BTE: As You Like It

Shakespeare’s As You Like It is a beguiling comedy in which a smart and spirited young girl, disguised as a boy and on the run from a tyrannical duke, finds herself in an enchanting forest in the company of her fiercely loyal best friend, a world-weary clown, a heart-sick shepherd and a disdainful shepherdess, a band of exiled upper-crust gents who all imagine themselves to be Robin Hoods, and wonder of wonders, her own true love– another runaway, who has festooned the forest with love-poems in her honor. But danger lurks in the shadows of these sun-dappled woods, and true love must be tested, so she must remain in disguise, and he can’t know it’s she! Romantic mayhem ensues: gender-benders, power struggles, witty barbs, and above all, love– in all its marvelous, confounding variety. This fantastical forest is full of surprises!

BTE’s streamlined adaptation will feature an onstage indie-rock band, local teen musicians whose music is inspired by Shakespeare’s poetry and story.

Bring your class to one of our free Project Discovery student matinees. Free to high school students in the IU #16. Visit the Project Discovery page for details.

UPGRADE to ON STAGE SEATING for free. Contact the Box Office for details. (570) 784-8181 or

[box type=”shadow”]Photo credit, Flickr[/box]

BTE to Perform Atsumori in Bloomsburg Town Park

On Friday and Saturday, August 3 and 4, the Noh Training Project (NTP), an international program hosted by BTE and Bloomsburg University, will perform the classic Noh drama Atsumori in Bloomsburg Town Park, at 8pm. Preceding the performance each night at 7pm will be two Noh excerpts featuring visiting Japanese professionals, and a recital of this year’s NTP students. Atsumori will be performed with projected English supertitles; the recital and Noh excerpts will be untitled. Free translations of the play are available at the Bloomsburg Public Library. On August 7th at the Bloomsburg Public Library, the Socrates Café will meet to discuss themes of war and forgiveness as expressed in Atsumori.

NTP is a three-week intensive workshop in the movement chant, and music of Noh. It draws participants from around the world, and is the only such program in the western hemisphere. BTE member Elizabeth Dowd is NTP’s Producing Director; now in its 18th year; she is also a member of Theatre Nohgaku with whom she has toured Europe and Asia in modern English-language Noh. Ensemble member James Goode is a three-time participant in NTP.

Says Elizabeth: “Whether they know it or not, BTE audiences are certainly seeing the influence of Noh training on my work – from the stillness of Sister Aloysius in Doubt, to how I directed Jim as the ghost of Mr. Woolsey in Ghost Writer. It’s great to be able to share with them the source material in the form of ATSUMORI”. James adds to that: “Absolutely, my Noh experience was put to good use in Ghost-Writer, as well as portraying the Ghost of Hamlet’s father in Hamlet. Plus, it’s great training in listening; there are subtle shifts of tempo, and always a forward moving pulse, even in the super slow sections.”

On Friday, Elizabeth will perform the lead role in an extended Noh excerpt with instruments. James will be in the chorus for the second excerpt, and also be in the chorus for the full Noh drama, Atsumori.

On Saturday, James will perform his recital piece. Each will be in the chorus for a different duo of Noh excerpts. Elizabeth will be in the Atsumori chorus to follow.

Atsumori tells the story of a priest, who makes a pilgrimage to a battlefield where, in a previous career as a soldier, he had killed the young nobleman Atsumori. He encounters some grasscutters. One of them reveals himself as the spirit of Atusmori, and re-enacts the battle when he was killed.

More information about Atsumori and Noh can be found on the websites for BTE.

[box type=”shadow”]Photo via Flickr.[/box]

The Latest Buzz from BTE: In the Next Room, or The Vibrator Play

At the dawn of the age of electricity, Dr. Givings performs some experimental treatments. Dr. Givings’ wife, Catherine, will soon discover the “shocking” side-effects of her husband’s revolutionary gadget.

On Thursday, 3 May, The Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble premieres their latest production: In the Next Room, or The Vibrator Play.

At the dawn of the age of electricity, Dr. Givings performs some experimental treatments in his home office on Victorian women suffering from hysteria. Intrigued by what’s going on in the next room, Dr. Givings’ wife, Catherine, will soon discover the “shocking” side-effects of her husband’s revolutionary gadget. In this touching, bittersweet comedy by the author of The Clean House, take a peek at what happens when hysteria becomes hysterical.

