Year."

The festival's performances take place from 1 - 10 p.m., Feb. 2; 8:30 a.m. - 10 p.m. Feb. 3; and 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Feb. 4.

All performances are free and take place in the University Theatre, Playwrights' Theatre and the Studio Theatre.

The festival is funded in part by grants from the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, the CSUS Foundation and the CSUS department of theatre and dance alumni chapter.

For more information about the Lenaea Festival contact the CSUS department of theatre and dance at (916) 278-6702. For media assistance contact the CSUS public affairs office at (916) 278-6156.

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