“And It Begins Like This” free production offered Oct. 23

The Division of Arts and Humanities invites faculty and staff to attend a free performance of “And It Begins Like This,” the fall production on Wednesday, October 23, 2019 at 7:30 p.m..  Tickets are now available in the box office, during normal hours Monday through Thursday  10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or by calling 949-5452.

$7 tickets are available for the rest of the week’s performances.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, October 24, 2019 7:30 p.m.

Friday, October 25, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, October 26, 2019 2:00 p.m.

Wolf Kuhn Theatre, Misciagna Family Center for Performing Arts

Penn State Altoona will offer a performance of “And It Begins Like This,” an adaptation of LaTanya McQueen’s book by the same name. Performances are 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 23–25, and 2 p.m. on Oct. 26, in the Paul R. and Margery Wolf Kuhn Theatre in the Misciagna Family Center for Performing Arts.

Tickets are $5 for Penn State Altoona students and $7 general admission. Admission for children under 12 is free; all children must be accompanied by an adult.

“And It Begins Like This,” Penn State Altoona’s Common Read for the 2019-20 academic year, is a collection of essays reflecting on the nation’s history of racism through a retrospective of McQueen’s family and personal experiences. Director Naomi Baker, assistant teaching professor of theatre and integrative arts, adapted the book for the stage.

“This is a very different kind of theatre than most are accustomed to seeing,” she said. “We will employ multimedia representations, along with live actors, singers, and even a few puppets. While the piece does include some difficult topics and imagery, I believe that it will be a powerful experience for both the creators and the audience.”

Tickets may be purchased at the box office, open 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Thursday, and before and during all performances.

For further information, call the box office at 814-949-5452. For more information and events, visit the Common Read website.


Penn State Altoona commemorates fall of Berlin Wall with discussions, concert

To commemorate the end of communism and the fall of the Berlin Wall, which happened 30 years ago this November, Penn State Altoona will hold a series of events. Panel discussions will take place November 5 and 7 from noon – 1:00 p.m. in the Titelman Study of the Misciagna Center for the Performing Arts.

The first panel, “Looking In, Looking Out,” includes local people who lived in or served in the military on each side of the Berlin Wall; former U.S. serviceman and Altoona fire chief Tim Hileman, Penn State Altoona instructor and former resident of West Germany Anja Wagner, and former resident of East Germany Maggie Garman.

The second panel, “Experiencing and Living Through Pro-Democracy Movements,” includes those who experienced or have intimate knowledge of pro-democracy movements in Germany, Poland, China, and Hong Kong; former U.S. serviceman Sam Dunkle, Penn State Altoona instructor and former resident of Poland Iwona Dorabiala, Penn State Altoona professor of Chinese history Mark McNicholas, and Altoona Symphony Orchestra conductor Teresa Chung.Both panels are free and open to the public.

On November 9, the anniversary of the Berlin Wall’s fall, the Altoona Symphony Orchestra, in collaboration with Penn State Altoona, will perform Besieged, a concert featuring Symphony N0. 7 “Leningrad” by Dimitri Shostakovich and “Fanfare for the Common Man” by Aaron Copland, both written during times of political upheaval.

Concert attendees will also hear excerpts from Penn State Altoona’s recent collaboration with the non-profit organization StoryCorps, which collects, preserves, and shares stories of everyday Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs. The collaboration features interviews with individuals in the Altoona area about their memories of the breach of the Berlin Wall, their experiences of witnessing the divided German society, and its impact on their lives.  

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Hollidaysburg Area Senior High School auditorium.

Students interested in attending the concert can receive free tickets in 103 Hawthorn with their student ID. The general public should contact Altoona Symphony Orchestra at 814-943-2500 for ticket information. 

Vaping: Are we in denial?

By Sierra Snigier

To vape, or not to vape? The question about whether to vape arises due to recent reports about a correlation between lung injuries and vaping.

In a statement recently released by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), it was confirmed that there is an increase in lung injuries due to vaping. There are currently 1,080 vaping-related cases and 18 confirmed deaths.

Vaping is popular among college students, and Penn State Altoona students are no exception. However, not all students think this trend is worth the health risks.

