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GONZAGA UNIVERSITY NEWS RELEASE
Dale Goodwin, Director
Peter Tormey, Associate Director
|Alumnus Harnetiaux's Play to be Staged in Seattle|
“VESTA,” a play about difficult end-of-life issues written by Gonzaga University alumnus Bryan Harnetiaux, will be performed at the Capitol Hill Arts Center in Seattle, at 7:30 p.m., Fridays through Sundays, from Jan. 18 through Feb. 3. A special 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, Jan. 27 includes post-play “talk back” hosted by Jeanne Sheils Twohig, from the Duke Institute on Care at the End of Life at the Duke University Divinity School.
Seattle actress Megan Cole (“Seinfeld,” “ER,” and “The Practice”) stars in the play, which celebrates the poetry of life and death. Harnetiaux, a Spokane lawyer and playwright, tackles the difficult issues with a little help from the late poet Theodore Roethke.
This first professional production of “VESTA” is directed by actor-director Allen Fitzpatrick and includes a cast of critically acclaimed performers: Cynthia Whalen, Brittni Reinertsen, Brian Ibsen, Anders Bolang, Terry Edward Moore and Bob DeDea.
Harnetiaux began writing “VESTA” more than a decade ago and gained inspiration and wisdom from Roethke’s moving poem about life and death titled “The Waking,” which is woven into the play. The poem is being used with permission from the Roethke estate.
This intimate 90-minute drama examines, with humor and warmth, an ordinary family's struggle with end-of-life issues. The title character Vesta Pierson is a grandmother confronting her own loss of independence after a stroke. Together Vesta, her daughter, and granddaughter face a series of complex medical, economic and personal issues surrounding her bout with cancer and inevitable death.
“VESTA” has been embraced by numerous hospice care and end-of-life organizations. Duke University and its Institute on Care at the End-of-Life handle the play’s licensing and support grassroots performances and readings nationwide to encourage reflection and discussion of death and dying. Harnetiaux, playwright-in-residence at Spokane Civic Theatre, earned a bachelor’s degree at Gonzaga in 1965 and a law degree from the Gonzaga U. School of Law in 1973.
“VESTA” will be performed on the lower level at the Capitol Hill Arts Center. Tickets are free and a suggested donation of $20 can be made at the door on the day of performance. Reservations are strongly encouraged by calling (206) 261-5064. This production is governed by the Actors Equity Members Project Code. The Capitol Hill Arts Center is located at 1621 12th Ave. (between Pine Street and Olive Way). For more information, see .
Other works by Harnetiaux include commissioned stage adaptations of Ernest Hemingway’s “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” and “The Killers,” and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.’s “Long Walk to Forever,” all published by The Dramatic Publishing Co.
Interviews and photos are available upon request. For more information, contact Jennifer Rice at (206) 285-5175 or via e-mail.