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AU Arts: 1960s College Life Explored in 'Shared Space'

WHAT: Performance of Shared Space, written by AU professor Caleen Sinnette Jennings

WHEN: 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6, to Saturday, Nov. 8

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

TICKETS: $5 general admission

MEDIA: For more information, photos, and media assistance, contact Maggie Barrett, AU Media Relations, 202-885-5951 or

WASHINGTON, D.C.—American University’s Department of Performing Arts will present Shared Space, a play written by AU professor Caleen Sinnette Jennings, in the Katzen Arts Center’s Studio Theatre at 8 p.m. Thursday, November 6, through Saturday, November 8. The November 8 performance will be followed by a discussion about 1960s culture and politics with AU history professor Peter Kuznick.

Shared Space highlights a loss of innocence and struggle for identity. The play, set on a college campus in 1968, focuses on a houseful of college students coping with the challenges of living in a shared space while offering their insights into American culture. It was a time of political discord, and an election year when young people at colleges across America made their voices heard.

Directed by Professor Carl Menninger, the performance marks the 10th anniversary of Shared Space’s opening on American University’s campus in November 1998. Four decades after the year in which the play is set and 10 years after the play’s debut, the themes of Shared Space continue to be relevant as we face a pivotal election, one that many predict will be determined by the youth vote.

“Frankly, I never thought that the world would seem as topsy-turvy as it did in the fall of 1968,” said Jennings. “But here we are. May this play remind us that no matter how dark the days, no matter how deep the pain, human beings muddle through. We even manage to do important work and to create love, art, and tremendous beauty in the world.” Jennings is an award-winning playwright whose works include Inns and Outs, which 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: 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.

Tickets for events at the Katzen Arts Center and the Harold and Sylvia Greenberg Theatre are available on the Web.