Alyssa Glotfelty (sophomore, environmental studies) said, “We don’t listen to science as much as we used to. We are in denial and it’s an ignorance thing. We don’t want to believe it has this correlation.”

Penn State Altoona’s Director of Student Affairs Sean Kelly said, “Everyone should be concerned about it. I have been around long enough to know the dangers of nicotine and some of the other additives that are put into cigarettes and now vaping devices.”

The CDC warned of additives such as THC, diacetyl (a flavorant), metals and others. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just recently banned the use of flavor in e-cigarettes and vapes. Pete Manger (freshman, undecided) said that he doesn’t think flavorants should be banned because the suspected main cause of problems is THC. Manger said that the news doesn’t change his opinion and he will continue to vape.

Myranda Mamat (junior, English) disagrees. She is concerned about the hidden ingredients in vapes. “I think that’s what brings it to the table is that you don’t really know what is in it, you just know it tastes good,” Mamat said.

JUUL Labs, marketer of “juuls” and vapes, is the target of multiple class-action lawsuits under allegations that the marketing focuses on minors.

Ceara McGill (senior, psychology) said, “It has been marketed in a way that makes it popular. If you don’t do it, you’re like excluded.”

McGill said that a solution would be to fix the marketing and stop advertising to younger kids. McGill said her friend tried quitting, but JUUL released a new pen in a different color and it was tempting for her friend who continued “juuling.”

Penn State recently implemented a no-smoking policy on all campuses. The ban includes e-cigarettes and vapes. Mamat said that smoking on campus was a problem last year, but the policy has helped.

Matt Garrett (freshman, undecided) said, “I haven’t seen too many people yet (juuling). It’s not a huge thing down here.”

However, Garrett’s friend Melanie Wilkinson is a student at the University of Pittsburgh and says vaping is “very popular” at her university. She said she sees vaping around campus everywhere. Recently, Pitt hosted a health fair where pamphlets on vaping were handed out. Wilkinson said, “Everyone just thinks it’s a joke.”

In the midst of the vaping controversy, the Pennsylvania Department of Health just confirmed its first death due to vaping in the state.

Check out this week’s home Penn State Altoona sports schedule

Check out this week’s home Penn State Altoona sports schedule, featuring women’s volleyball and men’s and women’s soccer!
Thursday, October 17
Women’s Volleyball vs. Lycoming College – 7:00 p.m. – Adler Auxiliary Gym
Saturday, October 19
Women’s Volleyball vs. D’Youville College – 10:00 a.m. – Adler Auxiliary Gym
Men’s Soccer vs. Pitt-Bradford – 1:00 p.m. – Spring Run Stadium (SENIOR DAY)
Women’s Soccer vs. Pitt-Bradford – 3:15 p.m. – Spring Run Stadium (SENIOR DAY)
Women’s Volleyball vs. Hilbert College – 4:00 p.m. – Adler Auxiliary Gym

Penn State Altoona offers fall Ivyside Dance Ensemble performance

Penn State Altoona’s Ivyside Dance Ensemble will perform Nov. 7-8, 2019, at 7:30 p.m. in the Misciagna Family Center for Performing Arts. Tickets are $5 for Penn State Altoona students and $7 for general admission. Children under 12 are free.

This performance includes both new and repertoire work and features Gierre Godley, artistic director of Project 44 Dance. Based in New York City, Project 44 Dance is an all-male troupe dedicated to showcasing the beauty of male artistry throughout the arts.

KT Huckabee, teaching professor of integrative arts, brings two new pieces to the stage for this performance that explore four of the Effort qualities as identified by dance theorist Rudolf Laban.

Everett Perry-Johnson, director of Ivyside Dance Ensemble, also offers two new pieces that examine the energy of metropolitan living and the disturbing truth of people being taken and held captive.

Bethany Miller, part-time instructor in dance and part-time LPC and registered dance/movement therapist, offers the repertory piece Journey. Through movement and the manipulation of fabric, dancers explore the joy, barriers, and insights one may encounter through a personal quest for growth.

Tickets may be purchased at the box office, Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. and before and during all performances. For further information, call the Misciagna Family Center for Performing Arts at 814-949-5452.