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Curtain Call Presents "Paper or Plastic" and "Tracks"

Paper or Plastic and Tracks Playbill
The University of Valley Forge (UVF) theater group Curtain Call performed two one-act plays this semester, presenting their rendition of Werner Trieschmann’s comedy “Paper or Plastic?” and Peter Tarsi’s drama “Tracks” at Krempel’s Theater. The show was directed by Yolanda Alvarez Maldonado with co-directors Sydney Hampton and Kyle Hinton, and starred current UVF students.
 
The first show, “Paper or Plastic”, is an absurd comedy centered on Sarah, played by sophomore Stephanie Hamel, an average American teenage girl on the first day of her new job at a local supermarket known as Puritan Foods. Although Sarah tries to excel in her job to avoid dreaded employment at a fast food chain restaurant, the quirky, bizarre, and sometimes downright irritating individuals around her prevent her job from going smoothly. The torment of working at Puritan Foods is initially perpetrated by her boss — a recurrent Employee of the Month winner who just can’t seem to get her name right — played by Curtain Call newcomer Hunter Mashtare. Her coworkers, a motley crew of characters, only add to her frustration. They include the apathetic egoist Regina, the outlandishly disillusioned Kenny, and try-hard shopping cart aficionado Sam, individually played by sophomore Isabel Wallace, sophomore Joseph Battistella and junior Danielle Debley, respectively. 

Furthering Sarah’s disenchantment with her cashier job is the clientele of Puritan Foods, a peculiar bevy of customers who can’t seem to answer the simple question that Sarah has been instructed to ask of each patron: “Paper or plastic?” The audience is thus treated to a screwball situation comedy in which Sarah struggles to deal with customers ranging from a dull-witted cowboy to a tabloid-enthusiastic conspiracy theorist, played by supporting cast members Andrew Leeman, Blaine Cooper, Stephan Erickson, Briahna Rivers and Olivia Gordon who performs a double-role as both a shaky hypochondriac and a tech-obsessed juvenescent. Also notable is a recurrent cameo by assistant director Kyle Hinton as the droll store announcer, a small but hilarious follow-up to his breakthrough performance in Curtain Call’s spring 2016 production “I Am Not a Robot.”

 
The second show, “Tracks”, took a sharp turn from the levity of the first play. An eschatological drama set in an off-putting afterlife of a subway terminal, the play pits ten characters against each other in a debate of life and death and, inevitably, heaven and hell. One of the characters, a grizzly war vet played by Andrew Leeman, does not fear the approaching subway train and its unknown destination, claiming instead, “I’m ready to move on. I’ve seen hell … in Korea.” Similarly, a nun at the terminal, played by Danielle Debley, tries to convince some of the younger characters to board the train with an unknown destination when it arrives, her faith placed in a merciful God whom she believes will ultimately do right. 

Others in the group are not so easily convinced. Many of the terminal’s newcomers seem destined for damnation: an embezzler, an amoral professor, a runaway delinquent, a regretful man-slaughterer, and various other "sinners" round out the heterogeneous cluster, each played somberly by cast members Hamel, Wallace, Mashtare, Battistella, Gordon, Cooper, Erickson and Rivers. As “Tracks” progressed, it proved to not only resemble a Kübler-Ross five stages of grief thought experiment on both the horrors and ultimate relief of death, but also an existential sojourn into the occasionally nihilistic view of human mortality.
 
Director Yolanda Maldonado shared afterward that she had picked the two dichotomous performances for Curtain Call because she felt that too often a focus on only comedy or only drama is perceived as a lack of theatrical skill. “I feel like there needs to be skill in both genres,” she stated. “I wanted the actors to stretch themselves in that way, to be able to perform not only comedy, but also drama.” 

An alumna in attendance, Lindsay Brace ’16, had a similar comment about the production. “I really appreciate how the performances offer something serious and something funny ... thought-provoking and entertaining,” said Brace. And entertaining the night was, ranging in mood from laughter-inducing joviality to weighty contemplation of the destiny of humanity. Picking such opposite plays was a bold move for Curtain Call, but it paid off well in exemplifying the tenacity of directors Maldonado, Hinton and Hampton and the versatility of actors Hamel, Wallace, Mashtare, Battistella, Leeman, Gordon, Cooper, Debley, Erickson and Rivers. After four performances of “Paper or Plastic?" and "Tracks” on Nov. 4, 5, 12 and 13, 2016, Curtain Call is currently slated to begin work on their Spring 2017 project.

