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For the Media

Children's Tale, CHEM MYSTERY, to be Performed 

WHAT: CHEM MYSTERY, a children's play about working together and overcoming obstacles                                    

WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday, November 21
           11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, November 22

WHERE:   Studio Theatre, Katzen Arts Center, American University, 4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20016

TICKETS:   $5 general admission

MEDIA:     Media interested in attending, contact Maralee Csellar, AU Media Relations, at 202-885-5952 or

WASHINGTON, D.C.—American University’s Department of Performing Arts will present CHEM MYSTERY, a children’s play written and directed by AU professor Caleen Sinnette Jennings, at 7 p.m. on Friday, November 21, and 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, November 22, in the Katzen Arts Center’s Studio Theatre.

CHEM MYSTERY tells the story of three pupils at Zooville School in Imagine Nation who have shunned each other because they assume they are too different to be friends: Curious Cat loves science, Readin’ Rabbit loves storytelling, and Muskular Muskrat loves sports. However, when they find themselves threatened by the bullying Ominous Octopus they are forced to put their differences aside to work together.

Writer and director Jennings’s muse for this play was a fellow AU professor, but not one in her department. Monika Konaklieva in the Chemistry Department worked with Jennings on the Department of Performing Arts committee and agreed to let Jennings observe and interview her and several lab assistants. “What is often missing in the experience of science is the curiosity, fun, adventure, and mystery,” said Jennings. “I set out to capture this and embed in the story elements of cultural enrichment, fairy tales, and the value of diversity.” Jennings is an award-winning playwright whose works include Inns and Outs, a work that received a $10,000 grant from the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays, and Playing Juliet/Casting Othello, which was produced at the Folger Shakespeare Library in 1998. 


Katzen Arts Center
4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20016
The landmark 130,000-square-foot curved complex opened in summer 2005. The Katzen includes a 30,000-square-foot three-story art museum and sculpture garden; a sky-lit entrance rotunda; three performance venues; an electronics studio; numerous practice rooms; a 215-seat concert hall; new rehearsal and recital halls; classrooms; and an underground garage with 550 parking spaces.
Metro: Tenleytown-AU stop (Red Line), take the AU shuttle from the station to main campus
Parking:  Garage parking available in the Katzen at the Glover Gate entrance on Massachusetts Avenue

Tickets for events at the Katzen Arts Center and the Harold and Sylvia Greenberg Theatre are available on the Web or by calling 202-885-ARTS (2787).  Performance schedules are subject to change.

American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.