Lake E-ffect Newsletter banner SUNY Oswego logoJanuary 2012 • Vol 7 • No 10

Alumni and Students to Stage, Stream Sheldon Stories

Professor of Theatre Mark Cole '73 and actress Robin Curtis '78 are teaming up to stage "Speaking of Sheldon ...," a reader's theatre adaptation of The Autobiography of Edward Austin Sheldon, which will premier on the Web and at Waterman Theatre in Tyler Hall in late February.

Speaking of Sheldon castDetails about the Feb. 26 webstream will be released in early February and announced on the Oswego Alumni Association's Twitter and Facebook accounts.

"When the opportunity arose for the Theatre Department to participate in some way in the Sesquicentennial celebration, Tim Nekritz M '05 suggested that I look at this text and I was immediately drawn to Sheldon's ability to describe his life and times — particularly his rural upbringing which must have shaped his work ethic — in ways that not only offer a portrait of his development, but also fascinating bits of information about social life and education in the 19th century," Cole said.

A reader's theatre approach to performance places a writer's text in the foreground so that character and description — the writer's style and voice — can be appreciated.

In this new production, four student performers, Jessica Quindlen '12, Michael Beshures '12, Nicholas Pike '13 and Clarissa Bawarski '15, joined by Curtis, will bring Sheldon's words to life - from descriptions of his parents and farm life to his early experiences as a student, to his tender description of his courtship and marriage, and his sister's record of his last days.

"As I worked on selecting sections for the performance ⎯ and there are many favorites that I had to leave out due to time constraints ⎯ I consulted with accompanist/music director Rebecca Horning of the music department about incorporating period music into the show," said Cole. "As austere and serious as Sheldon sometimes seems, there was also part of his personality that loved jokes, parties and singing."

⎯ Michele Reed

Rehearsing for the upcoming production of "Speaking of Sheldon" are from left, Jessica Quindlen '12, Rebecca Horning, Mark Cole '73, Robin Curtis '78, Michael Beshures '12, Nicholas Pike '13 and Clarissa Bawarski '15.

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