Office of Public Affairs

(315) 312-2265

June 30, 2004

CONTACT: Mark Cole, 312.2140


    OSWEGO -- Workshops on stage presence, delivery and acting, as well as a trip to the Shaw Festival in Canada, will highlight SUNY Oswego's Summer eighth annual Theatre Institute from July 18 to 31.
   The program is designed for high-school students entering their junior and senior years. Participants completing the institute will receive three semester-hours of college credit.

    Enrollment is at capacity for its eighth straight year with a waiting list, said the institute's coordinator, Mark Cole, professor and chair of theatre at SUNY Oswego. "This year, we have students from South Carolina, Connecticut, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, New Jersey and New York," he added. "I look forward to seeing the students bond once again -- it happens very quickly since we begin classes on the evening of the day they arrive."

    Sessions will cover such topics as fundamentals of acting, improvisation, relaxation techniques, movement, stage combat and voice training. Special seminars and workshops will lend guidance in such issues as auditioning, mask work and acting for commercials.

    Instructors bring professional production and teaching backgrounds to their workshops and classes. Paul Savas, a member of the SUNY Oswego theatre faculty, will discuss directing, acting and improvisation. David Morgan, a faculty member at Brigham Young University, will lead sessions on directing, acting, voice and speech.    

    Kevin Kennison, a guest instructor in directing and acting, is a casting associate for Disney Theatrical Productions. Jennifer Aldridge, a development associate for the Cornerstone Theatre Company in Los Angeles, will teach acting. Kennison and Aldridge are SUNY Oswego theatre alumni. Gary Izzo, the artistic director for the Sterling Renaissance Festival and another Oswego alumnus, will also visit.

    The institute will visit the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake on Saturday, July 24, to allow students "to see one of the premier theatre companies in North America perform two plays that are rich in character, comedy, intellect and passion," Cole said. Students will attend performances of Eugene O'Neill's "Ah Wilderness" and George Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion."

    "There's very little down time, actually. Since the institute is just two weeks, we feel it's important to explore as many facets of acting work as possible," Cole said. "They will interact in seminars that deal with the process of preparing and auditioning for colleges, the techniques of on-camera acting for commercial and dramatic work, mask performance and improvisation."

    The overall emphasis is on acting training with "a focus on the craft of acting," Cole noted. "Instead of working on one role for the two weeks, students can stretch their abilities by working on a variety of texts in scene work and monologues."

    The institute will wrap up July 31 with an opportunity for participants' families to come and watch them work. "It invariably gives parents a greater appreciation for the tremendous discipline that is essential for successful acting," Cole explained.

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