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The cast and crew of The Revenger's Tragedy were honored for their award-winning performance with a rare trip to the Kennedy Center.

The cast and crew of “The Revenger’s Tragedy” were honored for their award-winning performance with a rare trip to the Kennedy Center.

The Department of Theatre and the School of Music create a buzz with high-profile productions

Two major productions that garnered community and national attention exemplified UNCG’s position at the forefront of cultural leadership.

In the Department of Theatre, the cast of “The Revenger’s Tragedy” performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on April 15 as part of the 2009 American College Theatre Festival. UNCG had qualified for a regional festival, at which a national selection team saw more than 50 productions, including “The Revenger’s Tragedy,” and selected only three plays to be performed at The Kennedy Center. Ultimately, UNCG was chosen from among more than 600 academic institutions.

The School of Music commissioned nationally-known composer Libby Larsen, one of America’s most performed living composers, to adapt William Inge’s 1953 Pulitzer Prize-winning play, “Picnic,” into a modern opera with a heavy jazz influence. The opera was produced in collaboration with the Department of Theatre. David Holley, director of UNCG Opera Theatre, wrote the libretto and directed the opera. Students, faculty and alumni from the UNCG School of Music and from the Miles Davis Jazz Program made up the cast. The first commission of a major opera in the history of the School of Music, “Picnic” was made possible by a generous gift from the Charles H. Babcock Foundation.