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Nov. 6, 2002
 
CONTACT: Kelly Cullinan, 312-3097
 
'LITTLE FOOTSTEPS' TO FEATURE STUDENT DIRECTOR'S NEW IDEAS
OSWEGO -- Student director Sondra Tackett has some new twists planned for the SUNY Oswego honors production of "Little Footsteps."
For a fresh take on the offbeat comedy first performed in 1986, Tackett said she added new features such as creating a character to play the lead's alter ego and attempting to "break the fourth wall" to make the audience feel like part of the show.
The play revolves around a childish urban professional couple, Ben (Mike Climek) and Joanie (Katie Keville) becoming consumed by their first frenzied steps toward parenthood. Additional stress comes from Joanie's parents, Gil (Ethan Van Auken) and Charlotte (Meaghan Thaney).
But Tackett added a fifth character called Tom Foolery, played by Emma Ansah and representing Ben's alter ego or "inner child."
She kept this addition a secret during auditions and said that Ansah's energy and physical skills stood out. "She's a very physical presence," Tackett said. "She's just a delight to work with."
Ansah's character represents what is going on in Ben's mind, said Tackett, a senior with a dual major in theatre and communication. "Tom Foolery gives physical action to some of the situations Ben is going through," the director said. "The character is Ben's inner child, and Ben will find himself choosing between that inner child and his wife. So his alter ego helps him out but also kind of undermines him."
When the process started, "I wasn't really sure how (the new character) was going to work," Tackett said. "But I'm thrilled with how things are going. I'm just so excited about how it's coming out."
The alter ego's serving as a reactive force and other touches of spectacle are designed to break the illusive "fourth wall" separating the actors from the audience, Tackett said. "We're getting the audience involved in tidbits of these people's lives," she explained.
"I'm keeping my audience in mind," Tackett added. "I try to think about, if I were going into a theatre, what would I want to see?"
"Little Footsteps," in Tyler Hall's lab theatre, will have an 8 p.m. preview Tuesday, Nov. 19, with all seats available for $5. The show's run will continue with 8 p.m. shows Nov. 20, 21, 22 and 23, plus a 2 p.m. matinee Nov. 24. Tickets cost $10 for the general public; $9 for seniors, students and children; and $7 for SUNY Oswego students.
For information of reservations, call Tyler Hall box office at 312-2141 or e-mail tylerbxo@oswego.edu.
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