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Theatre program presents Naga Mandala

The Penn State Berks Theatre program will present a performance of Girish Karnad's Naga Mandala, from March 18-21, 2010 and March 25-28, 2010 at 8:00 p.m. (Sundays at 2:00 p.m.) in the Perkins Student Center Theatre. Tickets are $10 for general admission, $5 for Penn State faculty and staff with ID, and $2 for Penn State students with ID.

Naga Mandala is the story of a young bride, Rani, who is married to Appanna. It is quickly revealed that Appanna is unfaithful to his bride and maintains an emotional and physical distance from her. In an effort to win his love, Rani decides to drug him with a magical love root that is given to her by an old neighbor, Kurudavva. Unaware of its power, Rani is overcome with fear and doubt that the magical root might cause more harm than good. She loses her nerve, and instead of offering it to her husband, she throws the milk concoction containing the magical root into an ant hill.

It turns out that the ant hill is actually the home of Naga, a King Cobra. According to an old Indian legend, King Cobras can assume any form they desire including that of a human. That night, Naga decides to visit Rani in the form of her husband, Appanna. Drawing upon Indian folktales and myths that have been passed down for generations, Naga Mandala takes on supernatural worlds to symbolically portray how a woman's power emerges through the metamorphosis of a serpent.

This production is directed by Dr. Radhica Ganapathy, Lecturer in Theatre at Penn State Berks. The cast includes Sydney Rotundo-Jones (first-year student) as Rani; Andrew Vitalo (junior, Theatre) as Appanna/Naga; and Courtney Vinson (junior, Theatre) as Kurudavva.

The cast is rounded out by the following students in order of appearance: Pat O'Neill (sophomore, Theatre) as The Man/Village People; Tarah Yoder (junior, Theatre) as Flame #1/Village People; Kate Knorr (sophomore, Theatre) as Flame #2/Village People; Whitney Henzler (first-year student, Business) as Flame #3/Village People; Amanda Evans (sophomore, Theatre) as New Flame/Village People; Rita Yarsinsky (first-year student, Theatre and Communication Arts and Sciences) as The Story; and Kevin King (junior, Theatre) as Kappanna/Elder.

Cat Whelan (sophomore, Theatre and Applied Psychology) serves as the stage manager and Erin Edelstein (junior, Theatre and Communication Arts and Sciences) is the Assistant Stage Manager.

For more information or to reserve tickets, call the Box Office at 610-396-6371.
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