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Contact Information: Tanya Klein Public Relations 973-596-3433

Theatre Director at NJIT Has Play Accepted By Prestigious Conference

Michele Rittenhouse, managing director of the NJIT Theatre Arts Program, has had her play “Red Rover” accepted for development at the Seven Devils Playwright Conference in Idaho this June.  Rittenhouse will work there for two weeks with a director and dramaturg to develop the play for a staged reading. She will also mentor high-school writers from the town.

“The conference offers a unique opportunity,” Rittenhouse said. “The entire town participates in the conference in one way or another, housing, acting, writing, or as one of the most valuable roles, as audience. There is feedback and discussion about each play presented so the writers can find out what they have written and find ways to polish the work in a rewrite for future professional venues.

The play is set in the fictitious town of Clover, Mississippi, not far from the real Mississippi town —Tupelo—where Rittenhouse grew up. The year is 1969 and a family has learned that a son is missing in action in Vietnam. The parents and grandmother blame each other while the distraught granddaughter takes off to photograph stormy waves, to fulfill a long-ago promise to her missing brother. As the storm worsens, turning into Hurricane Camille, the daughter and her boyfriend are lost. Eventually they are miraculously found—and as the family sorts out these catastrophic events, they rediscover hope for the return of the lost son.

NJIT, New Jersey's science and technology university, enrolls approximately 10,000 students pursuing bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in 120 programs. The university consists of six colleges: Newark College of Engineering, College of Architecture and Design, College of Science and Liberal Arts, School of Management, College of Computing Sciences and Albert Dorman Honors College. U.S. News & World Report's 2012 Annual Guide to America's Best Colleges ranked NJIT in the top tier of national research universities. NJIT is internationally recognized for being at the edge in knowledge in architecture, applied mathematics, wireless communications and networking, solar physics, advanced engineered particulate materials, nanotechnology, neural engineering and e-learning. Many courses and certificate programs, as well as graduate degrees, are available online through the Division of Continuing Professional Education.