October 20, 2005

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Under the direction of Rick Benjamin, the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra and Singers will perform Scott Joplin's opera Treemonisha Saturday, Oct. 29, at 8 p.m. in the Weis Center for the Performing Arts at Bucknell University. Tickets for the performance are $20.

"In the tradition of theatrical barnstorming from the early 1900s, this production, which premiered at the Carlsen Center in Kansas, is scenically sparse but fully costumed and realistically staged with emphasis on the music and the humanity of the characters," says Bill Boswell, executive director of the Weis Center.

Treemonisha is an optimistic musical portrait of an African-American community's emergence from slavery. The townspeople are led by a young woman Treemonisha to reject superstition in favor of hard work and learning.

"The musical style speaks directly to today's audiences with heartfelt arias and rousing ragtime choruses," says Boswell. "Rick Benjamin's new, historically informed orchestration brings Joplin's score back to life with rhythm and vitality."

Tickets for Weis Center performances are available in person from the Campus Box Office in the Weis Center weekdays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and one hour prior to events. Tickets also are available by calling 570-577-1000 or online at http://www.bucknell.edu/boxoffice/

The 2005-06 season of Weis Center events is made possible in part by generous funding from the Bucknell University Association for the Arts and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Additional support for the series is provided by numerous and generous private donors including members of the Weis Center Green Room Circle and Green Room Board.

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