CSU Happenings Nov. 22-Dec. 1

The annual Columbus-area Model UN for approximately 300 high-school delegates and their advisers will conclude later today at Columbus State Universitys Cunningham Center. The event, coordinated by CSUs political science department, will conclude with a 7-8:15 p.m. awards ceremony.

This years event included the General Assembly and Security Council, and a Reform Summit and a Nuclear Proliferation Summit.

Contact: CSU political science professor John Van Doorn, 442-8691 (cell), 562-1694 (office).

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, Columbus State University will be closed for classes and all business on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

A grand reopening is set for Friday for Columbus State Universitys Coca-Cola Space Science Center to showcase the next phase in the facilitys transformation into a more entertaining and more hands-on educational center.

The building closed Oct. 31 as employees began working on what will be the most dramatic change to the space center: a completely new, interactive lobby featuring seven different flight simulators. The doors will open Friday at 10:30 a.m. Hours for both Friday and Saturday are 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Next week, the center will re-open with regular operating hours: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, 10 a..m-8 p.m. Fridays and 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturdays.

In addition to a new entrance, the lobby will also feature:

  • A weather exhibit complete with a green screen for visitors to see themselves on television superimposed onto weather maps or any other background.
  • New remote-controlled rovers that traverse over a simulated Mars terrain.
  • A new, continually updated audio-visual program from NASAs Hubble Space Telescope Science Institute called ViewSpace that will play inside the centers space shuttle theater.
  • A display on infrared astronomy that will feature an infrared camera to produce thermograph images of visitors
  • An elaborate historical display of the space shuttle.
  • A childrens area for science storytelling and physics demonstrations.
  • Upgraded lighting and other effects throughout the building. Also, new graphically superior shows are slated for the Omnisphere Theater. A laser-powered system for the theater, called Digistar 3 Laser, is still in the works. Until the new system is installed, the Omnisphere Theater will be upgraded to a Digistar 3 CRT system which still allows for stunning, 180-degree full dome video.

    For more information, contact Shawn Cruzen or Larry Pallotta at 649-1470.

    Columbus State Universitys Department of Theatre will premiere Seagulls in a Cherry Tree, Thursday through Sunday, Dec. 1-4 in the Fine Arts Hall auditorium. The comedy is the 2005 winning entry in CSUs International Playwriting Competition, earning its creator, William Missouri Downs, the $1,000 Larry Corse Prize for Playwriting. Corse, professor emeritus of theatre and English at Clayton State University, established the competition in 2003.

    Downs, a former Hollywood screenwriter, plans to attend the opening performance at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec.1. Subsequent curtain times are 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. on Sunday. TIckets are $15 and $13 for seniors, active military and CSU alumni. CSU students receive one free ticket per production. Call the Fine Arts Hall box office at 569-3179.

    Professor Kate Musgrove, chair of CSUs theatre department directs the production with Downs plot centered on a pair of Hollywood writers hired by Disney to adapt Chekhovs play The Cherry Orchard from stage to screen. The writers escape the Los Angeles smog and trek to an isolated arts colony outside Moscow, Idaho. The colony is full of Chekhovian characters; however, the problem for the writers, Stan and Boris, is they just dont get Chekhov one of the most important playwrights in Russian history.

    CSU theater Professor Steven Graver, who directs the competition, said CSU's hosting of such an event presents a unique experience for CSU theatre audiences as well as participating students and faculty. It's an opportunity to experience a production that has no predecessor and no preconceived notions of how it 'should' be done As an international competition, it has the potential to expose us to cultures and philosophies that we may have yet to recognize or contemplate.

    Downs, a University of Wyoming theater professor, is a former screenwriter with credits including NBC sitcoms My Two Dads, Amen and Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Meanwhile, his award-winning plays have been staged worldwide, including Innocent Thoughts, winner of the National Playwrights Award, and Kabuki Medea, winner of the Bay Area Critics Award for best production in San Francisco and the Jefferson Award for best production in Chicago. Downs also co-authored the Harcourt-published book, Playwriting: From Formula To Form.

    'It is an honor to be able to give a budding, or in this case an established, playwright a chance to see his or her new work come to life in front of an audience, said Graver.

    Submissions for the CSU International Playwriting Competition must be adaptable to a production between 45 and 120 minutes with 5-10 actors. Last years competition drew more than 300 entries from 11 different countries that were screened by an Atlanta-based expert panel. The entry deadline for the 2006 prize was Nov. 7. CSU will announce the next winner in late February or early March.

    For more information, contact competition director and CSU theatre Professor Steven Graver at 568-2048.