Theatre Eclectic is hosting Devising America: Spoon River and Beyond, a play written by Philip Levien, a fellow of The Gevirtz School’s South Coast Writing Project (SCWriP). Theatre Eclectic is the production arm of Urge to Act, an acting class sponsored by SBCC School of Extended Learning. Two GGSE alumnae, Leesa Beck and Beth Yeager, are also involved with the production as actresses. Yeager is also the Associate Producer and Dramaturg.
Devising America is free and open to the public, and will be performed on Thursday, Nov. 29 at 7 pm at the SBCC Schott Campus Theater, Saturday, Dec. 1 at 2 pm at the Maravilla Retirement Community, Tuesday, Dec. 4 at 7 pm at the SBCC Wake Campus Theater, and Thursday, Dec. 6 at 7 pm at the SBCC Schott Campus Theater.
Devising America: Spoon River and Beyond takes a look at small town America past and present. It pokes around some of the dark edges of the small town--every town, really--and tries to show us the pitfalls to avoid. It also seeks to inspire us to rise above the challenges of daily life. In today’s fractured society, one in which we are isolated by technology and a tribe mentality, Devising America examines the concept of community, when it fails and when it succeeds. Through an eclectic mix of classic texts (by such greats as Edgar Lee Masters, Thornton Wilder, and John Updike) and diverse texts of modernity, this production strikes a positive note, ultimately, of what life in America can be.
Levien, in addition to being a SCWriP Fellow, taught the SCWriP course in UCSB’s Teacher Education Program. He also was a long-time Cooperating Teacher with TEP, when he taught English and theater arts at San Marcos High School for 19 years. Leesa Beck, UCSB’s Registrar, earned her Ph.D. from the Department of Education in 2016. Beth Yeager, currently an independent educational consultant and researcher, also earned her Ph.D. from the Department of Education and was a long-time researcher at the school.