UA Professor’s ‘Hell: Paradise Found’ Finds Its Way to New York City
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — “Hell: Paradise Found,” a comedy written and directed by Seth Panitch, associate professor of theatre at The University of Alabama, will tread the boards in New York this July in an Off-Broadway production at the 59E59 Theaters in Manhattan.
The production will run from Tuesday, July 10, to Sunday, July 22.
Tuscaloosa preview performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, July 2 and 3, and at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 4, at the Allen Bales Theatre on the UA campus. Tickets are “Pay What You Can” at the door, and reservations can be made by phoning 205/348-3845.
Performing alongside Panitch and Actors Equity Association Guest Artist Chip Persons in the off-Broadway production are UA staff members Dianne Teague and Stacy Panitch, along with several recently graduated UA actors, including Master of Fine Arts graduates Matt Lewis and Peyton Conley, and UA undergraduates Lawson Hangarter and Alexandra Ficken.
Master of Fine Arts design students Brian Elliot (set and light designer) and Tiffany Harris (costume designer) round out the traveling company. Raphael Crystal, associate professor of theatre, composed and arranged the original music for the production.
In Panitch’s play, recently deceased lawyer Simon Ackerman must argue his way into hell, which turns out, surprisingly enough, to be the far better place to end up. The play was previously produced at the Ventura Court Playhouse in Los Angeles.
According to the Los Angeles Times, “Hell: Paradise Found” is “Brilliant … a bona fide entertainment with ideas.”
The theatre and dance department is part of UA’s College of Arts and Sciences, the University’s largest division and the largest liberal arts college in the state. Students from the College have won numerous national awards including Rhodes Scholarships, Goldwater Scholarships and memberships on the USA Today Academic All American Team.
The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.