Paper or Plastic and Tracks Playbill
The University of Valley Forge (UVF) theater group Curtain Call performed two one-act plays this semester, presenting their rendition of Werner Trieschmann’s comedy “Paper or Plastic?” and Peter Tarsi’s drama “Tracks” at Krempel’s Theater. The show was directed by Yolanda Alvarez Maldonado with co-directors Sydney Hampton and Kyle Hinton, and starred current UVF students.
 
The first show, “Paper or Plastic”, is an absurd comedy centered on Sarah, played by sophomore Stephanie Hamel, an average American teenage girl on the first day of her new job at a local supermarket known as Puritan Foods. Although Sarah tries to excel in her job to avoid dreaded employment at a fast food chain restaurant, the quirky, bizarre, and sometimes downright irritating individuals around her prevent her job from going smoothly. The torment of working at Puritan Foods is initially perpetrated by her boss — a recurrent Employee of the Month winner who just can’t seem to get her name right — played by Curtain Call newcomer Hunter Mashtare. Her coworkers, a motley crew of characters, only add to her frustration. They include the apathetic egoist Regina, the outlandishly disillusioned Kenny, and try-hard shopping cart aficionado Sam, individually played by sophomore Isabel Wallace, sophomore Joseph Battistella and junior Danielle Debley, respectively. 

Furthering Sarah’s disenchantment with her cashier job is the clientele of Puritan Foods, a peculiar bevy of customers who can’t seem to answer the simple question that Sarah has been instructed to ask of each patron: “Paper or plastic?” The audience is thus treated to a screwball situation comedy in which Sarah struggles to deal with customers ranging from a dull-witted cowboy to a tabloid-enthusiastic conspiracy theorist, played by supporting cast members Andrew Leeman, Blaine Cooper, Stephan Erickson, Briahna Rivers and Olivia Gordon who performs a double-role as both a shaky hypochondriac and a tech-obsessed juvenescent. Also notable is a recurrent cameo by assistant director Kyle Hinton as the droll store announcer, a small but hilarious follow-up to his breakthrough performance in Curtain Call’s spring 2016 production “I Am Not a Robot.”

 
The second show, “Tracks”, took a sharp turn from the levity of the first play. An eschatological drama set in an off-putting afterlife of a subway terminal, the play pits ten characters against each other in a debate of life and death and, inevitably, heaven and hell. One of the characters, a grizzly war vet played by Andrew Leeman, does not fear the approaching subway train and its unknown destination, claiming instead, “I’m ready to move on. I’ve seen hell … in Korea.” Similarly, a nun at the terminal, played by Danielle Debley, tries to convince some of the younger characters to board the train with an unknown destination when it arrives, her faith placed in a merciful God whom she believes will ultimately do right. 

Others in the group are not so easily convinced. Many of the terminal’s newcomers seem destined for damnation: an embezzler, an amoral professor, a runaway delinquent, a regretful man-slaughterer, and various other "sinners" round out the heterogeneous cluster, each played somberly by cast members Hamel, Wallace, Mashtare, Battistella, Gordon, Cooper, Erickson and Rivers. As “Tracks” progressed, it proved to not only resemble a Kübler-Ross five stages of grief thought experiment on both the horrors and ultimate relief of death, but also an existential sojourn into the occasionally nihilistic view of human mortality.
 
Director Yolanda Maldonado shared afterward that she had picked the two dichotomous performances for Curtain Call because she felt that too often a focus on only comedy or only drama is perceived as a lack of theatrical skill. “I feel like there needs to be skill in both genres,” she stated. “I wanted the actors to stretch themselves in that way, to be able to perform not only comedy, but also drama.” 

An alumna in attendance, Lindsay Brace ’16, had a similar comment about the production. “I really appreciate how the performances offer something serious and something funny ... thought-provoking and entertaining,” said Brace. And entertaining the night was, ranging in mood from laughter-inducing joviality to weighty contemplation of the destiny of humanity. Picking such opposite plays was a bold move for Curtain Call, but it paid off well in exemplifying the tenacity of directors Maldonado, Hinton and Hampton and the versatility of actors Hamel, Wallace, Mashtare, Battistella, Leeman, Gordon, Cooper, Debley, Erickson and Rivers. After four performances of “Paper or Plastic?" and "Tracks” on Nov. 4, 5, 12 and 13, 2016, Curtain Call is currently slated to begin work on their Spring 2017 project.

