Crozier, Levine bring Einstein to the stage

When some husbands and wives work together, chaos often ensues. But when Associate Professor and Chair of the Communication Arts Department Dan Crozier and his wife, director Roberta Levine, work together, Allegheny College is in for a treat. The husband and wife duo, who have worked on several projects together, including three solo pieces, have teamed up to bring campus a fourth solo performance. This Friday and Saturday night at 8 p.m., the Gladys Mullenix Black Theater will present “The End is Near!,” written and performed by Crozier.

James Schwendener/THE CAMPUS
If you ask Crozier about the process of writing the piece, he is quick to demur.
“I don’t really consider that I wrote it,” said Crozier. “I typed it.”
The “typed” idea has become a half–hour performance, in which Crozier will explore various themes with a goofy, sometimes jagged twist. This is the fourth piece that he has written and performed in.
Crozier’s body of work varies wildly.
“The first piece was inspired by Hamlet,” Crozier said. “The second was inspired by fear after 9/11.”
His third piece, which was inspired by race and titled “Color Me White,” he claims is his favorite.
“The End is Near!” recently had a successful trial run at the ATHE Micro–Fringe Festival in Los Angeles.
“The initial focus of the piece was cosmology and physics, and I started with Einstein’s thought experiments,” Crozier said. “I love reading about science.”
Of course, this performance won’t appeal only to physics majors.
“It turned into this kind of reflexive piece on acting and performance,” Crozier said. “It’s not really performance art. These are my attempts at creating a piece of work.”
Though the performance was well–received in Los Angeles, Crozier seems to have no clear expectations for the Allegheny audience. He is, however, hopeful.
“I hope [Allegheny students] enjoy, laugh, find it at least amusing,” Crozier said. “I hope that they will kind of get an idea of what performance can be.”
“The End is Near!” would have been difficult to pull off, Crozier admits, without the help and intuition of Crozier’s wife and director, Roberta Levine. Levine, who has worked for about ten years in Allegheny’s Gifted and Talented Program, is also a writer and actor.
“This is the fourth show I have directed him in,” Levine said. “We are very fortunate that we share a language, vocabulary, trust and willingness. It feels very natural to work with him.”
Kaitlin Mackenzie, ’11, has worked with both Crozier and Levine and has seen their work.
“I was impressed by how fearless [Crozier] was by himself,” said Mackenzie of his previous on–stage work. “He had the courage to carry a show that he had written. I just love his energy a lot. It’s always good for a student to see the teacher perform.”
Of course, Crozier won’t be performing totally solo this Friday and Saturday.
Another comic performance, written and acted by Cory Rieger entitled “Are We There Yet?” will be featured the same night.
According to a press release for the performances, Rieger’s play addresses the “big question,” described by Rieger as “[the] meaning, life, the nature of reality, art, science, the beginning and the end.”
“I hope people come away with questions and ask themselves these questions,” Levine said. “Behind humor, there is a lot of thought.”