“At our current time of vast technological advancement, when women’s health and bodies are so much in the national media discussions, this play asks us to examine the electrifying power of intimacy between two people,” states Director Cassandra Pisieczko in her Directors Notes on BTE’s website. “Meditations on marriage, motherhood, and the longing for personal satisfaction reverberate throughout this piece – as well as the desire to see, and be seen, for who we are as individuals … But underneath it all is a longing to connect, to know and be known on an intimate level – a longing to be not in the next room, but rather in communion with those we love.”

Written by Sarah Ruhl, the play features Anastasia Peterson as Mrs. Givings, Aaron White as Dr. Givings, Nina Edgerton as Sabrina Daldry, and Katherine Nora LeRoy as Elizabeth.

In the Next Room, which was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play in 2010 offers an examination of sexual topics and is recommended for mature audiences only.

For all others, The Bloomsburg Daily suggests a distraction-free evening browsing the latest Brookstone catalog.

[box type=”shadow”]You may follow other related articles on BTE’s In the Next Room Tumblr Blog.

“Pay What You Wish” Night Thursday, May 3 at 7:30PM

Friday, May 4 at 7:30PM, Reduced Price Preview, $11/General Admission

Dates & Times:

May 3 – May 20, 2012

Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 7:30PM

Sundays at 3PM

Tickest my be purchased via the following means:

Online at

In Person at 226 Center Street, Downtown Bloomsburg

Over the phone: (570) 784-8181 or (800) 282-0283

Ticket Prices:

$11 Preview

$25 Adult

$20 Senior/Young Adult

$11 Student

$5 BU Student (with ID)[/box]

Photographs by TBD’s Bob Rush:

GC Hartman Students Raise Money for School

G. C. Hartman Elementary School, a part of the Southern Columbia School District, held its first Hartman Hustle today. Students from kindergarten through fourth grade went out and solicited donations in support of their school and then each grade had 15 mins on the High School track to run a far as they could.

The event raised over $8000 that will go into the HART organization, the parent teachers group, and will be used toward student activities.

Principal Joe Shiruinski ran with all four classes and the T-Shirt worn by the participants was designed by student Gina Gratti.

Photographs by The Bloomsburg Daily’s Bob Rush

When the River Runs Dry

Women in Kenya face the everyday daunting task of collecting water for their families. BU students Chelsea Walters and Robert Kernaghan highlight a special program that shares in a little way this unique challenge.

Bloomsburg and the surrounding communities have fresh water sources everywhere.  The town has rivers and streams nearby and decorative fountains dot the landscape. Homes have showers and tubs, large university and public buildings are equipped with sinks and water fountains, and no one can imagine a home without clean water.  We rely on water to drink and bathe everyday but what if those water supplies were to disappear completely, what would we do then?
This is an issue that the women of Kenya face continually.  Many of these rural women walk about 30 minutes to water sources where they fill a bucket of water and walk back, a survival journey that can repeat about 3 times a day.  If they didn’t do this, many of them would not have enough water for them or their families.  This life-saving process is so important in Kenya that water collecting starts around the age of five when young girls are pulled out of school to help their mothers collect water.
Bloomsburg University is joining a number of other universities in the Be Hope To Her walk. Here, students will be asked to carry buckets and walk to the Susquehanna River to collect water. The students will then walk back and will be able to understand in a small way just what it is like to be a Kenyan woman.  The cost is $5 to participate in the walk with all proceeds donated to NURU International, an organization whose members travel to places like Kuria, Kenya and partners with native Kenyans to teach clean water education and water purification skills. This knowledge gives these people the ability to raise their own money for items such as purification water tablets and more beneficial water systems.
Lizzie Lee is a Bloomsburg University nursing student who has gone on medical mission trips to places with lack of clean water like Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, facing issues just like this.  “If patients [in Kenya] had clean water, their health problems would be greatly reduced,” she said.
The water the Kenyan women collect is often dirty and polluted with parasites that cause illnesses.  Without the cleansing effects of clean water and hydration, sicknesses like diarrhea can be deadly.  With the help of students all across the U.S., these peoples’ lives can be saved.
Lee is working with the Honors Center to make this event possible.  On Sunday, April 29 from 2-5 p.m., everyone will be given the opportunity to put themselves in these women’s shoes.  Organizers built an event page on Facebook titled Bloomsburg University Be Hope to Her (BH2O+), or you can email Lizzie Lee at

Everyone is encouraged to participate whether it is donating money, carrying signs, just walking along with the group, or even participating in the event itself.

