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Student's musical revue to celebrate Red Cross anniversary

STANFORD -- As the head writer for Stanford's Centennial Gaieties Revue, student Jennifer Derwingson pored over old scripts and archival materials to create a musical celebration of life on The Farm.

Now she's at it again, only this time her production will celebrate the 75th anniversary of another Peninsula institution: the Palo Alto Area Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Derwingson, a senior majoring in English, has been active in Stanford Drama Department and Ram's Head student productions ever since she came to Stanford from Mount Shasta, Calif.

She agreed to write the Red Cross script last October, after she was approached by a Red Cross official who saw - and loved - her Gaieties Revue.

You've Got a Friend, scheduled for March 29 at the Mountain View Performing Arts Center, will focus on the rich history of the Palo Alto Red Cross, beginning with World War I, when area residents rolled bandages for the troops.

In other scenes, local actors will recreate a 1930s fund- raising tennis tournament and a 1953 Stanford campus blood drive, at the time the most successful blood drive in Red Cross history.

Present-day Red Cross activities - including AIDS education and counseling for single parents - also will be featured.

"It was really interesting for me to look at the whole history of Palo Alto and Stanford," said Derwingson, who hopes to become an intern with a professional theater company next year. "Everyone runs into the Red Cross at some point in their lives."

Derwingson based her script on archival materials assembled by local Red Cross board member Nan Geschky. The show will be introduced by American Red Cross President Elizabeth Dole. Singer Country Joe McDonald will join in the performance.

Tickets may be purchased by calling the Palo Alto Area Chapter at (415) 688-0415 or the Mountain View Performing Arts Center at (415) 903-6000. All proceeds will benefit the Palo Alto Area Chapter of the American Red Cross.



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