Music, dance, poetry, multimedia to fill Artswego season

Kitka performsSUNY Oswego’s Artswego series will bring music, dance, poetry, comedy, multimedia performance and the world premiere of a production on the life of Charles Darwin to the lakeside campus in 2008-09.

The season will begin with poet and activist Sonia Sanchez’s appearance at 8 p.m. Sept. 18 in the Hewitt Union ballroom. Sanchez’s award-winning books include “Homegirls and Handgrenades” and “I’ve Been a Woman.”

The renowned Rennie Harris Puremovement troupe will present “Rome & Jewels,” a hip-hop dance recasting of “Romeo and Juliet,” at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 26 and 27 in Tyler Hall’s Waterman Theatre.

Squonk Opera will return to Oswego with its latest multimedia production, “Astro-Rama,” at 8 p.m. Oct. 1 to 5. Weather permitting, the UFO-themed production will unfold outside the Campus Center.

SUNY Oswego’s Guitar Symposium will bring standout guitarists in several genres to perform and present workshops Nov. 8 and 9. Participants will include Jeff Linsky, the Oz Noy Trio, Peter Bernstein Trio, Frank Vignola Quartet and Brasil Guitar Duo.

Comedian and Oswego native Owen Benjamin—seen in “Punk’d,” his breakout Web comedy “GayTown” and upcoming movie “The House Bunny”—will come home with a 7:30 p.m. Nov. 24 show in Waterman Theatre.

The world premiere of “The Origin,” a commissioned oratorio on the work of Charles Darwin, will take place the month of the bicentennial of Darwin’s birth. Composed by Richard Einhorn with musical direction by SUNY Oswego’s Julie Pretzat and featuring the Eastern European sound of Kitka plus college and community ensembles, “The Origin” will debut at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 6 and 7 in Waterman Theatre.

Artswego’s season will wrap with a Hudson River Quadricentennial Concert at 7:30 p.m. March 21 in Waterman Theatre. The multimedia celebration of 400 years of historical and cultural progress since Henry Hudson’s voyage will feature fiddle master Mark O’Connor, jazz clarinetist Don Byron and electric violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain.

Tickets, with varying costs according to performance, are required for all of the above shows except for the admission-free Sanchez appearance. Discounts are available for those purchasing tickets to multiple shows.

The Artswego season is made possible by a wide variety of funding sources, including the SUNY Oswego student arts fee, the New York State Music Fund, National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Meet the Composer, Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour, New York State Dance Force and Entergy.

For more information on specific shows, ticket prices and program funders, visit Tickets are available via Tyler Box Office, 312-2141 or

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PHOTO CAPTION: Darwin tale—SUNY Oswego’s upcoming Artswego season will include the world premiere of “The Origin,” a commissioned multimedia oratorio on the life of Charles Darwin. Julie Pretzat (right) of Oswego’s music department directs members of women’s vocal ensemble Kitka at a work-in-progress preview earlier this year. Written by noted composer Richard Einhorn, “The Origin” will debut at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 6 and 7 in Tyler Hall’s Waterman Theatre.

CONTACT: Mary Avrakotos, 312-4581 or

(Posted: Aug 13, 2008)

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