[box type=”bio”]Story by Chelsea Walters. Edited by Robert Kernaghan. Chelsea and Robert are Students in Bloomsburg University’s Mass Communications Program. Photograph provided courtesy NURU International.[/box]

Love In Bloom: Six Stories on Love, Lust and Relationships

Premiering on Thursday, April 26, at 8:00 p.m. in Carver Hall, students of the Telecommunications Department at Bloomsburg University directed this series of short films about love, lust, and relationships on a college campus.

When walking into the back of room 1247 in McCormick, a person would expect to find a classroom or a normal office. But hidden in the back are a set of movie posters, and behind three large Mac monitors is a 27-year-old man who has already changed Bloomsburg University or at least the Mass Communications Department.

“I liked video production since high school because it was something to do rather than write papers,” Michael DiGiorgio, manager of Instructional Media Services, says. His career at the university started with his lack of interest in writing papers. “My friends from high school and I would have to write long papers about Julius Caesar so instead of writing them, we would do the film,” says DiGiorgio.

He attended Stockton College and majored in Video Production/Communication. He also did a summer internship at the New York Film Academy where he wrote his first short film, Natalie, which is highlighted on a shelf behind his desk along with his other films he created over the years. “It just seemed like the best major for me because I was already interested in it and I was good at it so I just continued it to college,” DiGiorgio says.

The turning point in DiGiorgio’s career was not in school but during the time he ran his own company and produced a video for a local DARE program in Franklin Township, New Jersey.

“We put this fifteen-twenty minute video together and it was like a dance off with the police officers and stuff. It was really silly.” But, the kids in the auditorium ended up screaming their approval.

“It was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen because these little kids were loving my work which was odd to me because I never experienced anything like it,” says DiGiorgio.

Now, DiGiorgio has older kids who look up to him. Chad Vanhorn, a sophomore telecommunications major, wasn’t exactly sure what DiGiorgio did at the university. “He was quiet but once I got to know him, I found he is really helpful and all around a nice person,” Vanhorn says.

DiGiorgio found coming to the university was a step up from what he was doing. “I was doing a lot of basic production work and freelance work for NBC and Comcast and any other company that I could find,” says DiGiorgio.

The university also gave him the opportunity to run his own studio. “It was hard to pass up when I saw all the things I would be able to do here.”

Since his arrival at Bloomsburg University, DiGiorgio has changed the entire studio. “When I first came here, we were all analog, very little digital. We did all the editing on a hard drive,” says DiGiorgio. He added HD equipment, green screens, blue screens, added more editing areas for the students and created more opportunities for students to produce their own shows and movies.

DiGiorgio’s latest film he wrote and produced was created in the fall. His ideas were written on a Word document describing quirky characters and six short stories of college romance. He chose five students to direct the short films, and Vanhorn also directed and played a main role in the movie. “He did a wonderful job with the script and had a great vision on how it should turn out,“ Vanhorn says.

After working diligently on the movie for almost five months, Love in Bloom has finally come to life. “He was positive on allowing us to be creative and work on our own ideas,“ Vanhorn says.

DiGiorgio’s short film will appear in Carver Hall Thursday, April 26 at 8 p.m. and another poster will be added to his wall and another DVD put on the bookshelf behind his desk waiting for his next creative idea to incorporate the BU students. “This film is something I wouldn’t be able to accomplish without the help of student workers,” DiGiorgio says. “Without the students, we couldn’t do a lot of the programming that we do and we wouldn’t have a lot of the content that we are actually able to produce.”

[box type=”shadow”]Tiffany Bellum is a senior Mass Communications major at Bloomsburg University[/box]

Historian Karol K. Weaver to Host Book Talk

The Susquehanna University Medical Humanities Initiative will sponsor a book talk by historian Karol K. Weaver.

The Susquehanna University Medical Humanities Initiative will sponsor a book talk by historian Karol K. Weaver on April 30, 2012 at 6:30 pm in the Faculty Lounge of Seibert Hall. Weaver’s recent publication, Medical Caregiving and Identity in Pennsylvania’s Anthracite Region, 1880-2000 shows how the men and women of the anthracite coal region crafted their gender and ethnic identities via the medical decisions they made. Weaver will read a selection from her text and a reception with refreshments will follow. The event is free and open to the public.

