‘Aliens with Extraordinary Skills’ opens Clarion University Theatre season

October 3, 2018
Clarion Aliens with Extraordinary Skills
Shelby Hostetler (left) as Lupita and Lindsay Victoria Smelcer as Nadia.

All you need is love, but sometimes you need a green card.

Clarion University Theatre’s 2018-19 season kicks off Oct. 10 with Romanian-born playwright Saviana Stǎnescu’s dark comedy, “Aliens with Extraordinary Skills.” Performances are scheduled for 8 p.m. Oct. 10-13 and 2 p.m. Oct. 14 in Marwick-Boyd Little Theatre. Due to adult language and situations, this play is not recommended for children. For tickets and reservations, visit www.clarionuniversitytickets.com or call the box office at 814-393-ARTS. Tickets are $12 for adults and $9 for children ages 12 and younger.

The play traces Nadia, an immigrant clown from Moldova, the saddest country on earth, on her search for happiness, true love and legal status. Drawn to New York by her love of "Sex and the City," which she watched in Moldova to practice her English, she and her Russian clowning partner try to exist under the radar of ICE while trying to achieve their dreams. In their travels they meet Lupita, a struggling actress from the Dominican Republic, and Bob, a depressed, recently-divorced former musician.

Lindsay Victoria Smelcer, a junior theatre major from Bensalem, plays Nadia Sacharov, and her partner in clowning is played by Justin Baumgarten, a junior theatre major from Phillipsburg. Bob is played by Daniel LaMond, a junior theatre major from North Beach, MD, and Lupita is played by Shelby Hostetler, first-year theatre and education major from Summerville. Government agents are played by Dante Engelmann, a sophomore theatre major from Munson, and Kylie Judy, a sophomore theatre major from Franklin. Ally Gillen, a sophomore theater major from Haverford, is serving as assistant stage manager and understudy.

Scenic design is by associate professor Edward J. Powers, costume design by senior theatre major Elizabeth Novotny of Homestead, lighting design by Zachery Rupp, a sophomore theatre major from Nottingham, Maryland, and sound design by communication and theatre major Benjamon Fye of Woodland.
Robert Reiser, a junior theatre major from Langhorne is the stage manager, and longtime theatre faculty member Robert Gerald Levy directs.

Stǎnescu, a former journalist and activist in Romania, emigrated to the United States in 2001 on a Fulbright Fellowship at NYU to study performance studies and playwriting. She has been active in New York theatre since and is a founding member of the Immigrant Artists and Scholars of New York. Her work, which has won numerous awards, is produced internationally, and she is on the faculty of both NYU and Ithaca College.

Last Updated 10/3/18