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2011 Faculty & Staff News

Two Longwood faculty members to appear in an upcoming production of the Waterworks Players

March 2, 2011

Longwood University

Two Longwood University faculty members will appear in an upcoming production of the Waterworks Players.

Dr. Ed Kinman, associate professor of geography, and Dr. Leigh Lunsford, associate professor of mathematics, have leading roles in Painting Churches, which will performed March 11, 12, 18 and 19 at 8 p.m. by the Farmville community theater group. Kinman is playing Gardner Church, a famous and now-retired poet who "slips in and out of senility, often oblivious to the situation around him," he said. Lunsford is playing Margaret (Mags) Church, Gardner's daughter, who teaches painting at the Pratt Institute and, after her parents have agreed to move from their house on Boston's Beacon Hill to their summer cottage on Cape Cod, "agrees to help them pack and pose for a portrait," Kinman said.

This will be the 13th Waterworks production in which Kinman has appeared in either a cast or crew role. Last year he and Lunsford appeared as Grandpa and Grandma in Longwood's production of The Grapes of Wrath.

"Leigh twisted my arm in May 2006 to be in Miss Saigon with the Waterworks," he said. "I've found theatre to be a great challenge but also a nice counterpoint to my other academic duties."

In addition to Miss Saigon, Kinman was a cast member in the Waterworks' productions of Cotton Patch Gospel, The Full Monty, Brigadoon, Cinderella, Aladdin, and Jack and the Beanstalk. He was part of the crew in Steel Magnolias, I Do! I Do!, Proof, Rent, Deathtrap, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Lunsford has appeared in eight Waterworks' productions since moving to Farmville in 2004, including Cabaret, Boardwalk Melody Hour Murders, and The Full Monty, and several of the holiday pantomines. Most recently she appeared as "Mirriam the Magic Mirror" in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in December 2010.

"Margaret Church has certainly been my most challenging role to date," Lunsford said. "I have enjoyed the creative process with fellow cast members Val Wagoner and Ed, director Dudley and stage manager Hannah Boswell."

Painting Churches, written by Tina Howe, was first produced Off-Broadway in 1976 and was a finalist for the 1982 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It's about the relationship between an artist daughter and her aging parents.

"Painting Churches is an unexpected figurative family portrait - a comic drama that is in turn heartwarming and heartbreaking, as the family struggles to cope with the vagaries of age," Kinman said. "It is a work particularly pertinent for people dealing with issues of aging. The New York Times has called it 'a theatrical family portrait that has the shimmer and depth of Renoir portraits.'"

The production is directed by Dudley Sauve, a former member of the Longwood faculty, who said that the playwright "does a masterful job in capturing both the sadness of the decline of Alzheimer's disease and the humor and love with which a family copes."

Tickets are $10 and can be obtained by calling the Waterworks' box office (434-392-3452) or visiting http://waterworksplayers.org.