“Karol Weaver spins a compelling tale about the practice of vernacular medicine among the immigrant communities of Pennsylvania’s anthracite region,” said Janet Lindman, president of the Pennsylvania Historical Association.

In her book, published by Penn State Press, Weaver employs an impressive range of primary sources, including folk songs, patent medicine advertisements, oral history interviews, and jokes, to tell the story of neighborhood healers, midwives, Pennsylvania German powwowers, medical self-help, and the eventual transition to modern-day medicine in Pennsylvania’s anthracite region. This work continues Weaver’s investigations into diverse forms of healing and medical caregiving, a subject she has explored in numerous articles and in her first book, Medical Revolutionaries: The Enslaved Healers of Eighteenth-Century Saint Domingue.

Karol Weaver is an associate professor of history and director of the women’s studies program at Susquehanna University. She grew up in the anthracite coal region and proudly calls herself “a coalcracker.”

Founded in 1858, Susquehanna University is a national liberal arts college that prepares students for achievement, leadership and service in a diverse, interconnected world. Academic excellence, study away and service learning, student-faculty collaboration, and rich opportunities for creative and personal growth are hallmarks of a Susquehanna University education. Susquehanna students come from 30 states and 12 countries, and more than 90 percent of them find jobs or pursue graduate study within six months of graduation. The university is located in central Pennsylvania, in the town of Selinsgrove, along the banks of the scenic Susquehanna River and about three hours from major East Coast cultural, financial and recreational centers. For more information, visit

[box type=”shadow”]Photo via Paul Weaver on Flickr.[/box]

Lights, Camera, Legos!

Enter Box of Light’s first ever Lego Competition!

If you’re creative, love Legos, want to have a blast, and meet some really cool Lego maniacs (and you are fourteen or younger) then, you should enter Box of Light’s first ever Lego Competition at the Box of Light Digital Arts Studio within the Moose Exchange at 203 West Main Street, Bloomsburg on Friday, May 4th from 6:00-9:00 pm.

Kids ages 5-14 can enter one or two events: Lego Build Competition and Lego Stop Action Film Competition. Each event will last one hour.

In the Lego Build Competition, teams are given a building task, a box of Legos and one hour to complete the building task. In the Lego Stop Action Film Competition, teams will be each have a computer and digital camera setup, a box of Legos and a Box Of Light staff member to help them create their stop action film. Again, the teams will have one hour in which to create their Lego film.

According to Abbi Parker, Box Of Light’s Educational Director, participants do not have to know how to create a stop action film in order to enter. “Stop action animation is simple and we’ll make sure each team succeeds in making their film.”

Teams are encouraged to register online at prior to the event. Registration on the day of the competition begins at 5:00 pm with the competition beginning at 6:00 pm. Teams consist of 2-3 members and each event costs $15 per team.

Certificates will be given for creativity, design concept, teamwork, best storyline, and more.

For more information and registration forms for Box Of Light’s Lego Build and Film Competition, please visit or call 570-764-2388.

[box type=”shadow”]Photo via Flickr.[/box]

Renaissance Jamboree: Townsfolk, BU Students Ready for Annual Celebration

The Renaissance Jamboree, Bloomsburg’s annual one-day street fair celebrates its 34th year this month. On Saturday April 28th the festival will stretch for 8 blocks along Main Street, hosting over 100 art, craft and food vendors, artists, musicians, local businesses and non-profit groups – plus games, children’s entertainment, folk dancing from around the world, a martial arts demonstration, and even a high flying trampoline performance by Flippenout.

In past years, the Jamboree sometimes fell on the same weekend as Bloomsburg University’s Block Party. As a result, the Jamboree never became part of the lexicon handed down from class to class. But as many students are discovering the Town itself can host an amazing party.

“I saw a few posters about it around campus but never really paid much attention to it,” said Lauren Grose, a sophomore at Bloomsburg University. “Is it during Block Party weekend? If so, that’s probably why. It seems like more of a community event than student event.”

Grose’s opinion is shared by other students, such as BU senior Tanira Perkins.

“They don’t promote the event the way they promote others,” said Perkins. “I’ve been here 4 years and I’ve never heard of it once.”

While there seems to be many individual students that are not aware of the Renaissance Jamboree, there are a number of student groups and organizations that get involved. The Community Government Association (CGA), Protestant Campus Ministries (PCM), and several student service organizations such as Kappa Kappa Psi and Alpha Phi Omega are registered for this year’s festival.

