sealPurdue News

August 9, 2002

Purdue Theatre faculty take stage for students

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue Theatre faculty and staff will present their second annual benefit performance on Saturday, Aug. 24, for the newly established Dorothy Runk Mennen Theatre Scholarship Fund.

The performance will begin at 8 p.m. in the Experimental Theatre, Stewart Center. Tickets are $20 and are available through the Purdue Theatre office. To reserve tickets, call (765) 494-3074 or e-mail

The benefit includes scenes and songs from "Luv," "Little Foxes" and "Show Boat," as well as nods to Harold Pinter and Margaret Mitchell. Performers will include guest artists Eric Sydnor (MFA '99) and John Berst (MFA '99), who also will serve as director and music director for the Mainstage opener "Little Shop of Horrors."

Dorothy Runk Mennen is a professor of theatre emerita. A scholarship fund in her name was established at the conclusion of the 2001-02 production season, which was performed in her honor.

In 1966 as a professor in the newly established Department of Creative Arts, Mennen developed the voice curriculum for the actor training program. She also served as vocal musical director, voice and speech coach and instructor. In 1968, she organized the voice and speech program for the American Theatre Association. Twenty years later, she was founding president of the Voice and Speech Trainers Association, the only professional organization of voice and speech trainers.

Theatre department chair Russ Jones says he is pleased to honor Mennen for her many contributions to Purdue theatre.

"Over the years Dorothy has played a host of roles in the history of theatre at Purdue," Jones says. "As a graduate student and later, as a faculty member, actor and voice coach, resident historian and present-day cheerleader, Dorothy has graced the halls of Stewart Center with a cheerful smile, a positive attitude and a wealth of knowledge. I know that the faculty takes great pride in presenting this show in support of the scholarship fund created in Dorothy's name."

CONTACT: Lori Sparger, Purdue Theatre marketing director, (765) 494-3084,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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