UVF Launches Special Education Certification

Special Education graphic
The Department of Education at the University of Valley Forge (UVF) will launch a special education certification, available fully online, within the Education program beginning in the spring 2017 semester. Through this additional certification, UVF will offer dual certification for students earning a degree in early childhood education and middle level education, and alumni who hold a current Pennsylvania teaching certification in those areas or in elementary education. Education Professor Marianne Modica, Ph.D., spearheaded the long and arduous process, and knew how beneficial this certification will be for prospective and current students and alumni. "This will make our students more marketable, especially in Pennsylvania," Modica said.  

Last month, the Pennsylvania Department of Education approved the university to grant a special education certification after UVF's application and proposal met all of the educational competencies required by the State. The competencies included classroom management and language and literacy assessments. In order to meet the competencies, UVF's Education program needed to create courses that fit specifically in special education. "We knew we had to add courses but needed to assess the most efficient way to cover these competencies with the least number of courses — we don't want to have too heavy of a credit load for students," Modica said. From the full-time professors, to adjunct faculty, to teaching assistants, the whole department collaborated on the project. "We came up with four more courses to cover the additional content," Modica said. 

The four new courses will train students on behavioral interventions, effective classroom strategies for students with high and low incidence disabilities, and language development. UVF Virginia campus Adjunct Professor Megan Baker, who holds a Master of Science in Education, designed the courses. Adjunct professors Janet DeRosa, Ed.D., Dawn Newswanger and Ruth Dougherty, as well as Associate Professor Sheri Aspito and Professor A. Glenn McClure, Ed.D., Department of Education chair, also played significant roles in this process. 

Current UVF students enrolled in the Education program will have the option to start attaining the special education certification in spring 2017 when the university will begin offering the courses online. The online courses are also designed for alumni and other education professionals who opt to earn the additional certification in the midst of their busy work and personal schedules. 

The Pennsylvania Department of Education standards encourage students to have a dual certification to teach in the classrooms in order to better serve a wide range of students. In gaining this special education certification, UVF continues to move forward and prepare its Education program students for the competitive market. 

For more information on the special education certification, visit valleyforge.edu/specialed.

Special Education graphic
The Department of Education at the University of Valley Forge (UVF) will launch a special education certification, available fully online, within the Education program beginning in the spring 2017 semester. Through this additional certification, UVF will offer dual certification for students earning a degree in early childhood education and middle level education, and alumni who hold a current Pennsylvania teaching certification in those areas or in elementary education. Education Professor Marianne Modica, Ph.D., spearheaded the long and arduous process, and knew how beneficial this certification will be for prospective and current students and alumni. "This will make our students more marketable, especially in Pennsylvania," Modica said.  

Last month, the Pennsylvania Department of Education approved the university to grant a special education certification after UVF's application and proposal met all of the educational competencies required by the State. The competencies included classroom management and language and literacy assessments. In order to meet the competencies, UVF's Education program needed to create courses that fit specifically in special education. "We knew we had to add courses but needed to assess the most efficient way to cover these competencies with the least number of courses — we don't want to have too heavy of a credit load for students," Modica said. From the full-time professors, to adjunct faculty, to teaching assistants, the whole department collaborated on the project. "We came up with four more courses to cover the additional content," Modica said. 

The four new courses will train students on behavioral interventions, effective classroom strategies for students with high and low incidence disabilities, and language development. UVF Virginia campus Adjunct Professor Megan Baker, who holds a Master of Science in Education, designed the courses. Adjunct professors Janet DeRosa, Ed.D., Dawn Newswanger and Ruth Dougherty, as well as Associate Professor Sheri Aspito and Professor A. Glenn McClure, Ed.D., Department of Education chair, also played significant roles in this process. 

Current UVF students enrolled in the Education program will have the option to start attaining the special education certification in spring 2017 when the university will begin offering the courses online. The online courses are also designed for alumni and other education professionals who opt to earn the additional certification in the midst of their busy work and personal schedules. 

The Pennsylvania Department of Education standards encourage students to have a dual certification to teach in the classrooms in order to better serve a wide range of students. In gaining this special education certification, UVF continues to move forward and prepare its Education program students for the competitive market. 

For more information on the special education certification, visit valleyforge.edu/specialed.

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