One of several student groups that participate yearly, the PCM has a table at the Jamboree where they sell drinks, host a game, and do face painting.

“Who doesn’t need an hour or two break?” said PCM Campus Minister Maggie Gillespie on the subject of studying for finals.

Gillespie said the jamboree benefits the Bloomsburg community and is “an outlet for our local talent.”
“I have always loved it so much as a member of the community. It’s a fun thing to be a part of!”

Jimmy Gilliland, Director of Student Activities at BU since 1983, works with student groups involved with Renaissance, and also understands the history behind the springtime event.

According to Gilliland, Renaissance Jamboree began as a celebration to commemorate the “rebirth” of Bloomsburg in 1978 when trees were planted along Main Street. While many people think of swordplay and sorcery when they think of “renaissance,” the Bloomsburg version is really about the metaphorical rebirth of the town.

“Honestly, it’s a fun street fair,” said Gilliland, pointing out that “there will be lots of fair food, which students seem to enjoy,” like fried Twinkies, cotton candy, barbequed meat and the many other staples of the standard American street fair.

Returning by request, the Lehigh Valley band Joyous will perform again this year, covering hits from every decade of the 20th century.

Applications and guidelines for art and craft vendors can be found at the Renaissance Jamboree website.

[box type=”bio”]By Bloomsburg University Student Matt Nason with contributions by Danielle Columbo and Mercedes Smith.[/box]

Dodgeball Raises Money for Students in Need

“What’s better than Dodgeball? It’s the All-Star Sport of Gym Class!” Ben Eshelman laughs happily as he describes the go-to rainy-day sport of Phys-Ed teachers everywhere. For those that know Ben, a Personal Trainer at Bloom Health & Fitness on Old Berwick Road, his excitement is infectious but unsurprising.

“It’s something that’s fun, gets kids and families involved!” You can’t help but notice the energy. Ben’s words bounce, impossible to avoid. “It’s a ball. You dodge it.” He smiles at you as he lets his Zen-like oversimplification of a simple game sink in.

“Yes,” you think. “I get it. I was so wrong before. I dodge the ball. And I have fun.”

Then you remember why you’re here in the first place, this high school gym on a Saturday, and that too is Ben. He took the tragedy of a child and created an annual charity event for the benefit of students in need at Central Columbia.

Two years ago, after horrid bullying left a student severely injured at Central, Ben, who also volunteers as a coach in the Central Columbia School District, approached High School Principal Jeff Groshek about the possibility of a charity dodgeball tournament. The tournament of that first year was “more successful than we could ever have imagined,” said Mr. Groshek.

Last year, again wanting to raise money for students in need, Ben organized a second annual dodgeball tournament. With “no specific student in need,” said Mr. Groshek, there was a question of what to do with the money. Central’s solution was to use their Student Assistance Program (SAP), an eight-member group consisting of Mr. Groshek, guidance staff, and faculty at Central that meets twice a week to identify students with possible needs and lend assistance when possible. With the money raised from these annual tournaments the SAP has greater means to assist students than previously.

Money from the fund is not distributed directly. Rather the SAP members make purchases for the students to ensure that the money is used as intended. “This year we know of and targeted four students,” Mr. Groshek explained. “One is unable to purchase lunch and we help him to buy a healthy lunch. There are some who are less fortunate and now they are benefitting directly.”

Because of the dodgeball tournament, the publicity it provides, and the funds provided to Central’s SAP, the program has this year received an outside, unsolicited donation of $800. With that money and the expected revenue from this year’s tournament, plans are being made to continue the financial assistance aspect of the Student Assistance Program well into next year.

“It’s a ball. You dodge it,” says Ben, exited and understated as always. What cannot be understated is the impact that Ben’s simple idea and energy is having on the lives of students at Central Columbia.

[box type=”shadow”]The Bloom Health & Fitness 3rd Annual Dodgeball Tournament will be held this Saturday, 25 February, with team registration beginning at 9:30 AM at the Central Columbia High School Gym. Team Registration is $60 if registered before 24 February.

Registration forms can be downloaded here or obtained at Bloom Health & Fitness and mailed to:

Dodgeball Information Flyer

Dodgeball Tournament Rules

Dodgeball Waiver

Ben Eshelman

C/O Bloom Health and Fitness

1150 Old Berwick Road

Bloomsburg, PA 17815

Phone: 570-412-6643

Fax: 570-784-3610