‘Love Letters’ Feb. 10-12 benefits Rockford College

Staff Report

For three benefit performances, two of Rockford’s best-known professional actors, Linda Abronski and Stephen F. Vrtol III, under the direction of Bern Sundstedt, will revive their production of Love Letters, by A.R. Gurney.

The trio’s original production played to sold-out houses at Rockford’s New American Theater in 1993. The popular play depicts a 50-year love affair carried on primarily though letters, written in and about a world where letter-writing was very much an essential mode of communication, especially between men and women.

Held on the Maddox Theatre stage in the Rockford College Clark Arts Center, tickets are $25 each. Show times are 8 p.m., Friday, Feb. 10; 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 11; and 2 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 12.

Contact the Rockford College Box Office at (815) 226-4100 to reserve tickets.

When the Clark Arts Center was first dedicated in 1970, in it were two of the finest theatrical spaces in the country. Along with those spaces came a state-of-the-art lighting and dimming system: the first computerized system in the country of its size, with a then-staggering 650 kilobytes of memory.

Today, you can easily fit 4 gigabytes in a device the size of your thumb. This project will bring back to Maddox and Cheek theaters the technologies they deserve, the capacity for a totally flexible and vibrant theater-lighting experience — casting performers and visiting worldwide luminaries in their “best light.”

Working with a generous lead commitment of $150,000 from the Eclipse Foundation, proceeds from this production will complete fund-raising to offset expenses for the system’s installation. Total cost for the theater lighting project is $270,000.

The venture is part of Project 165, a year-long celebration leading up to the college’s 165th birthday celebration Feb. 29. Project 165 celebrates that legacy, informing the community that Rockford College is distinctive, distinguished and relevant, while providing a total of $1.6 million in capital improvements to its now 50-year-old campus.

From the Feb. 8-14, 2012, issue

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