Theatre season to traverse time, space

The SUNY Oswego theatre department’s 2008-09 season will feature explorations through time, space and human emotions.

The season will begin with “The Torch Bearers,” an American comedy from 1922, previewing Oct. 14 and running through Oct. 19 in Tyler Hall’s Waterman Theatre. Written by George Kelly, “The Torch Bearers” is the story of an incompetent community theatre group, led by eccentric and pompous director Mrs. Pampinelli.

“The comic mishaps accumulate to a dizzying degree in the play,” said director Mark Cole, professor and chair of theatre. “This is a classic American farce comedy.” It is recommended for ages 12 and up.

Junior theatre major Kevin Hollenbeck will direct “Honor and the River,” the annual student honors production. Written by Anton Dudley, a New York-based playwright, the play explores friendship, family and the courage needed to take responsibility for one’s actions. This study of manipulation, betrayal and deception testing the limits of friendship will preview Nov. 18 and run through Nov. 23 in the Tyler Hall lab theatre. The play is recommended for ages 16 and above.

The provocative and powerful play “Pera Pelas” will be the first offering of the spring semester, previewing Feb. 24 and running through March 1. Written by Sinan Unel, the play examines three key periods in the 20th-century history of Turkey through the Istanbul luxury hotel Pera Pelas. The world of the harem, the political transitions of the 1950s and the tensions between conservatism and reform in the 1990s are examined through the characters’ passions, ideals and fears, Cole said. Deanna Downes, visiting associate professor of acting, will direct the production, which is recommended for audiences age 16 and above.

“Into the Woods,” a collaboration of the music and theatre departments, will close the season, previewing April 23 and running consecutive weekends through May 3. This widely popular Tony-winning musical, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine, draws upon familiar Grimm fairy tale characters such as Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel as they interact with a baker and his wife who are attempting to reverse a curse placed on them by the witch next door. Theatre faculty member Jonel Langenfeld-Rial will direct the Waterman Theatre production, with music direction by music faculty member Todd Graber.

Additional events for the season will include a production of Cole’s new play “An Evening With Alan and Lawrence,” centering on a virtuoso pianist and a specialist in arcane musical lore. Gerard Moses, professor emeritus of the Syracuse University drama department, will direct. SUNY Oswego’s School of Communication, Media and the Arts will present this performance Friday, Dec. 5, in Waterman Theatre. The play is recommended for ages 12 and above.

New Voices 2009, co-sponsored with the English and creative writing department, will feature staged readings of the six winners of Oswego’s student-written 10-minute play contest. Presented March 28 and March 29 in the lab theatre, it is recommended for ages 16 and up.

For ticket information on all productions and for reservations, contact Tyler Box Office at 312-2141 or tickets@oswego.edu.

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CONTACT: Kelly Cullinan, 312-3097

(Posted: Aug 20, 2008)

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