Professor's original play coming to downtown Oswego

“The Day the Performance Artist Came To Town,” an original production by Mark Cole of SUNY Oswego’s theatre department, will be staged at 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29, in the Oswego YMCA Armory on West First Street.

The free, ticketed staged reading is presented by the Oswego YMCA and SUNY Oswego theatre department, as part of a cooperative community and college program series.

Cole, professor and chair of theatre at SUNY Oswego, wrote the piece and will perform the reading along with Banna Rubinow.

The plot centers on a New York City performance artist arriving in a small city to direct a play residents are creating and performing.

“The performance artist, Dermott Calhoun, uses unconventional methods to help his cast tell their stories,” Cole explained. “The participants are alternately enthralled and suspicious of Dermott and his avant-garde approach.”

The story of the artist’s effect on the community unfolds through the journal entries of Elizabeth and Malcolm, two residents who volunteer to be a part of the experience.

“The seductive, elusive Dermott causes Elizabeth to question how she performs in her own life, and the cynical Malcolm experiences jealousy for the first time in this social comedy that is tinged with the supernatural,” Cole said.

He added that this project came about when Rubinow, a bookseller at the River’s End Bookstore, suggested they work on a reading together.

“I’d been working on a story about a performance artist from the point of view of one local resident and it seemed natural to expand it through the use of journal entries to include two voices,” he said.

Admission will be free of charge. Because of limited seating, advance tickets are advised by contacting Tyler box office at 312-2141 or

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(Posted: Oct 11, 2006)