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Faculty members to present 'Love Letters' at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House
Monday, February 03, 2014

Faculty members to present 'Love Letters' at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House

Christina Rausa (L), and Paul Mockovak (R)

The theatrical talents of two SUNY Fredonia theatre faculty members will be in the spotlight, both on and off stage, in the 1891 Fredonia Opera House production of A.R. Gurney's, “Love Letters,” on Saturday, Feb. 15, at 7:30 p.m.

Directed by Professor Paul Mockovak, “Love Letters,” unfolds the story of two childhood friends born to wealth and position, whose lifelong correspondence begins with birthday party thank you notes and summer camp postcards. Romantically attached, they continue to exchange letters through boarding school and college years, as well as each other's separate marriages and careers.

The production stars SUNY Fredonia Department of Theatre and Dance Adjunct Instructor Christina Rausa and Buffalo area actor Mike Randall as characters Andy and Melissa.

A professional actress for more than 30 years and SUNY Fredonia alumna, Rausa has worked regionally and toured extensively throughout New York State and in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Most recently, she received high praise for her turn as Maria Callas in, “Master Class,” at Musicalfare. She currently can be seen and heard on numerous regional and national radio and television commercials. Ms. Rausa is a two-time recipient of Buffalo's prestigious stage award, "The Artie," for her portrayal of Emily Dickinson in William Luce's, “The Belle of Amherst,” and for ensemble work in Ronald Harwood's, “The Dresser.” She was also an Artie nominee for her work in, “Educating Rita,” by Willy Russell, and the recipient of the Ann Burnstein Award for service to the community through radio and drama.

Mockovak's diverse background in musical theatre, concert dance, theatre arts and music serves him well as a stage director and choreographer as well as in the acting and dance studio/classrooms. With an M.F.A. in Musical Theatre from the University of Miami, he has stage direction and choreography credits ranging from musicals to Shakespeare, seen from summer stock to off-Broadway from the East Coast to the Rockies in venues including regional and educational theatre, concert dance, opera and video.

As a dancer, Mockovak trained at the Martha Graham School, Lynn Simonson's Dance Space and has performed with Ballet Randolph, Dance Miami and the Miami Opera. He has served as movement instructor for the Santa Fe Opera, as guest artist in residency at the Vienna Ballet Konservatorium and musical theatre specialist for Russian acting students from the Moscow Art School Studio.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $13 for opera house members and $10 for students, and are available by calling the opera house box office at (716) 679-1891 or online at www.fredopera.org.

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